Quotes and Reviews


Hey America, You're Roots Are Showing? | Who Do You Think You Are?
Trace Your Roots with DNA | Honoring Our Ancestors
In Search of Our Ancestors | They Came to America


Hey America, You're Roots Are Showing

Hey America, You're Roots Are Showing

"Watch out Watson and Crick! Megan Smolenyak decodes our fascinating, complicated past in this tour de force of detective work." - Ken Burns

"Thank you for taking the time to lay out our family map... You're practically family. You certainly know more about us than we do." - Stephen Colbert

"This splendid book makes genealogy come alive in the most vivid and compelling manner." - from the Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

"Megan is a genealogist's dream, a forensic investigator who can also tell a great story." - Sam Roberts, The New York Times

"Megan is a blessing to cold-case detectives and a master genealogist." - Julie M. Haney, special agent, NCIS Cold Case Homicide Unit
"Megan . . . is, hands down, America's greatest genealogist, and this book is proof of it." - Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestsellers War Letters and Behind the Lines

"The Indiana Jones of genealogy...Megan Smolenyak is a national treasure." - Buzzy Jackson, author of Shaking the Family Tree

"Megan Smolenyak is the genealogist's genealogist - the go-to person for building your family tree and solving stubborn historical mysteries." - Dr. Spencer Wells, Director of the Genographic Project, National Geographic

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

"I was delighted to read other reviews of Megan Smolenyak's Who Do You Think You Are? which informed me that this is not a typical television show tie-in book. It's packed with information and I've been glued to it, reading a chapter at a time so I can fully digest the contents. Smolenyak's book is authoritative and concise, covering key elements of genealogical research with useful research information and sources (including URLs where applicable). Her examples are top notch - selecting people and names from history that most of us can relate to. Though I borrowed this from my local library initially, I bought my own copy as I can see myself returning to various chapters of this book for reference and to solidify my genealogical research." -- greenleaf on LibraryThing

"This has to be one of the most outstanding books I have ever read. I have read it, taken notes on web sites to use in finding information and plan on reading it a second time. I am into genealogy but this has broadened my mind greatly. I highly recommend it to anyone, into genealogy or not. It will spur you on to find out more about your family." -- pollypeppers on LibraryThing

"Although I'm an experienced (self-taught) genealogist, I thought it would be fun to read a book designed for "newbies" to see if there's anything I could learn. The answer is a resounding "Yes."

I really enjoyed the author's breezy writing style and her ability to focus on "the best of the best" rather than trying to be comprehensive (and failing). I plan to read the book a second time, taking notes for future reference. I read a library copy and am too cheap to now go out and buy a copy. I would, however, recommend that anyone just starting out in genealogy buy the book and keep it handy." - Newsie on LibraryThing

"When my preordered book arrived, it was probably one of the most anticipated books I had ordered in quite some time! Having been a fan of Megan's for a long time, I already knew it was going to be good. Megan takes us on a journey, in plain, simple language, and easy understanding, to find our ancestors.

She fully explains the "tools of the trade" for someone who knows absolutely not one thing about genealogy, other than having a desire to trace their family history. But she does it in such a way that those of us who have been doing just such research for many years, finds it a pleasant recall and entertaining! Never is it boring, stuffy or redundant.

In nine, easy-to-read chapters, Megan takes us through preparing for the search; using the Internet to assist us in our search; how to utilize the census records; using vital records [birth, marriage and death]; military records; performing research in other countries; and passing on our research through sharing.

If you haven't purchased your copy of "Who Do You Think You Are?" yet, I highly encourage you to get one now. Even if you've been researching for a long time, you're going to find some great vital information that you either didn't know about, or you have forgotten about! And if you are new to the "genie" bug, then I can't think of a better book to help you get started!" -- texicanwife on LibraryThing

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Trace Your Roots with DNA

Trace Your Roots with DNA


Trace Your Roots with DNA featured in Newsweek

See what Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired, has to say about Trace Your Roots with DNA.

See what About.com's Genealogy guide, Kimberly Powell, has to say about Trace Your Roots with DNA

See what Dick Eastman has to say about Trace Your Roots with DNA

See what fellow readers have to say about Trace Your Roots with DNA at Amazon.

Columnist James M. Beidler's remarks on Trace Your Roots with DNA: "Trace Your Roots with DNA makes what can be a complicated dose of science into simple and example-filled reading. In actuality, the book is appropriate for both genealogical beginners -- the primer chapter of family history basics is as clear as the other parts of the book -- as well as those who merely want to get up to speed with the impact of DNA on genealogy."
-- Lebanon Daily News, January 3, 2005

"Trace Your Roots" is more than a first-rate 'how to' book'—it is a fascinating look at the history, importance, and future of genealogical DNA testing. Those who are new to the subject will learn everything they want to know, and professional genealogists will find a treasure trove of new information. This is a sensational book!"
— Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestseller, War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars

"Finally, a book on DNA from a genealogist's perspective. Trace Your Roots with DNA is very light and lively reading, and it explores the many surprising uses of genetic testing for roots-tracing. If you want to understand how to use DNA for genealogy, this is the book for you."
--Tony Burroughs, author of Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree

"Inviting and informative, this work presents an easily understood, yet wonderfully detailed explanation of a complex subject. From the well-written text and valuable sidebars to the excellent overall layout and presentation, Trace Your Roots with DNA is a significant contribution to the understanding of genetic testing in the context of genealogical endeavors. As interest in DNA testing for family heritage purposes continues to grow, the Smolenyak and Turner work will be essential to a complete understanding."
-- Curt Witcher, Manager, Allen County Public Library Historical Genealogy Dept.; Fellow, Utah Genealogical Society; Founding President, Indiana Genealogical Society; Former President, Federation of Genealogical Society; Former President, National Genealogical Society

From Publishers Weekly
"Genetic typing is the newest tool for amateur genealogists, and it's enthusiastically espoused by the experienced authors of this useful guidebook (Smolenyak is the lead researcher for PBS's Ancestors and the author of In Search of Our Past Ancestors; Turner contributes to the GENEALOGY-DNA mailing list). How does it work? By tracing one's "DNA heirlooms," the two forms of DNA that are passed on in a family from generation to generation. These "heirlooms" include genetic markers on the Y chromosome, passed on by fathers, and mitochondrial DNA, passed on by mothers. If it sounds hard to understand and do, the authors reassuringly offer clear explanations of the science and how to use it. DNA typing can tell you if you're related to someone with the same surname, pinpoint a certain ancestor and verify your other research. But, as the authors warn, it could also prove your previous assumptions wrong or uncover unwanted information, such as that a family member was adopted. If you have been researching your family's history and have unanswered questions, this enlightening book may offer some answers; at the very least, it will walk you through the benefits and drawbacks of DNA testing."
-- Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Honoring Our Ancestors

Honoring Our Ancestors


"Threads from so many wonderful stories are woven together here in a way that celebrates history, heritage, family, remembering, and recreating. In these pages one will find countless ties that link generations across time and continents. It's not only a book one will find hard to put down, it's a book one will find hard to read just once."
--Curt B. Witcher
President, National Genealogical Society
Historical Genealogy Department Manager, ACPL

"What a sensational book! Megan has discovered some of the most amazing stories I have ever read, and she tells them with great passion, humor, and respect. Every family in America should have this book."
--Andrew Carroll
Editor of the New York Times bestseller
War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars

"Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (besides having the coolest name I've ever heard) is the guru, the pope, the beginning, the middle and the end of genealogy. And like all good gurus, she inspires the rest of us to find our own roots, to keep digging until we know our own story. This book is an important book for anyone who has ever had a mother, a grandmother or a great-grandmother. Make it part of your library now."
--Pam Grout
Author of Art and Soul and Living Big

"I won't try to tell you why your personal heritage is important. Read this book and you'll understand."
--Beau Sharbrough
President, GENTECH

"In Honoring Our Ancestors, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak beautifully captures the significance of remembering our roots. You'll want to get out your heirloom scrapbooks and artifacts to discover your legacy, or create a new tradition in your family. Connect with your history; give yourself the gift of your past with this book.
--Cynthia Brian
Author of Be the Star You Are! and co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul

One of the great shortcomings of America is that we idolize youth and minimize the value of the precious insight, intuition and wisdom our elders have to offer. The stories Megan shares in Honoring Our Ancestors give me hope that more of us are waking up to all we have to gain by paying attention and tribute to our forebears. By looking to the past, we can craft a better future.
--Gerald Celente
Director of The Trends Research Institute
Author of Trend Tracking, Trends 2000 and What Zizi Gave Honeyboy

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In Search of Our Ancestors

In Search of Our Ancestors


"This collection of stories is sure to inspire readers in exploring the branches of their own family trees"
Publishers Weekly

"Some of the stories are absolutely amazing, and I plan to keep this book around for those times when I feel I am spinning my wheels! It is a guaranteed pick-me-up."
-- Juliana Smith, Ancestry Daily News

"The book is heartwarming to read even for nongenealogists."
--Joan Griffis, The News-Gazette (Champaign, IL)

"My granddaughter gave me a copy of In Search of Our Ancestors for Mother's Day. I read each story and just could not put the book down until I had read them all!"
--reader

"Megan's book is akin to eating sherbet as a mid-meal course to 'cleanse the palate.' After heavy servings of dry books, microfilm screens, and deciphering old handwriting and even older land records, In Search of Our Ancestors brings variety to the genealogist's usual reference fare and lifts the researcher's spirits"
--Carole Osborne Cole, Columns (International Society of Family History Writers & Editors)

"nominated for a Virginia Literary Award"
--The Library of Virginia

"A delightful volume of personal stories about why people do genealogy, and their experiences of climbing their family tree . . . you'll enjoy this book."
-Nancy Hendrickson, AncestorNews

"Other than the Bible, I don't think I have had a book impact my life quite like Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's In Search of Our Ancestors."
--Natalie Castro Coleman, Fairfax Genealogical Society Newsletter

"...this collection is designed to simply share the warmth and surprises that genealogical research can bring if you stick with the hunt, keep your sense of humor, and listen to your heart."
-- Jill Lightner, Amazon.com

"My husband read the whole book that afternoon!"
--reader


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They Came to America

They Came to America


"The growing popularity of family genealogy is a true cultural phenomenon. More than just a hobby, it is becoming a new American enterprise, with families at its core. While the Internet has made historic records more accessible than ever, the sheer number of websites and resources can be overwhelming to the beginner. They Came to America provides a valuable 'how-to' guide for taking the steps to bringing your own personal family tree to life - connecting the past with the present for future generations."
-- Stephen A. Briganti, President and CEO, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

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