< Go back to newsletter archive

Honoring Our Ancestors
August 28, 2017


Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Well, I took a deep dive into Katy Perry's roots for Irish America and became enchanted with her gold-loving great-great-grandmother. If you've got a few minutes, read about her globe-trotting adventures below. And then take a browse of the usual genealogical mish-mash - unexpected reunions, one of the coolest DNA success stories I've ever heard, archives sleepovers, and Ellis Island. A little light reading to take along as we ease out of summer!



Gold Fever: The Shiny, Shady Past of Katy Perry’s Irish Great-Great-Grandmother

Photo Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

She came from a gold-obsessed family, so perhaps it wasn't so surprising when the treasure bag was found in Hannah’s water closet, but what was this Galway girl even doing in San Francisco?

Anyone who’s ever dabbled in genealogy knows that certain forebears call louder than others – even when they’re not your own. While researching Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson – better known as musical megastar, philanthropist, and activist Katy Perry – I climbed all the branches of her family tree, but became enchanted with Hannah Mulhare, one of her Irish immigrant ancestors.

Perry describes herself as a “singer-songwriter masquerading as a pop star.” As one of the best-selling artists of all time (more than 100 million records to date) with sold-out world tours, she’s nailing that charade, but Hannah’s story makes it clear that Katy’s not the first in the family to pull off such a convincing deception.

Click here to continue reading.

Back to top^

Seton Shields Genealogy Grants

When some people hear about my Seton Shields Genealogy Grant program, they ask who Seton Shields is. She was my mother, and I shared the image above just before the 10th anniversary of the day we lost her. I hope these little life lessons she left me with will give you at least a hint of the kind of person she was. Very fortunate to have been her daughter.

I'll be considering applications for the third quarter of 2017 shortly, 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.

And be sure to check out this article, which will give you a behind-the-scenes peek into my grants program (and might help you increase your odds of being selected when you apply)!

Back to top^

Genealogy Round Up, August 16

Photo Credit: Wally Gobetz

New York’s Hidden Remnants of the Golden Age of Steamships – Will have to do some exploring the next time I'm in NYC.

Red Cross helps reunite two brothers after 30 years – These fellows have had some interesting lives! Glad they've found each other again.

Great-grandmother’s scrapbook returned to family

Maryland man's Army uniform makes cross-country journey home

Back to top^

Genealogy Round Up, August 9

Family Trees Make a Comeback Among China’s Retirees

Ellis Island exhibit 'Streets Paved with Gold' to feature New Yorkers' handwritten stories

Sleepover at the National Archives – National Archives keeps taunting adults with cool sleepovers for kids. This one with a NASA astronaut.

The world's oldest family says this twice-a-day ritual is the secret to their longevity – Porridge at night. Who knew?

Back to top^

Genealogy Round Up, August 2

Photo Credit: dabrat718

Humans of New York: "I don't think the library is threatened." – h/t Messy Nessy Chic

Who was she? A DNA test only opened new mysteries. – DNA reveals century-old baby swap in NY hospital

Slave Descendant Ana Navarro Tests Ted Danson’s Sense Of Responsibility At ‘Finding Your Roots’ Panel

'Dadbot, do you love me?': How I immortalised my dead father through Facebook messenger – This article is more thoughtful than the title suggests. Thoughts?

Back to top^

Upcoming Events

After traveling around and speaking in 40 states and half a dozen countries, 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.

Back to top^