Recent Blog Posts

  • WWI Soldiers Honored

Genealogy Roundup, May 20

WWI heroes to receive Medal of Honor, plus three family reunion stories and 11 celebrities whose family members arrived at Ellis Island.

  • Douglas County Genealogical Society grant thank you

Genealogy Grants Retrospective: The Genealogical Society of Douglas County

Here is a look back at the Genealogical Society of Douglas County, as part of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Seton Shields Genealogical Grants program.

  • Carol Mackay grant thank you

Genealogy Grants Retrospective: Carol MacKay

Carol MacKay received a grant in 2013 to cover the purchase of a carte de visite photo album she rescued in Calgary and returned to descendants of the original owners.

  • Vine Lake Preservation Trust grant thank you

Genealogy Grants Retrospective: Vine Lake Preservation Trust

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Seton Shields Genealogical Grants program, Megan is sharing thank you notes received over the years from recipients. Next up is a look back at the Vine Lake Preservation Trust.

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!

Featured

  • Merge Your Family Tree lg

Hillary Clinton Family Tree a Wake-Up Call for Genealogy

April 8th, 2015|0 Comments

If everyone got a quarter of Hillary Clinton's tree wrong, what about yours? Are the names adorning your family tree really your ancestors or just crowd-sourced fiction?

  • naturalization

The Gift of #ThrowbackThursday

April 7th, 2015|0 Comments

One random #ThrowbackThursday post revealed a milestone moment to my sister, sent us down memory lane and gave us stories we had never heard about our mom.

  • medium_prison

Historical Accuracy as Prison?

January 13th, 2015|3 Comments

This is my true gripe with liberties taken in historical films - for the vast majority of the people who watch, the movie will be the only version of events that they'll ever know.

  • medium_abanoned_house

Abandoned Home, Lost Photos, and Found Money

January 12th, 2015|3 Comments

Abandoned Home, Lost Photos, and Found Money. It's a happy story in a sense - honest urban explorer returns money to family. But the photos - the photos!