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Posts Tagged ‘Megan Smolenyak’

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..

Weekly Comment:
Irish Genealogy Just
Got a Lot Easier

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..

From Ellen to Eileen

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..

On the Prowl for Springsteen’s
Irish Roots

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..

Photo Album:
The Shields Family

I’ve written about several Irish American mothers for this magazine – Eugenia Biden, Lorna Colbert, and Anne Meara – and the word that always comes to mind is indomitable. Nothing breaks them, which makes it all the more shocking when we lose them. My mother was a member of this club. The last-minute child inRead more..

The Irish Heritage of the
Remarkable Anne Meara

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post and is reprinted here courtesy of the author. Like so many, I am mourning the loss of actress, comedian and writer, Anne Meara. Partnered in every sense of the word with Jerry Stiller (whose autobiography is called Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara), her husband ofRead more..