Megan Smolenyak – Home2018-09-22T17:20:32-04:00

Recent Blog Posts

Genealogy Roundup, January 20

In this week's Roundup: The usual genealogical potpourri, this time featuring President-Elect Joe Biden's roots as well as the story behind hundreds of teeth found in a wall.

Genealogy Roundup, January 13

In this week's Roundup: Archives Hashtag Parties (fun!), a pharmacogenetic and genealogy partnership, remembering the enslaved man who rescued freedom, and more.

Genealogy Roundup, December 23

In this week's Roundup: A thoughtful article examining one angle of questions surrounding genetic privacy and ethics, the last man to leave Ellis Island, a poignant Christmas memory, and much more.

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

In Remembrance of Col. George C. Smolenyak

November 30th, 2020|0 Comments

He would wake us on Saturday mornings whistling reveille. This was usually accompanied by a glass of OJ and quick, vigorous back rubs to “get the blood pumping.” It was time to do chores and you weren’t going out to play before the house was spotless because this officer-father liked precision, control, and cleanliness. The army had been a good choice for him.

  • Flag presented to daughter of Capt. Lawrence Dickson at Arlington National Cemetery

Genealogy Roundup, April 3

April 3rd, 2019|0 Comments

Are you ready for some good news reading? You'll find an orphan heirloom rescue, a WWII veteran still going strong (and in the workforce, no less!) at 97, a Reclaim the Records victory, and last but far from least, photos from the memorial service for Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson in this week's Roundup. Enjoy!

  • Miranda family tree quote 2

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Revolutionary Ancestors

June 27th, 2016|12 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.