Top 50 Power Women – 2016

Smolenyak, Megan

Megan Smolenyak/Genealogist

Megan Smolenyak 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 President Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall, Ireland, and Vice President Joe Biden’s roots to Mayo and Louth.

Formerly Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com, she also founded Unclaimed Persons.

Megan is the author of six 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.

Megan is all Irish on her mother’s side, with roots in Cork, Kerry, Longford, Leitrim, and Antrim.