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Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter

September 15, 2009

By Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

Megan Smolenyak SmolenyakGreetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Just back from speaking in Spokane and had a blast! Thanks, EWGS and WSGS! Woke up this morning to find a few leaves on my lawn. Guess Autumn really is just around the corner. Good season to hunker down and do a little roots-sleuthing, don’t you think? Here's hoping you find a few interesting tidbits and ideas in what follows!

Take care,


In this newsletter. . .

Genealogical Round Up, August 6

Slave history unfolds in Chew family records | Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/03/2009

Need this on my wall! “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we're a nice, normal family.”
Wonderful Graffiti

Burr Oak silver lining a reality: RT @michaelhait Update: Burr Oak Cemetery (Alsip, Ill.) database online
Update: Burr Oak Cemetery (Alsip, Ill.) database online

Any Eddie Izzard fans out there?   
Historical Tweets » Noah’s Ark, as Told by @EddieIzzard

Can't wait to see this! More genetic genealogy on air! (note: already aired, but will inevitably be re-run from time to time)
The Human Family Tree Main Page- National Geographic Channel

Jana Sloan Broglin speaks with Matt Poe re: FGS on @rootstelevision at SCGS Jamboree
Free Genealogy Conference Videos on Roots Television: Lectures, education, presentations, workshops,

Good news for Allen County Public Library's genealogy department!
Foundation repeats _1 million gifts | The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind.

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Genealogical Round Up, August 13

Must have been an amazing reunion!
Index Journal | Greenwood, SC | News

Am the proud owner of many JMK-designed genealogy t-shirts!
JMK Genealogy Gifts

I'm a firm believer that we're all our own cousins!
The Frazee Forum, Frazee, MN

Can't wait for these records to become more accessible! (note: you might have to register to view the article, but it's free)
U.S. Bares ‘Alien Files’ Kept on Immigrants - NYTimes.com


Not truly the largest such undertaking, but still a worthy endeavor. DNA tests to identify WWI bodies:
DNA tests to identify World War I bodies - CNN.com

A sign of the times. "Stanford professor sequences his own DNA"
Stanford professor sequences his own DNA | Booster Shots | Los Angeles Times

Have you been catching all the interviews from the SCGS Jamboree? About a dozen of them up now and more still coming.
Roots Television

Sad. (note: you may have to sign in to read, but it's free)
Strewn Bones at Cemetery May Remain Unidentified - NYTimes.com

Genealogy tip of the iceberg poster

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Genealogical Round Up, August 20

Don't like the moving of tombstones in the first place, but if it's going to be done, is there a reason someone doesn't take photos first?
Trustee: Tombstones can't be put back | mansfieldnewsjournal.com | Mansfield News Journal

Never to soon to start planning . . .   
How to Manage Your Online Life When You're Dead - TIME

Anyone going to the Family History Game Show at Ellis Island?
Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Here's an extreme case of plot-selling to pay the bills.
Widow auctions off husband's burial plot above Marilyn Monroe | Mail Online

How sad is this??   
For Families Struggling to Pay Bills, A Cemetery Plot Becomes an Asset to Sell - washingtonpost.com

What didn't Ben Franklin do??   
Can Do - And the Pursuit of Happiness Blog - NYTimes.com

This house is just a few blocks from where I live. Now you can see why I like Haddonfield! Imagine finding a painter's signature on a window frame in your home -- from 1776!   
Historic home unwrapped in Haddonfield | Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/15/2009

A new Ellis Island-based mystery series. Just read the first one. Not bad!
Amazon.com: Bitter Tide (Five Star Mystery Series) (9781594147821): Ann Stamos: Books

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Genealogical Round Up, August 27

What’s In A Name? Genetic Genealogy Article From Trends in Genetics » The Genetic Genealogist

BBC NEWS | Have Your Say | How much do you know about your family history?

My brother-in-law's cousin-in-law!
Kellie Coffey

You never know what you'll discover once you start digging!
A Washingtonian Discovers an Ancestor Who Was a Slave in Madison's White House - washingtonpost.com

Cor blimey! Essex boy Jamie Oliver reckons he's from Sudan | Mail Online

Ocala couple finds a hobby restoring antique traveling trunks | Ocala.com | Star-Banner | Ocala, FL

Wow, look what you can do with post-its!
Cool Post-it Animation

Nominate your favorite librarian!

Parents Give Twins Different Last Names | momlogic.com

This sounds like a seriously cool program!
Ethnic communities 101: How can I find my roots in China?

Amazon.com: Blood Atonement (9780312378912): Dan Waddell: Books

Web site dedicated to cold cases, finding missing persons - CNN.com

New Zealand man's love runs deep in search for ring - Yahoo! News

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Honoring Our Ancestors Grants

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

July 2009
The Reno County Genealogical Society in Hutchinson, KS provides a local resource for research, programs, and educational workshops. This year, they established a community connection project and are currently working to purchase name signs for 16 local cemeteries. The grant award will support this effort.

August 2009
The Indiana Genealogical Society in Fort Wayne, IN is working to preserve and digitize 25-40 boxes of probate records that have been stored in the basement of the Hendricks County courthouse. These records date from 1824 (when the county was founded) to 1899 and have never been microfilmed, indexed or otherwise accessible to the public. The grant award will fund the purchase of a camera needed for this project. Additional contributions welcome!

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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.

  • February 6, 2010 - San Luis Obispo, CA - San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society - "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Online Newspaper Research," "Trace Your Roots with DNA" and "Right Annie, Wrong Annie"
  • March 20, 2010 - Round Rock, TX - Williamson County Genealogical Society - Topics TBD
  • July 8, 2010 - Toms River, NJ - Ocean County Library "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"
  • October 16, 2010 - Louisville, KY - Louisville 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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