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Honoring Our Ancestors
December 23, 2015


Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

I know you're all beyond distracted with the holidays, so I'll keep this short. Should you get a little downtime over the next week or two, I've rounded up the usual peculiar mish-mash of genealogical news for you to browse - including a peek into my own past! See if you can spot the toddler version of me in this issue.

Now, go make some (family) history!



In Search of Our Ancestors

Thanks so much to all of my fellow genies who have recently purchased, left reviews on Amazon for, or shared In Search of Our Ancestors, my book of genealogical serendipity stories, with genie friends!

If you haven't read it yet (and are intrigued!) or if you know someone it would make a perfect gift for, it's available in ebook format for your Kindle, Nook, etc. here and as a .pdf version from the good folks at Legacy Family Tree.

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Seton Shields Genealogy Grants

Photo Credit: Irish America — "Photo Album: The Shields Family" by Megan Smolenyak
and Irish America Digital Magazine [Page 96] — "My Irish American Mother" by Megan Smolenyak

I'll announce the 2015 fourth-quarter grant recipient shortly. After that, I'll be considering applications for the first quarter of 2016, so here's a reminder to get yours in if you've been intending to. Submissions remain active candidates for six months from the date I receive them.

To apply for a Seton Shields grant, fill out and submit the form here. To see the types of cool projects I've had the opportunity to contribute to over the years, look here.

Seton Shields, pictured above, is my remarkable mother. Naming this grants program after her is one small way to keep her memory alive, though she’s no longer with us.

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Genealogy Round Up, December 16

Photo Credit: Leo Jarzomb/LA Daily News

Photos: L.A. County’s annual burial for unclaimed persons — Looks like a nice turnout for Los Angeles County unclaimed persons memorial service this year.

Passports Were Once Considered Offensive—Perhaps They Still Are — No, we love passports! Think of your future descendants!

From CALUMET 412 — Two meticulous maps showing every brothel, bar, casino and saloon that existed in the Cheyenne and Levee Districts of Chicago between 1870 and 1905

Antique mourning jewelry contained the hair of the deceased — We used to save hair - now it's DNA...

First hint of World War II remains — I researched a bunch of cases for this area, so am hoping that some of my soldiers will be among those found and identified.

Family Tree Birthday and Christmas cards with a blank 3-generation family tree chart inside

Guess Who Bill O’Reilly Alluded He Was Related to While Teasing "Finding Your Roots" Results — "Finding your Roots" tease. Appears Bill O'Reilly and Bill Maher are cousins of some sort. They're both at least half-Irish, so not a huge surprise, but folks tend to get a kick out of this kind of thing.

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Genealogy Round Up, December 9

Image Credit: CNW Group/Ancestry.ca

The great big Canadian family: One in 2,200 chance that a complete stranger is your cousin

Arlington teenagers meet 1980s pop icon — Usually the folks involved with "Who Do You Think You Are?" are able to keep the celebs under wraps when filming, but Molly Ringwald has been spotted several times in Nebraska lately.

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Genealogy Round Up, November 25

Very cool. Just got my copy of Marc Fanelli-Isla's new book on Pharrell Williams ("Voyage dans la Galaxie de Mr. Happy"), and some of my research on his intriguing ancestor, Ambrose Hawkins, is included.

Jim Parsons to Appear on TLC's 'Long Island Medium' and will Get Answers About Ancestors — Well, I guess it was just a matter of time before TLC started cross-pollinating their shows!

The Delights and Perils of Navigating New York City With a Guidebook From 1899

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Genealogy Round Up, November 18

REVEALED: City gets Ellis Island-style UK Museum of Migration

Inmates benefit from doing family history work

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Upcoming Events

After traveling around and speaking in 40 states and half a dozen countries since 2000, I decided to take a breather from the road to tend to some projects. That said, I'm sharing exceptions here. And by the way, you can see if I’ll be in your area any time by checking my Events Calendar.

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