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Honoring Our Ancestors
January 23, 2019

www.megansmolenyak.com

Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Happy 2019! To get your year off to a revving start, you'll find some of the usual here – grants, military cases, and DNA – but enhanced with a mega-dose of tales of serendipity and connection. Read about the fellow who received a video of his deceased father out of the blue from a stranger or about the 99-year-old who suddenly got a 77-year-old love letter from her missing fiance. Here's hoping you're left with a big smile by the time you finish browsing!

Happy hunting!

Megan

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Daughter of Tuskegee Airman gets answers about his death, 70 years later


Photo Credit: Marla Andrews

I'm honored to have found the family of Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson – a Tuskegee airman who brought an electric guitar to war. You may well see more about this particular soldier over the next couple of months due to his upcoming burial at Arlington National Cemetery on March 22nd.

Click here to read thoughts from Marla Andrews, the daughter of Capt. Dickson, who was a toddler when her father's plane crashed and was lost.

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Seton Shields Genealogy Grant #209: Knox County Genealogical Society

The final quarter of 2018 had multiple grant recipients and I’m pleased to announce that the Knox County Genealogical Society of Galesburg, Illinois is the second. (You can read about the first recipient, Donna J. Weathers, here.)

The Society, whose mission is to preserve the genealogical history of Knox County, IL and to aid people in researching their family histories, sought funding for the purchase of a special camera and software for photographing and digitizing church records and other historical books, some of which are from the early 1900s. The Society intends to transcribe the scans into indexed databases.

You can apply for a Seton Shields grant here. Don’t miss checking out the cool projects I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to over the years, plus an article that 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)!

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Seton Shields Genealogy Grant #210: loveren collections

The fourth quarter of 2018 had multiple grant recipients and I’m pleased to announce that loveren collections, an organization started by Nina Lawrin, is the third and final one. (You can read about the first recipient, Donna J. Weathers, here, and the second grant recipient, the Knox County Genealogical Society of Galesburg, Illinois, here.)

In Nina's own words, "loveren collections serves to reconnect folks to the land and everyday perennial plants. Throughout the years, I have been learning from various lineages and communities including the San in Namibia, the Oglala Lakota in SD, and have been yearning to retrace my own ancestral steps back to the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. I would like to explore and share this deep intimacy with the land and trace back ancestral plant knowledge from the Hutsuls (where 3 of my grandparents came from). I plan to continue teaching about female hormonal health, ceremonial healing, herbalism, and sustainable growing practices in Chicago through the Permaculture Chicago Teaching Institute, but would like a deeper understanding and sensitivity to my lineage to Eastern Europe. I believe by understanding my own ancestral practices, I can help bring awareness and sensitivity toward other communities (Native American + African) that are often appropriated without reference."

Grant funds will assist with the purchase of books for research in European ancestral herbalism and ceremony (specifically from the Carpathian Mountains and Eastern Europe), which could be accessed as a free library source through the Permaculture Teaching Institute in Chicago. Nina speaks Ukrainian and would like to translate various texts into English as a way to help keep these traditions alive and well in Chicago, where a large Ukrainian and Polish community resides. Nina shares, "I think this knowledge will serve as a tool to reconnect after immigration while healing urban soils in the city."

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)!

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Genealogy Round Up, January 16


Photo Credit: Andrew Curtis / CC BY-SA 2.0

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village – You can spend the night in this formerly abandoned Scottish village. Yes, please!

First baby of 2019, Maeve meets her great grandmother who was born in 1918 – Welcome, Maeve!

American Dream Family Lore of Julián Castro Rings True – Strange when something you wrote in 2012 becomes relevant again!

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Genealogy Round Up, January 9

The video of my dad appeared unexpectedly from a kind stranger. It gave me chills. – What a creative and wonderful outlet for insomnia.

Bride to wed fiancé at historic hotel where both their great-grandmothers worked – Their roots were calling them.

German archive releasing photos of Dachau camp survivors – This is tremendous. h/t Tara Penelope Calishain

Roots Quest: Inside America's Genealogy Boom – Some of y'all might be interested in this book which was released last week.

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Genealogy Round Up, January 2


Photo Credit: Trevor Porter / SWNS

Grandmother aged 99 receives hand-written love letter from missing fiancé 77 years after he wrote it

Emotional reunion for Kerala couple after 72 years

It’s that time of year again. 127 years ago on January 1, 1892, 17-year-old Annie Moore of Ireland was the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island. She’s seen here flanked by her brothers.

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Genealogy Round Up, December 26


Photo Credit: Tunde Dugantsi

Why Hungarians Make the World’s Most Beautiful Gingerbread

Front Porch: Making eye contact connects generations

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Genealogy Round Up, December 19


Photo Credit: Stephen Pougas

First I Met My Children, Then My Girlfriend. They’re Related. – It was bound to happen, right?

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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.

  • May 7, 2019 – Morning Forum, Los Altos, CA

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