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Honoring Our Ancestors
March 11, 2013

Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Well, this month I'm getting my Irish on! First, I hope those of you in the NYC area will join me on the evening of March 14th to talk about Annie Moore of Ellis Island. Then I've got a fun article coming out in the new issue of Irish America Magazine, and am going to the Irish American Hall of Fame luncheon! You might also enjoy the article below about my amazing experience involving a letter I wrote to a stranger in Ireland 28 years ago. I'd like to think all the Irish eyes in the maternal half of my family tree are smiling! Here's wishing all of you the luck of the Irish, no matter what your heritage!



Letter to Ireland Answered -- 28 Years Later

Hey America, You're Roots Are Showing

Not long ago, I received a response to a letter I wrote to a stranger in Ireland -- in 1984. Making the experience more peculiar still is the fact that the gentleman I contacted had passed away in 1990. Perhaps I should explain.

I've been obsessed with genealogy since the sixth grade, so back when other kids were saving up allowance to buy record albums, I was squirreling away my quarters for the next death certificate. Each certificate secured only served to further fuel my quest, so like many genealogists, I found my innocent dabbling morphing into a lifetime pursuit.

But these were pre-Internet days, so what did you do when you got to the point in your research where you had to cross the pond to pursue your roots in the old country? You (*gasp!*) wrote a letter. Seriously. That's what we used to do.

And so, that's what I apparently did back in September of 1984. Taking advantage of the fact that I lived in the Washington, D.C. area, I had turned to one of my favorite hidden stashes in the Library of Congress -- their collection of overseas phone books. In this instance, my target was anyone in Ireland who shared the surname of one of my immigrant great-great-grandmothers, Ellen Nelligan. Luckily for me, I found a listing for a gentleman named Daniel Neligan who owned a bakery and confectionary in Castleisland, Ireland, and wrote him a letter wondering on the page whether he might be related or could tell me anything about Ellen's family.

Fast forward 28 years. You probably won't be surprised to hear that I had completely forgotten this letter -- that is, until an unexpected email materialized...

Read full article.

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Genealogy Round Up, March 7

For those who watched the Annie Moore webinar yesterday, here's a link to the first part of the Annie Moore movie, "From Cork to New York," made by the students I mentioned. You can find the rest of it in the same channel.
annie moore, From Cork to New York part 1

A chance to help make history! 
"Revolutionary Voices": A Last Muster Film by Maureen Taylor & Verissima Productions

Happy News - New Mexico Man Leaves Millions for Whoever Can Find It

This is cool! Irish America has a digitized version of the current issue online. I don't think there's a quick way to get there, so you'll need to page through (which is recommended anyway!), but the interview they did with me starts on p. 52.
Irish America February / March 2013

160 Seton Shields Genealogy Grants and counting!
Seton Shields Genealogical Research Grants - Apply for a grant - Current Grants Awarded

LOVE these Irish charms! Have about half a dozen. 
Liam Shard Jewelry | Product Categories Archive | Irish Pieces

In case you haven't heard yet, it's a bargain! 
Legacy Family Tree Webinars

Have to grab this issue! Understand I'm in there talking about genealogy 101 and the 5 cover articles are all about roots journeys! 
The Road to Discovering Your Roots

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Genealogy Round Up, February 28

What do Kelly Clarkson and Christina Applegate have in common? Here's a hint.

Sad to hear this. Bridge Bar is where I taped with Susan Sarandon for WDYTYA. 
South Street Seaport Still A 'Ghost Town'

What do you think? Does Jon Stewart look like his great-grand-uncle? 
Hey, Jon Stewart, Your Roots Are Showing

Cool piece of history! 
A DNA Lesson, From the Expert’s Pen

For those who missed it! 
Legacy News: Annie Moore of Ellis Island - A Case of Historical Identity Theft, free webinar now online by Megan Smolenyak

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Genealogy Round Up, February 21

Hey, Prince, Your Roots Are Showing

Very kind. Their words - not mine! Except in the interview, of course. 
Megan Smolenyak, greatest Irish genealogist on top of her game

Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was 

Vice President Joe Biden to be honored in Irish America Hall of Fame -- Biden set to be main speaker

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Seton Shields Genealogical Grants

February 2013
Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, has spent ten years journeying through databases, private collections, and museum holdings to find as many photos from the Revolutionary War Generation as possible. So far, she has located over 200 of these images, and some of them are profiled in The Last Muster: Images of the Revolution (Kent State University Press, 2009) and The Last Muster: Faces of the Revolution (in press, 2013). Maureen is now partnering with award-winning Verissima Productions of Cambridge, MA to bring the photos, and the stories behind them, to film. In order to produce and distribute "Revolutionary Voices" they are raising a total of $225,000. This month's grant award was made in the form of a pledge for this project on Kickstarter. Please consider making a pledge to help get this wonderful project off the ground!

March 2013
Girl Museum is a completely virtual museum that focuses on research and exhibitions about girl culture from across time and space. They recently started the Heirloom Project, which is an opportunity for girls to investigate their own families to find out more about their genealogy and histories through interviews and researching old photographs, artifacts and heirlooms. Girls will submit their discoveries to Girl Museum and become part of a large exhibition that will go online at the end of 2013. The grant award will be used toward the creation of a downloadable PDF guide, several how-to videos and online support for participants.

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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, Huffington Post 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 14, 2013 - New York, NY - Glucksman Ireland House/NYU - "The Quest for Annie Moore" - 1 Washington Mews
  • April 18, 2013 - Cedar Falls, IA (delivered live via Skype) - Cedar Falls Public Library - "Cold Cases: Genealogists, Coroners and the FBI"
  • April 27, 2013 - Charlevoix, MI - Charlevoix Public Library - "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Find That Obituary," "Right Annie, Wrong Annie" and "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"
  • May 8-11, 2013 - Las Vegas, NV - NGS 2013 Family History Conference - "Solving Historical and Family Mysteries with DNA" and "Lucky 13: A Modest Proposal Regarding Genealogy Grants and Pawn Stores (with Mark Hall-Patton of Pawn Stars)"
  • September 22 - October 7, 2013 - Legacy Family Tree 2013 Genealogy Cruise - Panama Canal Cruise
  • November 9, 2013 - Pensacola, FL - West Florida Genealogical Society - "Right Annie, Wrong Annie," "Trace Your Roots with DNA," "Find That Obituary! Online Newspaper Research" and "Honoring Our Ancestors"

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