Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter
October 15, 2008
By Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
Yikes, Autumn has been busy! Seems this issue is longer and more packed than usual. Here's hoping y'all think that's a good thing! I've really enjoyed virtually meeting so many of you on Facebook, and hope to meet more of you both online and in person at my upcoming events.
In this newsletter. . .
Here's another genealogical round up of links posted to my Facebook profile to start off September.
About the latest episode of "Down Under," one of our original series at RootsTelevision.com . . .
Look what Jimmy of Genealogy Gifts has dreamed up to commemorate Annie Moore as the dedication of her memorial approaches! Nice to finally see the correct years for her!
Kind words from the Crowe's Nest Genealogy Blog by Elizabeth Powell Crowe . . .
This is a case solved by super-sleuth Sharon Elliott. Am going to post several links about it. The son never knew his father. Pretty amazing. This is one of those cases that reminds us why we do what we do.
The excavation site . . .
A first person account from the soldier's son . . .
Genealogical programs for those in Ireland!
Bad news for those with British roots
I found this interesting for two reasons. First, as someone who had tried to obtain birth certificates from the State of Hawaii on behalf of the Federal Gov't -- and always been refused -- I'm amused to see that folks thought the difficulty in getting Obama's birth certificate was some sort of conspiracy. And as an Army brat born overseas, I was also interested to hear about the ruling on McCain's birth in the Panama Canal.
The mystery genealogist has resurfaced in Nova Scotia cemeteries!
Thanks so much to Jimmy Kavanagh in Ireland for steering me to this cool DNA story! As an Army brat, I can't imagine what it's like learning that at least one of your ancestors lived in the same place as you 3,000 years ago!
I'm proud to have had the opportunity to work on African American Lives and with the series' fearless leader, Skip Gates! And I've just pre-ordered his upcoming book (not until next year), In Search of Our Roots.
Trust Chris Dunham of The Genealogue to come up with something like this!
Many thanks to the good folks at Ancestry Magazine for telling folks about the Unclaimed Persons group on Facebook. If you'd like to put your sleuthing talents to good use, please consider joining us for this worthwhile endeavor.
The newest collection of links posted to my Facebook profile to start off September. If you join Facebook (it's free), be sure to add me as a friend!
I'm intrigued by the DNA aspect of this!
Some things are universal. I've had similar experiences in Slovakia with my Carpatho-Rusyn roots. I think you'll enjoy reading this!
Another interesting Ancestry.com partnership . . .
Congratulations to Maureen Taylor for her contribution to this wonderful segment on the Today Show about Meredith Vieira's roots!
I have mixed feelings about this. I guess it's something we all have to confront and there's a certain logic to it, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready to plan my own funeral. Are you??
So now genetic genealogy is being used to identify Franco victims. An interesting application. Wonder what's next?
Missed this when Sharon first posted, but looks intriguing . . .
More genealogical programming on PBS in 2010, 2011 and 2012 . . .
The Unclaimed Persons group was featured in the current issue of Ancestry Magazine. Check it out!
Don't think poor Billy will ever be allowed to rest in peace . . .
Thanks for your kind words, Myrt and Libbi!
That familiar double helix is strutting its stuff!
More congrats to Maureen Taylor!
Another collection of items originally posted on Facebook:
A different kind of family treasure to share through the generations . . .
My first Annie Moore shirt just arrived and now there's another design!
Like Blaine and Ann, I think the death knell claims for direct-to-consumer genetics is somewhat off-base. I'm a customer of most genetic genealogy companies, as well as a participant in the PMC initiative -- and don't have any plans to stop being a genetic consumer any time soon.
If you weren't able to get to FGS this year, these videos will give you a taste. Stay tuned -- lots more coming!
The first of five videos from FGS available on RootsTelevision.com now. And there are lots more coming!
Kimberly Powell writes about genies on Facebook!
Kudos to Sharon Elliott for finding this family. This is exactly why we do what we do.
Wow! 23andMe has lowered their price from $999 to $399 AND partnered with Ancestry! Incredible!
Congrats to Joe Bott and the good folks at DeadFred!
At least his descendants won't have to wade through oodles of Johnsons . . . until they get to his parents, anyway.
Another $15m for MyHeritage. Will be interesting to see what they come up with next.
In my view, the genomics age is officially here . . .
Congratulations to George and Drew! 150 podcasts and going strong!
Junk DNA not as junky as previously thought?
Yup, all 4 Pres/VP candidates have Irish ancestry. And Ancestry.com and I have both added extra letters to our names!
A great selection of genealogical podcasts for FGS!
Thanks for your kind words, Myrt and Libbi!
I'm delighted to make several announcements about the Unclaimed Persons initiative that was launched by RootsTelevision.com on facebook several months ago.
First, we've launched a website! Visit Unclaimed Persons to learn about the project, how to volunteer, what coroners have to say about working with genealogists, and more. While we'll continue to "work" the case on facebook, this companion site contains a number of useful resources that volunteers, medical examiners and others can turn to.
Second, I'm amazed to report that we now have 400 volunteers! To accommodate the influx of volunteers and cases (we've just reached agreement with another major county), we welcome three new case administrators -- Robert Baca, Kathy Then and Denise Levenick. Thank you for your willingness to donate your valuable time and sleuthing skills!
And finally, if you'd like to watch an interview about Unclaimed Persons -- how it all came about, what we've done to date and so forth -- check out the first half of this chat between Dick Eastman and myself.
A thousand thank yous to Wevonneda Minis of the Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina for her kind remarks about RootsTelevision.com. I especially appreciated her comment that, "There's already so much to see there, it's difficult to remain in control." Roots TV a valued resource
If you didn't make it to Philadelphia this year for the recent FGS conference, you'll want to be sure to check out the videos on RootsTelevision.com. I'll list what we've added so far, but be sure to keep an eye on RootsTelevision.com over the next few weeks as we have more interviews coming up with folks like Maureen Taylor (about her recent Today Show appearance and new History Channel series), Paul Nauta of FamilySearch, Leland Meitzler of Evertons Publishers, David Lambert of NEHGS, Blaine Bettinger of the Genetic Genealogist, and more!
Here's an introduction to the 2008 FGS conference with Dick Eastman and an unconventional appearance by Bob Velke of Wholly Genes.
Moi (Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak) about the Unclaimed Persons initiative and the would-be king or queen of America.
I'm delighted that New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has incorporated a player of RootsTelevision.com videos into their website, one that I've spent many hours on myself!
You can take a peek here, but be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming videos, including one about the recent discovery of a previously unknown Helen Keller photo (with Annie Sullivan and the famous doll) in NEHGS's collection.
Enjoy this week's collection of my recent Facebook posts!
More than you ever wanted to know about funerals of the future.
Want to learn more about what FamilySearch has in store for all of us? Check out this interview Dick Eastman did with Paul Nauta at FGS. Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: Video Interview of Paul Nauta of FamilySearch
Here's an appropriate gift for your DNA surname project administrator . . .
Cool. Can't wait until I have time to play with this database and find some of my Slavic (and maybe Irish) cousins!
Dear Myrt kindly gave one of my recent blog postings a shout-out!
Great teacher, great story . . .
Check out this article I recently wrote for Ancestry Magazine. They asked me to figure out who would be king or queen of America today if George Washington had become king instead of president.
The story behind DeadFred . . .
Not a big fan of 17-marker tests, but this is interesting in terms of the cost of DNA testing. Just days ago, 23andMe dropped their prices from $999 to $399 and now this.
Who doesn't love a spit party?
Thanks for your kind words about RootsTelevision.com, Wevonneda!
Anna-Karin spreads the word about Swedish genealogy and a successful conference!
Geni spawns Yammer . . .
Here is this week's Facebook collection of posts. Enjoy!
I bet future generations of Janice Laster's family will thank her . .
I'm just going to let everyone make up their own punch lines to this one . . .
Wow -- I'm actually impressed with how entirely vague they managed to be with their chicken-little concerns! Those interviewed basically say that DNA testing is limited and risky, but no one's asked to provide a single example. Well, I guess I should be used to this by now. We've heard this same assumption of collective ignorance by those wishing to "protect" genetic genealogists many times before. * sigh *
Hmmm . . . sounds intriguing.
I confess that this article leaves me a little confused, but it's relevant to the world of genetic genealogy, so I thought I'd share it.
This sounds really interesting, although I'm not sure if many folks realize that it wasn't all that unusual for people to marry their deceased spouse's siblings once upon a time. I know back in Slovakia, for instance, it was considered noble of a younger brother to marry the widowed wife of an older brother because that meant support and protection for the children involved. At any rate, I'm going off on a tangent, but this book sounds interesting and -- I suspect -- will provoke a lot of discussion.
Let the mergers begin!
Nice to hear a success story like this. She must be quite a writer. Wonder if it's available on Kindle?
I can't resist climbing the candidates' family trees -- especially the Irish branches!
RootsTelevision.com turns two years old today. It seems like just yesterday we flipped the virtual switch at 3:00 p.m. and went live.
What's followed has been challenging, rewarding and humbling. We take it as a compliment that many still don't grasp that we're a two-person company -- that when we refer to ourselves as "two chicks and a channel," we mean just that. From the feedback we receive, it's clear that many of our viewers think we're a large company or backed by one, but we are -- simply put -- what a couple of stubborn people can do when they decide that something that doesn't exist should exist.
We are very grateful to all the folks we've had the privilege of working with. I want to name them here, but this would turn into a novel. Most viewers have seen the invaluable contributions of Dick Eastman, George Morgan and Drew Smith, but less obvious is the work of folks like Sam Butterworth and Alyssa Gregory who have kept things running smoothly, all the directors, camera people and other crew members we've dragged from conference halls to cemeteries, the editors, musicians and graphic designers who have toiled to make our original programming first rate, the web and TV designers who have quite literally made us look good, the countless professional genealogists who have allowed us to interview them . . . the list goes on and on.
These people are the reason we won four Tellys in our very first year and why genealogists have shows like Unclaimed Persons, Down Under, and DNA Stories to watch. These and hundreds of other videos can be watched by anyone around the globe whenever they want -- and better yet, it's free.
If you've enjoyed any of our shows over the last couple of years, I'd like to ask for a little present for our second birthday -- tell folks about RootsTelevision.com. We've been so focused on creating the shows that we haven't spent much time telling folks that we're here, so we'd be very appreciative if you'd send your friends emails (click here for a message you can can copy) or mention us at your next monthly society meeting. Please also consider signing up for our newsletter or the Og Blog to learn about the latest shows we've launched. Barring that, just make yourself a note to come check us out each Tuesday as we roll out our new shows on New Roots Tuesdays.
Thanks for a terrific first two years, thanks for watching, and thanks for telling all your friends about us!
If you plan to be near any of the events where I'll be speaking, I would love to meet you. It's always a kick for me when folks mention that they read this newsletter, my blog, Ancestry Daily News or whatever, so don't be shy about introducing yourself!
Please forward this newsletter to your family and friends who are interested in genealogy -- thank you!
Wishing you an abundance of genealogical serendipity!
Note: You are receiving this because you have demonstrated an interest (e.g., you have a story in one of my books, applied for a grant, attended previous events, etc.) or subscribed via my website, but please let me know if you do not want to receive any further emails, and I will promptly remove you from my list. And rest assured, this is my personal list and not shared with anyone else! Thanks, Megan