By Megan Smolenyak As the rest of the world commemorates what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, I celebrate my 60th. More or less confined at home. Not the circumstances I would have chosen, but just about all of us are apt to have pandemic-impaired birthdays, so no complaints. Still, a milestone like thisRead more..
Posts Tagged ‘Megan Smolenyak’
Solving a long-held family history mystery leads to an enigmatic playwright By Megan Smolenyak I couldn’t understand it. My nana had an amazing memory. As a professional genealogist, I’m more aware than most that we should take our family lore with a grain of salt. Whether deliberately or accidentally, it’s distorted as it travels throughRead more..
She came from a gold-obsessed family, so perhaps it wasn’t so surprising when the treasure bag was found in Hannah’s water closet. But what was this Galway girl even doing in San Francisco? ℘℘℘ Anyone who’s ever dabbled in genealogy knows that certain forebears call louder than others – even when they’re not your own.Read more..
Just how Irish is the Democratic vice-presidential nominee? And what does Tim Kaine’s family tree have in common with Downtown Abbey? ℘℘℘ No sooner had Hillary Clinton announced Tim Kaine as her running mate than articles on his roots began to appear – mostly about his inherent Irishness. There’s good reason for this, as heRead more..
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Melissa McCarthy’s Family Tree. ℘℘℘ Easily one of the most popular and reliable box office performers today, actress, comedian, producer, and now fashion designer Melissa McCarthy has a lot to be proud of. With a string of hits (Bridesmaids, Identity Thief, The Heat, Spy!, The Boss, etc.) that consistentlyRead more..
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 ofRead more..
Megan Smolenyak writes about a decade-long search that finally turned up the Irish cousins of Annie Moore of Ellis Island fame. Thanks to improved access to a variety of resources, Irish genealogy is gradually becoming easier, but challenges remain, and one of the most daunting is finding living relatives. ℘℘℘ When Annie Moore, the IrishRead more..
Last July, the National Library of Ireland went live with a digitized collection of Irish Catholic parish records from the 1670-1900 time frame, a huge boon for those of Irish heritage. Just one catch. No index. Well, there were a variety of partial indexes scattered here and there on other sites, but no comprehensive one.Read more..
An excerpt from In Search of Our Ancestors: 101 Stories of Serendipity and Connection by Megan Smolenyak. ℘℘℘ Many of us have a particular ancestor who calls to us louder than others, one with whom we feel a special kinship. For me, this is one of my great-great-grandmothers, Ellen Nelligan. Perhaps it’s because my own grandmother – herRead more..
Roots detective Megan Smolenyak explores the National Library of Ireland’s online collection of Catholic parish registers, uncovers entries for ancestors of a few well-know Irish Americans, including Bruce Springsteen, and offers a guide to finding yours. ℘℘℘ Ancestors of Irish American Celebrities in New Online Catholic Parish Registers The last few years have been kindRead more..