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Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter

November 15, 2009

By Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

Megan Smolenyak SmolenyakGreetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

This last month has been a blur! Everything from some of my research winding up on the front page of the NYT to my car getting totaled (not me, fortunately!). Here’s wishing all of us a milder next month, coupled with a few pre-Holiday roots discoveries!


In this newsletter. . .

Genealogical Round Up, October 1

Hmmm . . . wonder if my half-Italian husband would qualify?
Dual citizenship may be possible for Italians - Las Vegas Sun

Thanks a million, Randy! Appreciate the kind words!
Genea-Musings: Roots Television's Top 10 Videos

Hey Everyone, RootsTelevision.com is 3 years old today! If you've enjoyed our shows, please celebrate by telling 3 friends about RootsTelevision.com! And check out the top 10 viewers' favorite videos!
Roots Television | Og Blog: The Best of RootsTelevision.com for a Birthday Celebration

Irish-American acting legend Maureen O’Hara is the ultimate survivor | Entertainment in Ireland and

I've included Love Peace Joy in a few of my talks. You can find him in the Canadian census.
Ancestry.ca Reveals the Most Interesting Baby Names in Canadian History | SYS-CON INDIA

Here's a weird experience. Last year, I wrote an article about tracing then-candidate Obama's roots to Ireland (you can read it here: http://bit.ly/38CF4z). This involved research I did back in 2007. Recently, Ancestry Magazine began placin...g a lot of its extensive collection of articles online -- including this one -- and a writer at Irish Central must have spotted it. The result? The article that follows -- which largely parallels my own. How did I learn about this? Tom Kemp of GenealogyBank spotted the article and tweeted it. Welcome to the wild, wooly world of the Internet . . .
Obama researcher reveals how she found president's Irish roots | IrishCentral

Not at all what I was expecting from the headline, but still an interesting use of DNA testing.
Tribe to use identity testing for prospects | MLB.com: News

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Genealogical Round Up, October 8

Have been looking into Michelle Obama's roots for a while and the NYT just came out with an article about it.
In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery - NYTimes.com

Hmmm . . . wonder if this will happen in the U.S.??
Rosanna inspires family tree boom time - Around Town, Entertainment - Herald.ie

Good news for genetic genealogists!
I.B.M. Pursues $1,000 Genome Sequencing - NYTimes.com

Thanks for the shout-out for RootsTelevision.com, Leland!
Roots Television is 3 Years Old!

More online goodies!
Ancestry.com Expands Partnership With the National Archives Through New Off-Site

Lisa Kudrow brings series to MIPCOM

World’s oldest human-linked skeleton found - Science- msnbc.com

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Genealogical Round Up, October 22

Hmmm . . . have only played with this for a couple of minutes, but looks promising!
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: FamilySearch Community Trees

O'Baby! Get your Gaelic on -- on your iPhone. Irish baby names app
New iPhone app for Irish baby names | Irish News | IrishCentral

I love what this woman has done. I wanted to snag a place in Osturna, the Slovak village that's home to all the Smolenyaks in the world, but doubted I would get over there enough to make it worthwhile. She lives in Moscow, so this makes much mor...e sense for her, but it's fairly remarkable what she's put together. Would love to visit her!
In Russia, a Schoolhouse Home - NYTimes.com

I have to say that I'm beginning to believe that just about everybody is part Irish!
Springsteen, born in the USA but with Irish roots - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 13, 2009

Have a feeling we're going to hear more about this - Sperm donor passed on sudden death heart defect:
The Associated Press: Sperm donor passed on sudden death heart defect

Jenice Armstrong: Digging up Obama roots: First lady is Haddonfield genealogist's latest coup | Phil

Several countries claiming Mother Teresa's remains. I'm honored to say that she spoke at my Georgetown graduation. I tried to meet her several times when I was in Kolkata (Calcutta), but no such luck. What do you think? Albania, India or Macedonia?
Albania to India: Give us Mother Teresa - CNN.com

Wow, imagine future descendants researching their roots only to learn that their homeland is under water. The comments at the end about advance migration planning are among the most interesting.
From underwater, Maldives sends warning on climate change - CNN.com

I was really wiped at this point so look a little worse for wear, but if you didn't catch this, here's another piece on Michelle Obama's roots. Enjoyed having the time to explain in greater depth and to do this with Rachel Swarns of the NYT.
Online NewsHour | PBS

Dignity at last for remains of Irish immigrants | Staten Island Featured Entries - Breaking News - -

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Genealogical Round Up, October 29

Meet one of my great-grandfathers, David Shields. I had never seen what he looked like until I snagged this image from his passport application. He applied when he went back home to Ireland to visit relatives.
Family Pics

What are they thinking??
Answer Angel offers alternatives to the burden of an estate sale -- chicagotribune.com

A charming tribute . . .

Sounds like a great project!
DNA Tests in Ghana May Shed Light on African-Americans’ Origins

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Honoring Our Ancestors Grants

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

October 2009
The goal of the Boulder Pioneers Project in Colorado is to identify the original pioneers to the area for Boulder's upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary. The list currently includes more than 10,200 people. The grant award will go toward providing gift copies of the indices to the major genealogical research libraries.

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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.

  • November 24, 2009 - Burlington, NJ - Tabernacle Baptist Church - "Michelle Obama's Roots"
  • 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"
  • February 26-28, 2010 - London, England - Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2010
  • March 20, 2010 - Round Rock, TX - Williamson County Genealogical Society - "Trace your Roots with DNA," "Beyond Y-DNA: Your Genetic Genealogy Options," "Remembering Our Ancestors" and "Cases that Made My Brain Hurt"
  • April 13, 2010 - New York, NY - The New York Public Library - "Trace Your Roots with DNA"
  • 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
  • April 28-May 1, 2011 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada - Saskatchewan 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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