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Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter

February 15, 2009

By Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

Megan Smolenyak SmolenyakGreetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

I had a blast in Auckland, New Zealand speaking at the Australasian Federation of Family History Organizations Congress. Be sure to keep an eye on RootsTelevision.com for videos from the conference. Next up is Who Do You Think You Are Live! in London where I'll be talking about genetic genealogy (I know, it's a rough life, eh?). So 2009 is definitely off with a bang! Here's hoping that the coming month brings lots of excitement for each of you as well -- especially terms of family history discoveries!


In this newsletter. . .

Genealogical Round Up, January 2

The Sound of Music used to be an annual event in my home. Back when I was about 9 years old, my parents came into a little cabaret in Ireland one evening to find their daughters (just two of us) singing all the songs from the movie (they had left us with a little cash so we would learn to eat out in restaurants alone). They couldn't get us off the stage. I also remember as a teenager cross-country skiing from Bolton Valley, VT to the area of the Von Trapp lodge.

If it's nostalgic for me, think about Sam Von Trapp. Talk about a legacy -- and some responsibility!

Warning: the following may induce crypt-envy.
The Genealogue: A Monumental Ego

Recording personal stories keeps life experiences alive | Arizona living, dining, travel, gardening,

JewishGen Blog: Updates on USCIS Genealogy Program

Michelle Obama's Family Quilt » The Georgetown Times / Georgetown County, SC Community News Paper

Anyone with Cuban roots is going to want to check out this database from the Miami Herald.
Search the Freedom Flights database - The Cuban Revolution - MiamiHerald.com

Dr. Marjolein Kriek, First Woman to Have Her DNA Sequence Determined

Check out these photos of Osturna, Slovakia, the village all the Smolenyaks come from. Looks like a sort of global google map that all sorts of folks contribute to.
Panoramio - Photo of [Untitled]

See you in Auckland!
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: AFFHO Congress 2009

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and International Scientific Team Show Prehistoric Foragers

For your 2009 resolution to improve your genealogical skills
Boston University Launches New Certificate Program in Genealogical Research

We're still commercial-free on RootsTelevision.com! Happy holidays!

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Genealogical Round Up, January 8

I wasn't familiar with the Pardee family, but I hope the home is saved.
Oakland's Pardee Home could close down

Another good read from Blaine Bettinger.
Using Genetic Genealogy to Solve the Mystery of Benjaman Kyle » The Genetic Genealogist

I would have been interested in a book called "The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA" regardless, but when one of the authors was quoted as saying, "I liked drawing the alien sea cucumbers, and Neanderthals. Man, Neanderthals were fun." -- well, suffice it to say, I've ordered it!

Pretty cool. I've dealt with the New York Foundling a few times over the years on my Army cases. Wonderful to hear that they're still doing good work 140 years later -- and better yet, having a homecoming.
The New York Foundling - 140 Homecoming Information Request

Lucky woman benefits from an orphan heirloom rescue.
Treasure trove sheds light on family history - Shields Gazette

What's new on RootsTelevision.com this week!
Roots Television | Og Blog: New Roots Tuesday, January 6

Schwimmer roots -- but is this for the UK show? maybe he has British roots like Jerry Springer?
Teletext Entertainment News - Schwimmer's TV family history

Ah, yes . . . walking, wildlife and genealogy
BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Tourism project in jobs boost aim
Useful genealogy links - Liverpool Daily Post - Pool of Life

I'll be speaking on DNA at WDYTYAL this year, so hope to see you there!
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: Who Do You Think You Are? Live! 2009
Who Do You Think You Are?

The latest issue of the newsletter of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. Check it out!
ISOGG Newsletter December 2008

Blazers given the "genealogy of their first name" as gifts . . .
What's in a name? Blazers find out - Behind The Blazers Beat - The Oregonian - OregonLive.com

Check out this interview with Sen. Benoit about her own adoption experience: http://rootstelevision.com/players/player_conferences.php?bctid=1840812394
Maine Adoptees Get Birth Records - Portland News Story - WMTW Portland

Whoever wrote this doesn't know much about genealogy, but they're probably right about the growth in genealogical travel.
Genealogy Vacations - Holiday Destinations of Past-Life Discovery (VIDEO)

Anyone know Kelly and Elle Louise?
Are you missing a vital piece of family history? (From Worcester News)

Many thanks to Craig for his describing Unclaimed Persons as "the single most important development in the genealogical community in 2008." Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

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Genealogical Round Up, January 15

Another fun online toy!
Welcome to the official 1911 Census website

The Sweet (Online) Hereafter : NPR

Eight generations on one farm in GA! Now that's family history!
Family still down on the farm since 1792

This is interesting in a couple of respects. First, you have to wonder if they tried conventional Y-DNA testing with other family members. And second, in France, this kind of exhumation is fairly routine. Curious how different countries respond to different aspects of DNA testing.
The Associated Press: Judge rejects exhuming country singer for DNA test

This is seriously cool! Ronan Tynan sang "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears" at Annie Moore's memorial dedication, and RootsTelevision.com captured some of it here: http://www.rootstelevision.com/players/player_immigration.php?bctid=1854969886. He has the most amazingly powerful voice. Let's just say that I suspect a number of the more than 3 million permanent residents of Calvary Cemetery could hear the song about Annie, along with her! At any rate, he's added a link to his website to this video, and I'm delighted.
RonanTynan.net - Press

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Talking Roots with Robin Roberts

I get to do a lot of fun sleuthing, such as the time I got to look into the roots of Robin Roberts of Good Morning America.

She wasn't that excited about the prospect until she walked in the footsteps of one of her ancestors, a woman who had lived in West Virginia back in the mid-to-late 1800s. It also surprised her to see her Roberts line traced back to the 1790s. If you've got a few minutes, check out this video.

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Honoring Our Ancestors Grants

Congrats to our recent grant recipients! Don't forget that you can apply here.  

January 2009
The First International Black Genealogy Summit is a momentous event that involves all of the black historical and genealogical societies in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean coming together to celebrate the joys and challenges of black genealogy. The grant award will be used to sponsor the 2009 Summit, taking place at the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne October 29-31, 2009.

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Upcoming Events

If you plan to be near any of the events where I'll be speaking, I would love to meet you. It's always a kick for me when folks mention that they read this newsletter, my blog, Ancestry Daily News or whatever, so don't be shy about introducing yourself!

For more information on these events, please see my Events Calendar. And if you're interested in scheduling me, just click here.

  • March 7, 2009 - Surrey, BC - Surrey Public Library - "Trace Your Roots with DNA," "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Introduction to Ancestry.com" and "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"
  • April 18, 2009 - Anchorage, AK - Anchorage Genealogical Society - "Introduction to Ancestry.com," "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Find that Obituary! Online Newspaper Research" and "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"
  • April 22-26, 2009 - Manchester, NH - The New England Regional Genealogical Conference 2009 - Topics TBD
  • May 30, 2009 - Marion, IN - Marion Public Library - "Trace Your Roots with DNA," "Beyond Y-DNA: Your Genetic Genealogy Options," "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "No Man Left Behind" and "Mini-Film Festival"
  • June 20, 2009 - Wichita, KS - Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies - "Trace your Roots with DNA," "Welcome to Roots Television," "Reverse Genealogy" and "Find that Obituary!"
  • September 11-13, 2009 - Spokane, WA - Eastern Washington Genealogical Society - Topics TBD

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Please forward this newsletter to your family and friends who are interested in genealogy -- thank you!

Wishing you an abundance of genealogical serendipity!
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak


Note: You are receiving this because you have demonstrated an interest (e.g., you have a story in one of my books, applied for a grant, attended previous events, etc.) or subscribed via my website, but please let me know if you do not want to receive any further emails, and I will promptly remove you from my list. And rest assured, this is my personal list and not shared with anyone else! Thanks, Megan

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