About Megan

Live on Good Morning America, ABC

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (yes, that's her real name) is a genealogical adventurer and storyteller who loves solving mysteries, making unexpected discoveries and pushing the boundaries of conventional genealogy. A popular writer, speaker and TV guest, she does all she can to get the g-word out there and inspire others in their quest for roots.

Megan has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Early Show, CNN, NPR and BBC. In addition to consulting on shows ranging from Who Do You Think You Are? to Top Chef, she is the author of six books, a Medium and Huffington Post contributor, a cold case researcher for the Army, NCIS, BIA and the FBI, and former Chief Family Historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.com.

TV Media featuring Megan Smolenyak and her research Print Media featuring Megan Smolenyak and her research

Megan's "greatest hits" include the following:
Live on Good Morning America, ABC
Lin-Manuel Miranda & Megan Smolenyak

Many more articles and interviews about Megan's genealogical adventures can be found here.

Megan was one of the first to champion the use of DNA testing as a means to explore one's heritage, and along with Ann Turner, M.D., authored Trace Your Roots with DNA, the best-selling, how-to book on genetic genealogy (learn more about DNA testing and why her name is Smolenyak Smolenyak in this video, Did She Marry Her Cousin?).

She has consulted for and appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, ESPN, BBC Breakfast, Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC), Top Chef (Bravo), Faces of America, African American Lives, Ancestors, TimeWatch, Great American Railroad Journeys, They Came to America, NPR, BBC Radio and numerous local television and radio shows, and has spoken at the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Who Do You Think You Are LIVE!, Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations, and numerous other historical, military, ethnic and literary events (39 states, Washington, D.C., England, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and assorted cruises so far!).

Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing Who Do You Think You Are?
Her most recent books are Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History.

Megan's other books include "Honoring Our Ancestors: Inspiring Stories of the Quest for Our Roots", "In Search of Our Ancestors: 101 Inspiring Stories of Serendipity and Connection in Rediscovering Our Family History" and "They Came to America: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors." Winner of a gold Folio Eddie award, as well as five writing awards from the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, Megan has written articles for Ancestry, Family Chronicle, Family Tree Magazine, Genealogical Computing, Heritage Quest, NGS NewsMagazine, Everton's Family History Magazine and APG Quarterly, among others.

She's a recipient of the National Genealogical Society's Award of Merit, a former board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and is also delighted to be a winner of the Bo Peep Award, given by the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists to those who have "contributed significantly to the betterment of the community of historical and genealogical researchers."

Formerly an international marketing consultant (CMC), she has traveled to more than 80 countries and holds a BSFS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, MBA in International Business from George Washington University and MAS in Information Technology from Johns Hopkins University. Megan welcomes inquiries about her speaking, research and writing services, and offers a variety of programs. Please check her schedule for upcoming events.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
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Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing


Megan on TV

Celebrity Roots