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Genealogy Roundup, November 30

This week: A look at some of the highlights from Who Do You Think You Are? over the years, in which "participants often come away with a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in their world". Various guests explore the appeal of genealogy on The Why Factor.

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Genealogy Roundup, November 23

This week, check out some stunning drawings by a soldier who sketched his way through WWII and shared that, "For me, drawing is sort of synonymous with thinking.”

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Genealogy Roundup, November 16

In this week's Roundup: See how librarians came to the rescue of books and records damaged in a fire started by a 19 year-old Naval Reservist who feared being sent to war in Korea and thought that “a little fire” would gain him probationary status, check out how the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is commemorating the upcoming 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I, discover a unique museum in Venice, and more . . .

  • Sugar Grove WV

Genealogy Roundup, November 9

Lots of history covered in this week's Roundup, from a treasure trove of Civil War artifacts to a former Navy/NSA base now town-for-sale in WV.

Megan Smolenyak2

Megan Smolenyak2 is a real life history detective who loves to solve mysteries. You might have spotted Megan or her handiwork on Top Chef, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Faces of America, Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, PBS and NPR.

Her news-making discoveries include uncovering Michelle Obama’s family tree, revealing the true story of Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island, and tracing Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall, Ireland. Formerly Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com, she also founded Unclaimed Persons.

Megan is the author of 6 books, including Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are? (companion to the TV series), and conducts forensic research for the Army, BIA, coroners, NCIS and the FBI.

Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing!

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Revolutionary Ancestors

June 27th, 2016|10 Comments

In climbing the branches of Lin-Manuel Miranda's family tree, I found myself following the trail of an early nineteenth century, interracial love story, peppered by war and rebellion, all interwoven with a decades-long struggle to outrun slavery that began in Virginia and ultimately unfolded under a handful of flags even though most of it occurred in one place – Nacogdoches.

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Joey From Scranton – Vice President Biden’s Irish Roots

June 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Given Vice President Biden's forthcoming trip to Ireland to explore his roots, I thought this would be a good time to re-share an article I'd previously written about his ancestry. Enjoy!

  • no girls allowed

When It Comes to Genetic Genealogy, Women Need Not Apply

May 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Television producers frequently reach out to pick my brains about forthcoming shows, and I generally do my best to help because I have a conspicuous bias: I’d like to see as much genealogy on air as possible. But yesterday I received an inquiry that made me check the calendar to be sure it was 2016.

  • Sgt. (William) Henry Johnson

WWI Hero Sgt. Henry Johnson Receives Long Overdue Medal of Honor

June 8th, 2015|2 Comments

Almost a century after their service, Sgt. Henry Johnson* and Sgt. William Shemin were finally awarded the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony for their heroics in World War I. As the genealogist who had the privilege of researching both of these Medal of Honor cases for the Army, I had the opportunity to seek out and steep myself in more than 1,300 pages of Sgt. Johnson's paper trail, so I'd like to clarify some misconceptions.