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Honoring Our Ancestors
July 15, 2014


Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Not much longer now until we can all settle in for several months of genealogy shows! "Who Do You Think You Are?" is back on July 23rd and "Finding Your Roots" on September 23rd, so mark your calendars now!

In the meantime, please help me celebrate the 14th anniversary of my Seton Shields Genealogy Grants program (174 and counting)! And in a fit of nostalgia, I've also included a video of of my first TV appearances - also about 14 years ago - on PBS's "Ancestors" series. Looking forward to whatever the next 14 years have to bring!

Happy sleuthing!



May 2014 Seton Shields Genealogy Grant Awarded: 14th Anniversary!

One of the nice aspects of running your own grants program is that every once in a while, you're allowed to indulge in a little favoritism, and that's what I've done this month for grant #174.

My father's entire side of the family is Carpatho-Rusyn, so I've been a member of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS) since it first launched in 1994. In fact, I recently had the honor of speaking at the society's 20th anniversary event in Pittsburgh, and as it happens, this grants program has just reached its 14th birthday! So I've decided to celebrate both together by awarding a grant to the C-RS in support of the Carpatho-Rusyn National Cultural Center in Munhall, PA. If you happen to be part Rusyn yourself, please consider joining and/or visiting soon!

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April 2014 Seton Shields Genealogy Grant Awarded

In 2011, the Historical Society of Kent County, one of Maryland's earliest counties, was delighted to receive the donation of a building that will be the future Bordley History Center. The History Center will have both a research library, with computers and databases accessible to the public, as well as a state of the art archival room that will keep the society's collection of negatives, family Bibles, portraits, oral histories, family photo albums and legal documents preserved. Liberty Bliss, a work-study student at the society, requested a grant, explaining that, "under the current director Karen Emerson, we are working very hard to preserve and document the African-American and Hispanic communities that have been in Kent County forever but underrepresented. We are going to begin an oral history project with members of the Hispanic community in the fall, and I am currently working on a proposal to begin a slave genealogy project. In addition to this much needed research center, we are doing our best to fill this crucial need in the historical and genealogical communities. We have the heart, we have the hands, we just don't have the funds." This month's grant is intended to help with the funds part of the equation.

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Genealogy Round Up, July 7

Findmypast and Wall to Wall are to celebrate 10 years of Who Do You Think You Are? by launching a commercial website and online product the Who Do You Think You Are? Story website.

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Genealogy Round Up, June 30

This is a bit dated (one of my first television appearances!), but remains near and dear to my heart because it shares the experience of my first family reunion in the Rusyn village of Osturna in Slovakia. 40 Americans whose parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were born there came along to meet their cousins for the first time!

So WDYTYA Live moves to Birmingham, and now this. Lots of changes afoot in genealogy-land!

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Genealogy Round Up, June 23

Did a fun interview with Scholastic! Discover Your Family History: Easy advice to help you start exploring your family’s past

D-Day Veteran Gets 2,500 Cards For His 90th Birthday In Amazing Display Of Support

Hidden Mothers: Spooky Photographs of Victorian Babies Held By Their Mothers

Love this Video! (Never Too Old To Be) Happy

$18k/yr?! The high cost of searching for your ancestors

Preview video for upcoming season of Finding Your Roots

Watch what happens about 55 seconds in - Man who saved 669 kids from death gets a tearful surprise on TV

This video truly blew my mind. Of course, the fact that I'm part Ukrainian may have biased me slightly, but this young woman has created an amazing intersection of art and story-telling. Wow. Just wow.

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Genealogy Round Up, June 16

Genealogy Roadshow looking for stories for season 2 to tape in New Orleans, LA, Philadelphia, PA, and St. Louis, MO

Can't resist a good orphan heirloom tale!

When did getting buried near your favorite celebrity become a thing?

Brazil 2014: Visualising ancestral and international connections between teams

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Genealogy Round Up, June 9

Total respect! Pining for the Past: Investing in Historic Renovations

Badass WWII Veteran Jumps Out Of A Plane To Commemorate D-Day Anniversary

What do Valerie Jarrett and Valerie Bertinelli have in common? Genealogy on TV: 28 Celebrities and Counting

WDYTYA back on July 23rd with Valerie Bertinelli, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lauren Graham, Kelsey Grammer, Cynthia Nixon, Rachel McAdams and her sister, Kayleen McAdams.

Remarkable tale of lost Australian book that turned up 66 years later in New York bookstore

How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name

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Upcoming Events

After traveling around and speaking in 40 states and half a dozen countries since 2000, I decided to take a breather from the road to tend to some projects. That said, I'm sharing exceptions here. And by the way, you can see if I’ll be in your area any time by checking my Events Calendar.

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