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Honoring Our Ancestors
March 6, 2012

Hey Everyone,

I hope you'll excuse this intrusion, but I'm reaching out to you today to ask for a big 'ole favor. If you have read my latest book, Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing, enjoyed it, and can spare a couple of minutes, I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave a comment on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or the website of your favorite book seller.

What follows is a selection of the reviews and feedback I've been fortunate enough to receive -- mostly from my fellow genealogists. While I'm extremely grateful for all these kind comments, they've mostly been on my Facebook pages or via Twitter, and I would love to see at least some of them reach a wider audience and have a more permanent presence -- and that means comments on online book sites.

Thanks in advance to any of you who manage to squeeze out a few minutes to help!

Take care,



Honoring Our Ancestors


What's Being Said About the Book...

History's mysteries solved by a dogged genealogist - Kirkus Reviews
"In this breezy narrative, Smolenyak allows us to look over the shoulder of a relentless genealogist as she works the puzzle pieces of her craft. Whether unearthing evidence from Internet databases, newspaper offices, court houses, libraries and cemeteries, consulting translators, historians or her vast network of fellow genealogists, pioneering the use of genealogical DNA testing, solving the mystery or occasionally hitting a brick wall, Smolenyak remains wholly committed, curious and cheery, eager to share her methods and excitement. Bottom-up history from a top-shelf researcher."

A Review of "Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing"
- GenealogyBlog, Leland Meitzler
"I've been reading and editing genealogy books and articles as a profession for 30 years. This is without a doubt the best genealogy book I've ever read."

Book Review - "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing" - Genea-Musings, Randy Seaver
"In this book, Megan shows the world that genealogy research is not necessarily a dull and plodding pastime. She also shows that the study of genealogy and family history can be challenging, uplifting and fun. ...I highly recommend Megan's book, Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing because it shows what can be accomplished on difficult cases while demonstrating research techniques for genealogists and family historians to emulate. The general public should be interested in this book because they know some of the celebrities researched and may have seen Megan on television. Family history researchers should proudly display this book on their coffee tables so that visitors and relatives will be curious and pick it up, and want one of their own."

What Professional Genealogists Can Learn from Megan - Roots and Rambles, Marian Pierre-Louis
"A storyteller at heart, the tales of her projects resonate with audiences regardless of geographic boundaries."

Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing - walkitout's journal
"This is a wicked fun book to read."

Genealogy detective Megan Smolenyak
- The Daily Reporter

"Fascinating reading . . . a highly personal - and very readable - account of the author's most interesting successes in genealogy." - The American Genealogist

"It is definitely a book I will keep and read again and much like Buzzy Jackson's, "Shaking the Family Tree", she writes in an informal way that makes you feel like you too can be a good genealogist. Where I felt Buzzy and I could be friends, I think Megan is more of my genealogy mentor. She is never condescending and although I know that I will never match her expertise in the field she affirms that what genealogists do is important not just for our family legacy but for America. She writes about DNA testing in such a way that I finally understand the importance of it to a genealogist and I can't wait to get my DNA test results back from Ancestry.com and send off for my husbands. 'Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing' definitely motivated me to keep going and taught me new ways to branch out and get past brick walls. I am a genealogy detective who brings family and American history to life. Thank you Megan Smolenyak!" - Rosanna W.

"With provocative chapter titles like 'Skeletons in the Turret' and 'Paralyzed Prostitute,' 'Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing' is a page-turner that simultaneously informs, intrigues and leaves you wanting more!" - Linda S.

"Just another of Megan Smolenyak's usual books....fantastic! What a romp in genealogical history and research! I've been involved in genealogy for over 40 years and I am quite familiar with many tactics of genealogical research, somehow Megan manages to throw in a few tricks that I hadn't thought of. I also appreciate her thoroughness in making absolutely sure that she has the right person. Too many relationships can be found today with documentation way too weak to prove the connection. Get busy, Megan, I'm waiting for the next one." - Barb A.

"If you've ever wondered how genealogists figure out someone's ancestral roots, you need to pick up Megan Smolenyak's Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing. ... From its opening pages, I couldn't help but admire her scholarship in leaving no resource untapped to come to her conclusions. Over the course of her investigations, she's had to travel to many countries, look into countless archives, examine numerous documents in a variety of formats, utilize a vast network of other genealogists, and keep up with current technologies such as DNA matching to assist her on her cases. … I can't recommend Megan Smolenyak's book enough and can't help but wonder if there are any skeletons in my ancestral closet that can be uncovered with a little digging myself!" - Victoria

"I am a loyal fan of yours, having started in DNA studies very early on, and I have been reading your latest book with terrific interest; just finished the chapter on your grandmother 'stepping out!' … THANKS for continuing with your devotion to extending our horizons and opportunities with new techniques and information." - James F.

"I just wanted to let you know that my mom is reading your new book, she is so excited, says she doesn't want to put it down, LOL. She is 81 soon to be 82!" - Shelley

"I am not a 'genie' so was surprised and delighted to find this book about various aspects of a genealogists trade to be such an engrossing and interesting read. Megan not only shares her stories of challenges and accomplishments, she also teaches us how to think about solving these types of puzzles. Her easy story-telling style makes me feel included in her excitement and wonder at the many unexpected truths she unveils as she works her way through the cases." - Anna H.

"Great crowds for a GREAT BOOK. I just obtained a copy of your book and it is a great read, so interesting. Thanks for all of your hard work and sharing it with the world." - Michael B.

"Loving the book & getting some ideas on how to cope with my missing people. Dad's just going to have to wait or get his own copy." - Mary Beth D.

"I love this book! What a great read and inspiration!" - Sandra M.

"Since I have always read and enjoyed a good mind bending detective story, it is especially fun to read this book. Megan Smolenyak took genealogy to a new level for me showing how those skills can be applied in current affairs with lots of mystery along the way." - Cayce

"Just bought your book a few days ago. Loving it great read. Would love to see more books in this format. I've learned more about the process than I have from many of the books I own." - James E.

"Savvy advice with fascinating genealogy examples!" - Barbara P.

"If you are a genealogist, you should have this Roots book on your shelves. Very interesting and helpful, as are all of Megan's books. A great "vacation read" when you are away from the computer and research." - Roland R.

"I have got to tell you, I have read 106 pages of 'Hey, America, You're Roots are Showing' so far and I can't stop reading. You have done an excellent job writing this." - Dena R.

"Reading it right now and thoroughly enjoying it. The civil war bible story was particularly moving." - Brenda L.

"All of Megan Smolenyak books are good - I've followed all she has done thru the years - love her work." - Coni D.

"Ordered it through Amazon as an eBook and finished it the first day. Fantastic read! Now my daughter is reading it...she said that you are a busy woman. I agree!" - Luana W.

"I pre-ordered on my Nook and got it the day it came out. Great Read Megan. Thanks" - Kim V.

"I preordered this wonderful book and read it as soon as it came in the mail. It is a great uplifting and motivating read for anyone interested in genealogy. I think it would even be a fun read for those not really interested in genealogy research. She is a great detective and a wonderful representative for all genealogists everywhere. She certainly has shown everyone that genealogy research can be anything but dull! She is an expert in the field but her writing is in no way condescending and makes you feel like you can follow the same research steps that she does." - Rosy

"I'm reading it this weekend--I'm just past finding Melvina and Brandy's sailor boyfriend :-) It's encouraging me to get one of my own tough cases written up." - Debra O.

"Just wanted to let you know that I finished Hey America Your Roots Are Showing and was blown away by your expertise and never giving up. You have given me new hope for my brick wall. Thank you so much." - Judith J.

"I finished your book 2 days, you're an amazing writer can't wait till your next book comes out." - Gabrielle L.

"Megan -- It's your fault I didn't sleep last night...your book came in the mail! :-) Great stories!!" - Linda C.

"If you have any interest in genealogical research, don't miss this book! I know you will enjoy it and keep referring to it for inspiration and information as much as I have." - Nancy N.

"I really enjoyed this book, it was a mix of genealogy research, humor and a behind the scenes look at how Megan can gather a lot of information in a short amount of time in order to get a segment put together for it to air on TV. If you've done some research or even none at all, reading this book might get you a little more curious than you were before." - Anonymous

Events In March

For more information on these events, please see my Events Calendar. And if you're interested in scheduling me, just click here.

  • March 10, 2012 - Tucson, AZ - Tucson Festival of Books - "Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing" - CSPAN Book TV Live Broadcast Sat 4:00 PM - Koffler, Room 218 and "Cases that Make My Brain Hurt" Workshop 11:30 AM
  • March 15, 2012 - New York, NY - The Frank DeCaro Show, Sirius XM Radio - 11:15 a.m.
  • March 15, 2012 - New York, NY - The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society - "Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing"
  • March 20, 2012 - Trenton, NJ - New Jersey State Library - "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt"

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