Genealogical Library

Case Studies/Human Interest


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so if there's an article you'd like to see, email us and we'll re-post it with a fresh link.

  • April 6, 2021 - The Buffalo News - "Scrawled 86 years ago at Statler, hidden names summon a family" by Sean Kirst
  • February 25, 2021 - Medium - "Animate Your Ancestors" by Megan Smolenyak
  • February 17, 2021 - Medium - "Name Game: Celebrities Have Nothing on the Rest of Us" by Megan Smolenyak
  • February 10, 2021 - Medium - "The Gift of the Double Census" by Megan Smolenyak
  • January 10, 2021 - Medium - "Philip Reed, The Enslaved Man Who Rescued Freedom" by Megan Smolenyak
  • December 21, 2020 - Medium - "Solving the Mystery of Arne Pettersen, the Last to Leave Ellis Island" by Megan Smolenyak
  • October 9, 2020 - Medium - "Best Babyhood Ever" by Megan Smolenyak
  • September 19, 2020 - The Buffalo News - "In Lackawanna, a labor martyr's tombstone rises from the earth" by Sean Kirst
  • September 5, 2020 - The Buffalo News - "Reclaiming a hero who tried to save President McKinley" by Sean Kirst
  • February 1, 2020 - The Buffalo News - "After 65 years, she learns she exists because Kenmore man rescued her dad" by Sean Kirst
  • April 13, 2019 - The Buffalo News - "After 75 years, lost airman who longed for Buffalo comes home" (Rogers Jr., Vince) by Sean Kirst
  • April 10, 2019 - Organize Your Family History - "How They Do It: Megan Smolenyak" by Janine Adams
  • November 1, 2018 - The New York Times - "100 Years After New York’s Deadliest Subway Crash" by Sam Roberts
  • September 4, 2018 - Medium - "Friendly Fire: The Unexpected Family History of the NRA’s Spokesperson" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 7, 2018 - The Buffalo News - "A century after scow rescue, medal for Red Hill Sr., legend of Niagara" by Sean Kirst
  • August 4, 2018 - The Buffalo News - "Scow rescue tribute brings together legendary Falls family" by Sean Kirst
  • July 31, 2018 - Medium - "Meet Your Great-Great-Grandmother, Ron DeSantis" by Megan Smolenyak
  • July 15, 2018 - Commercial-News - "Unclaimed Persons celebrates 10th anniversary" by Joan Griffis
  • July 14, 2018 - The Buffalo News - "A century ago, Western New Yorker helped turn tide in world war" by Sean Kirst
  • July 6, 2018 - NBC News - "Fact check: Trump wants Warren to prove her Native American heritage. Could she?" by Jane C. Timm
  • July 5, 2018 - Medium - "Jimmy Fallon’s Family Tree" by Megan Smolenyak
  • June 23, 2018 - The Buffalo News - "As scow disintegrates, honoring heroes of epic rescue at Niagara Falls" by Sean Kirst
  • June 8, 2018 - Medium - "A Tribute to Anthony Bourdain and His Wild, Vagabond Roots" by Megan Smolenyak
  • June 7, 2018 - Medium - "7 Things You Didn’t Know about Prince’s Roots" by Megan Smolenyak
  • May 27, 2018 - Medium - "Why #WhereAreTheChildren Is Personal to Joaquín Castro" by Megan Smolenyak
  • May 25, 2018 - Medium - "Correcting the Record of WWI Hero and Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Henry Johnson" (Johnson, Henry) by Megan Smolenyak
  • May 19, 2018 - WSB-TV - "Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama trace families to same metro Atlanta town" by Bob D'Angelo
  • May 18, 2018 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, trace families to Jonesboro" by Bo Emerson
  • May 16, 2018 - The Times-Tribune - "Unclaimed but still remembered" by Joseph Kohut
  • May 13, 2018 - Times Union - "Henry Johnson, Albany's WWI hero, gets new honor a century after battle" (Johnson, Henry) by Steve Hughes
  • May 4, 2018 - Medium - "Kanye, Meet Your Great-Uncle" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April 26, 2018 - Medium - "Why Hasn’t Devin Nunes Assimilated Yet?" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April 14, 2018 - Medium - "On the Prowl for Bruce Springsteen’s Irish Roots" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April 8, 2018 - The Washington Post - "After 73 years, the remains of a Tuskegee airman lost over Europe may have been found" (Capt. Dickson, Lawrence E.) By Michael E. Ruane
  • February 13, 2018 - Medium - "Chain Migration: What’s Changed?" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 2017 - Kidsville News - "What Is It Like To Be A Genealogist?"
  • June 2017 - Real Simple - "5 Questions That'll Bring You Closer to Your Dad" By Sarah J. Robbins
    PDFRead the full article in PDF format.
  • May 22, 2017 - Huffington Post - "My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August/September 2016 - Irish America Magazine Digital Edition [Pages 72 - 73] - "5 Things You Didn't Know About Melissa McCarthy's Family Tree" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August/September 2016 - Irish America - "Roots: Melissa McCarthy" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 9, 2016 - Megan Smolenyak - "Tim Kaine Ancestral Samplings" by Megan Smolenyak
  • June 27, 2016 - Megan Smolenyak - "Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Revolutionary Ancestors" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April 4, 2016 - Huffington Post - "Genealogy Is Officially a TV Genre" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April/May 2016 - Irish America Magazine - Digital Edition [Pages 76 - 78] - "Annie Moore's Long Lost Irish Cousins" by Megan Smolenyak
  • March 30, 2016 - Megan Smolenyak YouTube Channel - "Annie Moore, 1st to arrive at Ellis Island, serenaded by her Irish cousin, tenor Paul Linehan" by Megan Smolenyak


  • March 30, 2016 - Irish America - "Celebrating the 2016 Irish America Hall of Fame" by Adam Farley
  • March 30, 2016 - The New York Times - "A New Verse in the Ballad of Ellis Island's First Immigrant" by Sam Roberts
  • February/March 2016 - Irish America - "The Spy in the Castle" by Megan Smolenyak
    and Irish America Digital Magazine [See Pages 82 - 85] "The Spy in the Castle" by Megan Smolenyak
  • March 18, 2016 - The Irish Times - "Generation saga: Relatives of Annie Moore traced" by Barry Roche
  • December/January 2016 - Irish America Magazine - "From Ellen to Eileen" by Megan Smolenyak [See Pages 88 - 89]
  • December/January 2016 - Irish America - "From Ellen to Eileen" by Megan Smolenyak
  • October/November 2015 - Irish America Magazine - "On the Prowl for Springsteen's Irish Roots" by Megan Smolenyak [See Pages 90 - 91]
  • October/November, 2015 - Irish America - "On the Prowl for Springsteen's Irish Roots" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 13, 2015 - Huffington Post - "Inmates Indexing Genealogy Records" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August/September 2015 - Irish America - "Photo Album: The Shields Family" by Megan Smolenyak
    and Irish America Digital Magazine [Page 96] - "My Irish Mother" by Megan Smolenyak
  • June 1, 2015 - Huffington Post - "World's Largest Family Reunion: Genealogy or Preen-ealogy" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April/May 2015 - Irish America Magazine [See Pages 54 - 60] - "Jersey Boys: Irish Soldiers in WWI" and "How Many Irish-Born Died in Service to the U.S. in WWI?" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April 6, 2015 - Irish Independent - "1,000 Irish died with American army in WWI" by Claire McCormack
  • April 6, 2015 - Huffington Post - "Hillary Clinton Family Tree a Wake-Up Call for Genealogy" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April/May 2015 - Irish America Magazine - "Hillary Rodham Clinton's Celtic Roots" by Megan Smolenyak [See Pages 50-52]
  • March 25, 2015 - Veja (Brazil) - "One Big Family" by Cecília Ritto
    Click Here for Google Translation
  • Feruary 17, 2015 - Huffington Post - "Historical Accuracy as Prison?" by Megan Smolenyak
  • April 17, 2014 - Roots World - "Memorial for Philip Reed, Slave Who Placed Freedom on the Capitol" by Megan Smolenyak
  • January 12, 2014 - The Post-Standard - "111-year-old Syracuse Irish woman the longest-living person in Irish history" by Sean Kirst
  • January 9, 2014 - Irish Central - "The longest-lived person ever born in Ireland? Kathleen Snavely, 111, here in greater Syracuse" by Sheila Langan
  • September 18, 2013 - Huffington Post - "DNA Stories: Did She Marry Her Cousin? (VIDEO)" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 2013 - Irish Lives Remembered [Pages 36 - 37] - "A Missing Letter in Kerry Unearths a Family Mystery" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 19, 2013 - Huffington Post - "DNA Stories: A Tale of Two Fathers (VIDEO)" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 8, 2013 - Huffington Post - "5 Reasons HBO Needs to Renew Family Tree" by Megan Smolenyak
  • July 26, 2013 - The Huffington Post - "Genetic Family Reunion: DNA Reveals Alex Haley's Scottish Roots (VIDEO)" by Megan Smolenyak
  • June 26, 2013 - The Huffington Post - "Who Do You Think You Are? Celebrities Announced" by Megan Smolenyak
  • June 15, 2013 - The Huffington Post - "Lost and Found for Humans" by Megan Smolenyak
  • May 23, 2013 - The Huffington Post - "A Memorial Day Tribute to Dad for his Service in Vietnam" by Megan Smolenyak
  • May 2, 2013 - Huffington Post - "HBO's Family Tree First of Four Genealogy Series to Air in U.S." by Megan Smolenyak
  • March 19, 2013 - Huffington Post - "Family Tree Mockumentary Series Coming to HBO & BBC" by Megan Smolenyak
  • March 13, 2013 - The Kerryman - "A letter from America gets a reply - 29 years on!" by Dónal Nolan
    Read this article in PDF formatPDF
  • March 5, 2013 - Huffington Post - "Letter to Ireland Answered -- 28 Years Later" by Megan Smolenyak
  • December 17, 2012 - Huffington Post - "How You Can Help Ellis Island Rise Above the Waters" by Megan Smolenyak
  • November 19, 2012 - The New York Times - "Storm Jeopardizes Building's Survival After Two Centuries" by Sam Roberts
  • September 28, 2012 - Huffington Post - "Which Countries Could You Be President Of?" by Megan Smolenyak
  • March 30, 2012 - Huffington Post - "Make History in Your Pajamas" by Megan Smolenyak
  • February 6, 2012 - Huffington Post - "Unexpected Ways To Find Your Ancestors" by Megan Smolenyak
  • October 3, 2011 - Huffington Post - "Seeds of a Trans-Atlantic Reunion" by Megan Smolenyak
  • July 27, 2011 - The New York Times - "Mystery Tombstone Finds Its Place of Rest" by Sam Roberts
  • June 29, 2011 - Huffington Post - "Summer Genealogy Reads" by Megan Smolenyak
  • March 31, 2011 - The Tuam HeraldPDF - "Obama researcher traces war hero to Sylane" by Tom Gilmore
  • March 15, 2011 - Huffington Post - "WWI Soldier Representative of Connection Between Ireland and America" by Megan Smolenyak
  • December 17, 2010 - Huffington Post - "Did I Marry My Cousin?" by Megan Smolenyak
  • December 2, 2010 - Standard Speaker - "Remains of area soldier killed in WWI returned" by John E. Usalis
  • October 11, 2010 - Huffington Post - "A Funeral on My 50th" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 25, 2010 - Huffington Post - "Roots Travel in Ireland" by Megan Smolenyak
  • August 24, 2010 - Irish Central - "New details on oldest living Irishwoman uncovered" by Cathy Hayes
  • August 18, 2010 - The Huffington Post - "Following the Trail of the Oldest Living Irishwoman" by Megan Smolenyak
  • July 7, 2010 - The New York Times - "The Curious Mystery of the Sidewalk Tombstone" by Sam Roberts
  • February 1, 2010 - Sioux City Journal - "Child's tombstone traced to Danbury" by Tim Gallagher
  • January 24, 2010 - San Luis Obispo Tribune - "Genealogy expert Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak to speak at seminar sponsored by sponsored by the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society" by Sarah Linn
  • July/August 2009 - Ancestry Magazine article - "DNA Proves Scottish Roots of Haley Family"
  • May/June 2009 - Ancestry Magazine article - "Philip Reed, The Slave Who Rescued Freedom"
  • January/February 2009 - Ancestry article - "Found! Unclaimed Persons"
    PDF Read this article in PDF format
  • November/December 2008 - Ancestry Magazine article - "The Quest for Obama's Irish Roots"
  • October 13, 2008 - Irish Times article - "Ellis Island's first immigrant honoured" by Lucy Kennedy
  • October 8, 2008 - Newsweek article - "The Man Who Would Be King" by Kurt Soller
  • October 8, 2008 - Reuters UK article - "Palin may be related to Princess Diana and Roosevelt" by Ellen Wulfhorst
  • October 7, 2008 - USA Today article - "Texan is Washington's kin, and could've been king" by Michelle Roberts
  • October 5, 2008 - Plain Dealer Politics Blog article - "Presidential candidate Obama has Irish kin in southern Ohio" by Margaret Bernstein. Includes PDF download of Obama's Family Tree.
  • September, 2008 - Irish Times article - "Four Green Fields"
  • September, 2008 - Ancestry Magazine article - "The Man (or Woman) Who Would Be King"
  • July/August 2008 - Ancestry Magazine article - "Where is the Honor Guard?"
  • May/June 2008 - Ancestry Magazine article (digital version) - "Found! Who Gets the Bible"
  • March 1, 2007 - Ancestry Magazine article - "She Had Me at Junkyard"
  • January/February 2008 - Ancestry Magazine article (digital version) - "When Bibles Go Camping"
  • December 3, 2007 - Ancestry Magazine article - "Freeing the Freeman Bible"
  • November/December 2007 - Ancestry Magazine article (digital version) - "Travelin' Man"
  • November 11, 2007 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "Honoring Our Ancestors: Haley Family of Roots Fame Joins the DNA Game"
  • October 18, 2007 - Audio File NPR, Day to Day - Maybe Politicians are Cut from the Same Cloth
  • August 18, 2007 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "So That's What He Looked Like!"
  • August 2, 2007 - Ancestry Magazine article - "Serial Centenarians"
  • June 14, 2007 - Audio File listen to The Genealogy Guys Podcast - Drew Smith talks to Megan about Roots Television.
  • February 4, 2007 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "Feeling Bookish"
  • January 5, 2007 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "Tombstone Imagery"
  • December 3, 2006 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "How Do We Stop This Epidemic?"
  • August 20, 2006 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "Using Ancestry.com: SSDI Blues"
  • July 30, 2006 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "Genealogical Books in Disguise"
  • May 21, 2006 - Ancestry Weekly Journal article - "Get Out Your POW Bracelet"
  • February 28, 2006 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Happy Birthday, Ben!"
  • February 16, 2006 - Ancestry Daily News article - "More Genealogical Quotes"
  • January 26, 2006 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Say What?!"
  • January 19, 2006 - Ancestry Daily News article - "This Is For You, Mrs. Berkowitz"
  • January 3, 2006 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Unsung Genealogical Heroes"
  • November 21, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Let Your Fingers Do the Shopping"
  • November 11, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Where's Parmo?"
  • October 13, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Flat Stanley Does His Roots" (click here for photos!)
  • October 6, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Mystery of Cipriano Pedrini"
  • September 13, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Name Dropping"
  • September 1, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "A DNA Success Story"
  • August 18, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Flirting with Death"
  • August 2, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "A Coronery Case"
  • July 7, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Ancestral Art"
  • June 26, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Still More Extreme Genealogy"
  • June 9, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "More Extreme Genealogy"
  • May 25, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Memorial Day is Every Day"
  • May 12, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Why We Search"
  • March 17, 2005 - Ancestry Daily News article - "What's In a Name?"
  • December 14, 2004 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Survey to Examine Genealogists' Internet Habits"
  • November 11, 2004 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Tanks for the Memories"
  • September 23, 2004 - Ancestry Daily News article - "DNA Holiday"
  • August 2004 - Family Chronicle article - "Finding Homes for Orphan Heirlooms"
    Read this article
    in PDF format. Provided here with the kind permission of Family Chronicle magazine.
  • August 2004 - Family Tree article - "Large and In Charge"
    Read this article
    in PDF format. Published by and provided here with the kind permission of Family Tree magazine.
  • June 2004 - Family Chronicle article - "Getting the Most From Your Genealogy Trips to Europe"
    Read this article
    in PDF format. Provided here with the kind permission of Family Chronicle magazine.
  • May 27, 2004 - Washington Post article - "Fallen but Never Forgotten by Matt Schudel" - article about one of my Army Repatriation cases.
  • April-June 2004 - Genealogical Computing article - "Steve Morse: A Genealogical Mensch"
  • March 17, 2004 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Luck of the Irish"
  • February 11, 2004 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Finding a Soldier's Family"
  • December 22, 2003 - Ancestry Daily News article - "From Ellen to Eileen"
  • December 11, 2003 - Ancestry Daily News article - "If You're a Wee Bit Irish"
  • September/October 2003 - Ancestry Magazine article - "Who Is the Genealogist Next Door?"
    Read this article in PDF format. Includes photos and screenshots. Published by and provided here with the kind permission of Ancestry Magazine.
  • September/October 2003 - Heritage Quest article - "Answers in the Cemetery: James Reynolds of Jersey City, NJ"
  • November 10, 2003 - Ancestry Daily News article - "All I Want for Christmas..."
  • October 7, 2003 - Ancestry Daily News article - "Hurricanes Happen..."
  • August 22, 2003 - Audio File listen to NPR's Marketplace feature - "The Lucrative Business of Genealogy"
  • July/August 2003 - Heritage Quest article - "Finding Great-Grandma in San Quentin"
  • July 22, 2003 - Ancestry Daily News article - "A Stoop on Orchard Street"
  • April 29, 2003 - Ancestry Daily News article - "The Zen of Genealogy"
  • February 28, 2003 - Ancestry Daily Newsarticle - "Musical Roots"
  • January 8, 2003 - They Came to America - PBS Special and companion guidebook
  • January 2, 2003- Ancestry Daily News article - "PBS Special on 8 January 2003: They Came To America"
  • May/June 2002 - Heritage Quest article - "Maurice Reidy: Little Boy Lost"
  • January/February 2002 - Heritage Quest article - "Morality on Trial"






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