Posts Tagged ‘Megan Smolenyak’

DNA Links President Biden
to Galway

Galway joins Mayo and Louth as an Ancestral Home Ireland loves to claim her own, so President Biden – who’s conspicuously proud of his 5/8 Irish ancestry – is a source of pride for many in the land of his ancestors. I first explored his heritage before he became Vice President, and later shared someRead more..

Happy 20th Anniversary,
Ellis Island Immigrant Database!

What a difference two decades make By Megan Smolenyak In April of 2001, a miracle occurred. Well, it certainly seemed that way at the time. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF) opened the American Family Immigration History Center (AFIHC), launching an online database — digitized and indexed — of the passenger records of millions ofRead more..

Finding Your Irish Roots
Is Easier Than Ever Before

By Megan Smolenyak Now is the time to get all your documents together so that when the time is right to visit Ireland and discover your ancestors you are ready to go. More and more Irish genealogical sites are now online, including parish records, so you can do the research here, and as soon asRead more..

John Lennon and Me
(20 years behind)

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..

Famous Genealogist Solves Her Own Family’s Mystery

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..

Gold Fever: The Shiny, Shady Past of Katy Perry’s Irish Great-Great-Grandmother

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..

Tim Kaine’s Irish Roots

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..

Roots: Melissa McCarthy

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

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..

Annie Moore’s Long Lost Irish Cousins

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..