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Honoring Our Ancestors
June 24, 2020

www.megansmolenyak.com

Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

I don't know about you, but I've lost all sense of time. That said, rumor has it that it's summer, so here's a little genealogical reading for your browsing pleasure. First up, I'm sharing an oldie but a goodie about finding a pair of relatives whose lives overlapped (they lived together) and occurred in four centuries! And then there's - countdown - the second to last Seton Shields Genealogy Grant. I take the liberty of patting myself on the back for a bit of a milestone with my Army work, and while we're on military topics, how about the last recipient of a Civil War pension passing away? As always, there's a little bit of everything family history related. Here's hoping you find a couple of items that capture your imagination!

Until next time,

Megan

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Found! Serial Centenarians

This case is a little different from my usual orphan heirloom mysteries, and I suppose I should start out by fessin’ up that I came up a little shy in terms of resolution. But just as I was about to select a typical submission to research, I received an e-mail with a conundrum I simply couldn’t resist. It focuses on an objective, rather than an object, but is otherwise much like the many other genealogical puzzles I wrestle. Plus, how could I not be intrigued by a query like this?

We would like to find out if there is anyone still alive in America who met a relative that was born in the 18th century. We figure this would take someone who is at least 100 years old and who had an ancestor who lived to be over 100. Hypothetically, it could be someone who was born in 1901 and who, in that same year, met a great-grandparent who was born in 1799.

Click here to continue reading.

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Seton Shields Genealogy Grant #221: Digital Black History

I’m delighted to announce that the 221st grant has been awarded to Olivia Dorsey of Digital Black History.

Olivia shared that while doing her own genealogy research, she was disappointed in the lack of an online, centralized location for Black Genealogy and Black History resources. And so, as a family historian and web developer, she decided to do something about it.

The result is Digital Black History, a free online searchable listing of digital Black History projects that have been created by individuals and institutions alike. As Olivia said, "There are numerous projects about Black History out there, but it can be very difficult to find them. This website curates those resources and allows you to search for them so that you can supplement your research."

Olivia shared that her ultimate goal is "to leverage technology to disseminate and elevate the histories and genealogies of members of the African diaspora." Her plan is to transform Digital Black History into a hub for free, digital tools that help researchers and genealogists conduct research on African American ancestors.

Grant funds will support hosting, domain name, and maintenance costs associated with Digital Black History for the next two years.

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Genealogy Round Up, June 17


Photo Credit: justgrimes

To Our Researchers – The projects NARA's been working on remotely could be helpful going forward!

Statue of Liberty Museum Opening – 135 years ago, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York from France. Last year, a museum dedicated to telling her story opened. These are highlights including words of wisdom from Oprah.

"Freedom is what our ancestors died for and it's also what they lived for. And it's what we must fight to preserve. Because the dream is up to us."

That feeling when a bunch of trees on Ancestry have a woman married to her brother just because they share a tombstone on FindaGrave.

A bit of a milestone for me:

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Genealogy Round Up, June 10

You Don't Get To Be Racist And Irish: Imelda May's stunning poem – Seriously. My fellow Irish Americans need to watch this. I’d recommend it to all, but especially those of us of Irish heritage.

Irish sculptor Jeanne Rynhart dies aged 74 – So sad to hear this. She created both statues of Annie Moore - at Cobh and Ellis Island. RIP to a wonderful talent.

What’s in a name: Anne Arundel library CEO Skip Auld changes name after learning its racist roots

Agreement between FamilySearch and Ukrainian archivists a major breakthrough for researchers with Eastern European ancestry

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Genealogy Round Up, June 3


Photo Credit: Tom Gill

Last Person to Receive Civil War-Era Pension Dies – Well, this aspect of the Civil War has finally come to a close 155 years after the fact. Her father started out in the Confederacy, but switched to the Union.

Louise Penny: June Newsletter – Love all Louise Penny books, but check this from the first review of her next one. Paris, librarian, research skills. Could be the best one yet!

"Series devotees will revel in both Penny's evocation of Paris--every bit as sumptuous as her rendering of Three Pines--and in the increased role she allots to librarian Reine-Marie, whose research skills are crucial to untying the Gordian knot at the mystery's core."

2020 History Section:

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Genealogy Round Up, May 27


Photo Credit: Marines

On Memorial Day, remembering her dad's close call at end of World War II – Helped my friend Sean Kirst out with another one of his lovely tales of history hiding in your back yard.

Memorial Service of Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson – I was privileged to research the case of CPT Lawrence E. Dickson, a Tuskegee airman who was killed in WWII. I also attended his moving memorial service last year and invite you to watch and share.

Correcting the Record of WWI Hero and Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Henry Johnson

Famous Genealogist Solves Her Own Family’s Mystery – You can see the original title in the URL. The editor likes me so took liberties.

9 years ago now. Lovely memory of meeting former President Obama in Ireland.

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Genealogy Round Up, May 20


Image Credit: Public Domain (left); Bob Ahern//Getty Images (right)

This Vast Photo Archive Is Hidden Inside a Cold, Heavily Guarded Limestone Mine – What I wouldn't give to explore this!

Tiny book YouTube is the most soothing place on the internet. – Grab a cuppa and settle in.

This UK grandma created a knitted hospital: Spending self-isolation with a couple pair of knitting needles can lead to great things

Mitch of ScanMyPhotos.com says his orders are at a 4-year high and it’s not hard to see why. – This pandemic lull may lead to the preservation of many family memories.

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Upcoming Events

After traveling around and speaking in 40 states and half a dozen countries, 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.

  • July 29, 2020 – FEMA Book Club: "Who Do You Think You Are?"

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