Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletter
November 15, 2008
By Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
Is it just me or is everything going by in a blur? November already? Not surprisingly – since the election is now only recently over -- this issue is heavy on the candidates' roots, but also Ellis Island's Annie Moore and the King of America. Yup, the King of America -- read on!
In this newsletter. . .
Come join me on Facebook, if you haven't already!
A look at one branch of Michelle Robinson Obama's family history . . . amazing how much is still standing.
Getting my Irish on . . .
Thoughts on the future of the personal g(e)nome . . .
The genealogical fever spreads to Ireland!
Leland's back! And he's on RootsTelevision.com being interviewed by Dick Eastman:
Louise is apparently voting her bloodline.
Wow! Thanks, Tim!
Hmmm . . . will be interesting to watch down the road a bit.
Thanks a million, Juliana!
Come join us in New Zealand in January!
I LOVE this article. When I tell folks that I'm half-Irish and half-Carpatho-Rusyn, I always have to explain what the heck a Rusyn is. This article -- by a fellow who's not Rusyn himself -- does a remarkable job of answering that question.
I can't wait until I have time to go digging for all my Canadian cousins in this collection! I've played with it briefly and it's reaaaallly promising!
Cool stuff! Makes you wonder what might be possible in the world of genetic genealogy in the future!
There's an article by Margaret Bernstein in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer that takes a close look at Barack Obama's pile of cousins in Ohio, as well as the Irish ancestors who brought them to Ohio in the first place. She really did her homework! Very insightful. And check out the .pdf chart you can click on.
Now here's a different kind of application of DNA testing spearheaded by none other than Ugo Perego!
Annie's day is coming!
GW's kin on CNN . . .
Juliana's right. I don't get much sleep. But then, neither does Juliana!
Roger Kearney and I found each other last year when I revealed Barack Obama's Irish roots and he's turning into a bit of a rock star in Ohio these days!
A few thoughts on famous cousins . . .
More on my adventures climbing George Washington's family tree . . .
Meet King Paul of America . . .
I LOVE this. Amazing stuff.
Where the Smolenyaks come from. They've got us as Gorale (well, a few folks in the village were, but that better describes the folks in the neighboring village of Velka Frankova) and Lemkov (yes, we are Lemko Rusyns). Welcome to my little corner of the world.
"The Graveyard Book follows the misadventures of a young orphaned boy named Nobody who lives in a graveyard. All of Nobody's friends are dead (or undead), so he's bound to get in a bit of bother here and there.";
Spotted by Joe Beine, the amazing genealogist behind deathindexes.com and other great resources . . .
More on Jefferson and Hemings . . .
Yikes! I'm an old-timer! Actually, that's a good thing . . .
Wow! What a story!
Cool! This sounds like a terrific conference!
Thanks for the shout-out, Blaine!
We let Annie in, but her memorial is locked out . . .
Annie Moore of Ellis Island fame was finally and properly commemorated in both Cork and New York last Friday and Saturday.
On October 10, 2008, a plaque was installed on the last house she lived in before coming to America. You can watch the reveal of the plaque and remarks made by the Lord Mayor of Cork and the U.S. General Consul in the following video. And you can see a charming rendition of what I think of as Annie's song by local children. Tim McCoy, who guided local school children in making a film about Annie last year, was also instrumental in this event.
On the following day, October 11, 2008, a memorial was dedicated to Annie in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY. Her family orchestrated a lovely event that included, among other highlights, Ronan Tynan singing Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears. The songwriter, Brendan Graham, came from Ireland especially for the event. Also present were about a dozen of Annie's descendants, the memorial designer, radio personality Adrian Fennelly, and Bishop Sullivan of New York. I was given the honor of speaking and had the unusual experience of reading a letter from Barack Obama who paid tribute to Annie on her special day.
On a personal note, my life has been so hectic of late that I find that I'm only now absorbing the impact of these twin events as I write these words. Until two years ago, the wrong Annie had accidentally usurped the true Annie's place, but now, thanks to the efforts of her descendants, many of our descendants will remember Annie.
And though Brian Andersson and I tend to get most or even all of the credit for uncovering Annie's real story, the fact is that this came about due to the efforts of many genealogists who contributed their skills and talents. Tracy Stencil, Sharon Elliott and ProGenealogists.com all come to mind. I've touted them in talks and interviews, but they typically don't make it to the final version -- and heaven knows how many others were involved when we all blogged and surfed our way to the true Annie a couple of years ago. So to all those who contributed, thank you for literally correcting history.
Like this naturalization index from Cook County, IL!
Another fun toy to play with!
Wow! I'm a huge fan of 23andMe, so am delighted with this kind shout-out to RootsTelevision.com!
Annie Moore's memorial in Queens on October 11, 2008. Hope you enjoy it!
Angel Island mostly saved by heroic firefighters!
I agree with Blaine that the stats are what makes this interesting.
Check out this video from Tim McCoy. It shows the ceremony that just took place on October 10th, 2008 (last Friday) in Cork, Ireland to honor Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island. A plaque was placed on the last house she lived in before coming to America. The Lord Mayor of Cork is there as is the General Consul from the American Embassy, and a charming bunch of school kids singing -- you guessed it -- Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.
My great-grandfather did something like this when he snuck my grandfather to his favorite church and had him baptized as James Patrick rather than James Vincent, but he never had the nerve to tell his wife because my grandfather spent his whole life thinking his name was James Vincent. Wonder how this fellow's wife is going to react?
I've seen Dave's pottery on Antiques Roadshow a couple of times, so was intrigued to learn of this book.
This puts a smile on my face!
Snagged an interview with Sen. Paula Benoit during a recent conference I spoke at in Maine (go, if you're ever invited!). Sen. Benoit has a fascinating personal and legislative tale of adoption, topped off with a dash of serendipity. It's long -- over 20 minutes -- but check it out if you have time.
Pringles urn. I'm not kidding.
Folks are getting creative with their tombstones -- the last chance at self-expression, I guess.
Register here to be a DNA pioneer (but read about it first!)
Grady's "tickled to death."
Here's hoping lots of folks join me in British Columbia next March!
Sounds like an interesting read.
This caught my attention because I was asked about this just last week by someone who thought that perhaps I had been too free with my own genetic information. And what I share is nothing compare to what these ten are sharing with the world.
This just makes me smile.
For those who ask about adoptees being able to use DNA testing to learn about their roots . . .
A thoughtful consideration of the role of genealogy and Facebook in our lives . . .
Thanks for the kind words, Randy! It was an honor to take part in the New York ceremony.
. . . and Annie in New York (videos of both ceremonies).
I write a column for Ancestry Magazine called Found! and this is my latest article involving a slightly post-WWII romance. The photo below is the couple at the heart of the story. I hope you enjoy this tale -- I sure did!
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