Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter
April 15, 2009
By Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
Well, since I'm half-Irish and most of the content of this newsletter involves bits and pieces I wrote in March, I have to warn you that this issue is really Irish-heavy (sorry, I'm genetically obligated due to St. Patrick's Day). If that doesn't interest you much, you might want to jump in about mid-way! Here's wishing you and yours the luck of the
In this newsletter. . .
Another shout-out for the Haley-Baff
genetic family reunion video -- this time from Randy. Thanks, Randy!
A shout-out from Dick Eastman about the
Haley-Baff genetic reunion this past weekend in London. Thanks, Dick!
Thanks for the shout-out about the
Haley DNA story, Juliana!
I think a few of us saw the warning
signs on this. Glad there are other options for this kind of testing
now, but really hope the Trace Genetic Native American data
This writer obviously doesn't
appreciate genealogy (note the snarky remark at the end), but this is
still interesting. Looks more complicated than it has to be, though:
Carry the Family DNA With You Wherever You Go: Great Idea?
I read this article today that leaves the impression that Barack Obama has neglected to acknowledge his Irish roots: Obama's roots have Irish eyes smiling
As the one who first traced his roots to Moneygall, I have more than a passing interest in this. For those who might be genealogically curious, here's a summary of the research:
For those with a shorter attention span, I'll cut to the quick and tell you that it was tombstones in Ohio that led me to Moneygall!
But my real purpose in writing today is to point out that he has indeed given a shout-out to his Hibernian heritage. I know because I had the privilege of reading his letter out at the dedication of the memorial for Annie Moore, the first immigrant to enter America through Ellis Island. She was an Irish lass, so Barack Obama was kind enough to send a letter on her special day last October.
You can watch the video here (check out Ronan Tynan singing Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears about Annie -- doesn't get much more Irish than that!) or simply read the letter below:
Wow! This amazing group of volunteers
has now solved 50 cases!
Family -- and national -- history shows
up when you least expect it.
Being half-Irish, St. Patty's Day has always been special to me. So what better time to share a couple of my favorite genealogical adventures, both involving Ireland?! And what better place to start than the intersection of both stories -- a letter from then candidate Barack Obama that I had the privilege to read at the memorial dedication for Annie Moore last October:
Irish Times - "Moneygall is Offaly pleased with Obama connection" by Mark Rodden
The New York Times - "Story of the First Through Ellis Island Is Rewritten" by Sam Roberts
I'm delighted to see that folks are loving the new full-screen viewing available at RootsTelevision.com! For those of you who might have missed it, you can read all about it here. Just click on the little box with arrows underneath a video and whatever you're watching fills your whole monitor. No more squinting!
This made me curious. If you've purchased a TV over the last few years, you may have noticed that you can connect all sorts of goodies to them, so I decided to check whether I could hook up a wireless laptop to a TV. Sure enough! Here's my husband, Brian, watching RootsTelevision.com on one of our TVs!
It took me about 30 seconds to hook it up -- just connected a cable to the laptop and the TV and clicked the "input" button on my remote until RootsTelevision.com appeared. That was it! If you're not sure how, here are some easy-to-follow instructions:
So now you can watch free, genealogical videos on your TV whenever you want!
I work with ProGenealogists.com all the
time and have done so for about a decade now. They do great work if
you're looking for help with your genealogy!
Thanks for the shout-out, John! Have
y'all read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell yet??
Hmmm . . . sounds interesting! Think I
might just have to learn more
This and a little Irish for you!
Green water in the fountain and a fine
fiddler from Cork!
If you're into genetic genealogy, you
might want to check out this interview.
Wow. On St. Patty's Day Eve, this makes
me really miss my mother (was of 100% Irish heritage) and Richard
Harris. This was an amazing concept album that still blows me away
today -- I guess largely because my family lived it. Funny, all these
years later, I still have a physical reaction to it.
Thanks to Geri Ellen Neumann for
sharing this article. Hope you enjoy it!
I like this notion. In fact, I've been
doing it without really thinking about it for some time, but it's a
Now this is a new twist . . .
Another aspect of Madoff's legacy . .
Passing mention of RootsTelevision.com
in Dallas Morning News. Apparently, they spotted Irish genealogy
guru, John Grenham, in the interviews we did with him on the TMG
Back in January, I was contacted by several members of the media asking for assistance with research pertaining to possible stories for the inauguration. I pitched in as best I could and became fascinated with Philip Reed (everyone else spells it Reid, but I believe he preferred Reed!). Reed was a slave -- originally from South Carolina, but freed in Washington, D.C. in 1862.
Those who really know their history know that he was instrumental in the creation of the Freedom statue that stands atop the U.S. Capitol. Here's a video that ABC ran on him around the time of the inauguration.
Although you can google your way to a fair bit of information about this, what you won't find is much about the man himself. I felt he deserved to be remembered, so did a little digging to find out more about his life. An article I wrote about him will be coming out in the next issue of Ancestry Magazine.
In the meantime, you can get a taste in today's The Post and Courier from Charleston, S.C., his home town.
I would be very grateful if you would share this with others because Philip Reed's story deserves to be told.
Expecting to move into 90-year-old Jeanne Calment's apartment upon her death,
Andre-Francois Raffray was 47 when he agreed to pay 2,500 francs a month in
1965. But Raffray died at the age of 77 and Calment went on to become the oldest
woman in history, dying at 122 after Raffray had paid Calment more than double
the apartment's market value over 30 years.
wait to see The Genealogue's treatment of this one!
Now this my kind of tourism!
Check out this article shared by Geri
Ellen Neumann. Reverse migration! Russia trying to get folks with
Russian ancestry to come back to the motherland.
Kimberly Powell has kind words for
RootsTelevision.com. Thanks so much, Kimberly!
Cool! A blog for Rusyn peeps!
Very kind of Thomas to include me on
this list. Much appreciated! I try to be worth people's twittertime!
Am going to add an 11th suggestion because I just spotted Chris
Dunham, aka The Genealogue, on twitter now! @TheGenealogue
It's here! For those who were asking,
the Irish shamrock family tree t-shirt is back! You can get it in all
green or in green and orange
Nice to get a shout-out on an Irish
writer's site. Now, if only I could take the time for a writing
retreat over there! What a treat that would be!
Leland Meitzler weighs in on
RootsTelevision.com going full screen.
Congrats to our recent grant recipients! Don't forget that you can apply here.
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!
Please forward this newsletter to your family and friends who are interested in genealogy -- thank you!
Wishing you an abundance of genealogical serendipity!
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