I'm so excited to announce that today is the official birth day of my new book, Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing! It's a collection of my favorite investigatory romps from the past decade (check out what Ken Burns, Stephen Colbert and Kirkus Reviews had to say) and I invite you to watch my first ever book trailer video to get a taste!
I'd love to hear your reactions and would be especially grateful if you could share your comments with fellow genealogists, history buffs, and mystery lovers, as well as post reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. "Likes," Tweets and retweets, +1s and so forth also much appreciated.
Finally, I'd also love it if you'd consider joining me at one of my upcoming events in NJ, PA, MD, VA, AZ, TX, OH, IN, CA and even online (thanks to Legacy Family Tree) – and please let your genealogical buddies know, too! The book, video and my speaking schedule are all available on my freshly hatched website, MeganSmolenyak.com.
Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing
Part forensic scientist, part master sleuth, Megan Smolenyak2 has solved some of America's oldest and most fascinating genealogical mysteries. You've read the headlines, now get the inside story as the "Indiana Jones of genealogy" reveals how she cracked her news-making cases, became the face of this increasingly popular field—and redefined history along the way.How did Smolenyak2 discover Barack Obama's Irish ancestry and his relation to Brad Pitt? Or the journey of Michelle Obama's family from slavery to the White House? Or the startling links between outspoken politicians Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond? And why is Smolenyak2's name squared? Test your own skills as she reveals her exciting secrets. Whether she's scouring websites to uncover the surprising connections between famous figures or using cutting-edge DNA tests to locate family members of fallen soldiers dating back to the Civil War, Smolenyak2's historical sleuthing is as provocative, richly layered, and exciting as America itself.
"Watch out Watson and Crick! Megan Smolenyak decodes our
fascinating, complicated past in this tour de force of detective work."
— Ken Burns
You're practically family. You certainly know more about us than we do."
— Stephen Colbert "This splendid book makes genealogy come alive in the most vivid and compelling manner."
— from the Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "Megan is a genealogist's dream, a forensic investigator who can also tell a great story."
— Sam Roberts, The New York Times "Megan is a blessing to cold-case detectives and a master genealogist."
— Julie M. Haney, Special Agent, NCIS Cold Case Homicide Unit "Megan . . . is, hands down, America's greatest genealogist, and this book is proof of it."
— Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestsellers War Letters and Behind the Lines "The Indiana Jones of genealogy...Megan Smolenyak is a national treasure."
— Buzzy Jackson, author of Shaking the Family Tree "Megan Smolenyak is the genealogist's genealogist - the go-to person for building
your family tree and solving stubborn historical mysteries."
— Dr. Spencer Wells, Director of the Genographic Project, National Geographic "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."
— Kirkus Reviews, "Bottom-up history from a top-shelf researcher"
Several years ago, I conducted extensive genealogical research into the heritage of Michelle Obama. A few of my discoveries – particularly those pertaining to the Shields branch of her family tree – made news a couple of years ago, but there’s much that I’ve never shared, so I’ve decided to blow the dust off of a video I made back in August 2009.
This is a simple, homemade video – a narrated PowerPoint – and subsequent research has revealed more than what’s included here (for more insight, please read this recent, seven-part series and/or the “Finding Melvina” and “Road to a First Lady’s Roots” chapters of my book, Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing), but I hope you’ll enjoy this overview of the remarkable family history of our First Lady.
Michelle Obama's Ancestors: Chicago Beginnings (part 1) Michelle Obama's Ancestors: The Great Migration (part 2) Michelle Obama's Ancestors: The Great Mixing (part 3) Michelle Obama's Ancestors: LaVaughn Johnson (part 4) Michelle Obama's Ancestors: Fraser Robinson (part 5) Michelle Obama's Ancestors: Rebecca Jumper (aka Coleman) (part 6)