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Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by…
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Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing

by Megan Smolenyak

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Megan Smolenyak takes readers behind the scenes in many of the genealogical cases she has researched for television, magazines, newspapers, and federal and local governmental agencies. The cases she researches are high interest, with subjects including celebrities, politicians, and other notable persons. When it comes to describing her methodology, Smolenyak mostly sticks to generalities, making me wonder if she considers her research methods to be trade secrets. Her methodology sometimes seems unorthodox, but this may be due to the nature of her assignments. She often works under tight deadlines, which would make it difficult to conduct the reasonably exhaustive research required by the Genealogical Proof Standard. Cautiously recommended. ( )
  cbl_tn | Dec 9, 2016 |
Disappointing - a very long commercial for the author's wonderfulness. ( )
  ChrisNewton | Mar 18, 2016 |
This book was great fun: real-life mysteries solved through genealogical sleuthing. Admittedly, I'm geeky and enjoy research, but this is absolutely readable for anyone.
( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
If there’s a “rock star” among American genealogists, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak is it. She’s a regular on television and in newspapers – being quoted in news stories with a genealogical component -- and is herself a newsmaker. In Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing she tells the stories behind her stories.

Although I was disappointed there wasn’t more about the nitty-gritty of the author’s genealogical sleuthing, I must admit each chapter was interesting and the book was, in total, a great read. She debunks myths (no, your ancestor’s name wasn’t changed by a clerk at Ellis Island), sheds light on President Obama’s Irish roots , tells how she filled in family trees for a diverse group of celebrities, and finds out who Annie Moore (the first immigrant through Ellis Island) really is.

Hey, America, Your Roots are Showing is fascinating, light-weight, and fun, especially for readers who don’t know much about genealogy. This book could spark an interest in family history, even among the genealogy-resistant. ( )
1 vote NewsieQ | Oct 6, 2013 |
I found this book interesting but I do want to stress this book will not tell you how to search on your own it is written by a veteran genealogist about some of the cases she has worked on. Okay now that I have that out of the way… this book was with fun all the stories and history.

I found it very interesting that the First Lady Michelle Obama’s family only took 3 generations to go from slaves to the white house I found that fascinating because I come from a family that had 5 generations living for many years as I was growing up.

The unclaimed person’s chapter and the ones about finding soldiers families were probably my favorite chapters because bringing these people home to their families is a wonderful project even when some of these families didn’t even know they had these relatives.

The author’s research is very thorough and I found the chapter about the tombstone fascinating, what she had to go through to get this tombstone where it belonged.

I was fascinated by all the DNA testing I am a fan of Who Do You Think You Are? & PBS Finding Your Roots and would love to have the ancestral composition done just for my own curiosity and may spring 100 bucks to 23andme to get that and be entered into the database.

If you are interested in other people’s history and like seeing how family can be found I would recommend this book.

3 ½ Stars ( )
  susiesharp | Jan 7, 2013 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080653446X, Paperback)

You've heard of the Dog Whisperer? Meet the Ancestor Rescuer.

Part forensic scientist, part master sleuth, Megan Smolenyak 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 Smolenyak 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 Smolenyak's name squared? Test your own skills as she shares 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, Smolenyak's historical sleuthing is as provocative, richly layered, and exciting as America itself.

"Thank you for taking the time to lay out our family map. . . You're practically family. You certainly know more about us than we do." –Stephen Colbert

"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

"The Indiana Jones of genealogy. . . Megan Smolenyak is a national treasure." –Buzzy Jackson, author of Shaking the Family Tree

“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.”-Kirkus Review

Megan Smolenyak is an incurable genealogist 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. She has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today show, CNN, NPR, and the BBC, and consulted on shows ranging from Who Do You Think You Are? to Top Chef.

Megan is the author of six books (including Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History, companion guide to the NBC series), a Huffington Post contributor, and former chief family historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.com. She lives in southern New Jersey with her husband and lots of research tools.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:26 -0400)

A noted geneaologist reveals what it is like to be a history detective using twenty-first-century techniques and technology, and discusses some of the cases she has solved, including the families of celebrities and work for the Army and the FBI.

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