Mar 10, 2012 - Commentary, Reviews    No Comments

Who Do You Think You Are – By Megan Smolenyak

Who Do You Think You Are? Book Cover

I recently finished Megan Smolenyak’s book Who do you think you are? and found it to be a fascinating and inspiring book. As I have said in my last post I am getting back into genealogy after stepping away for a few years. This book was just what I needed to brush up on the various methods of genealogical research. As with the NBC series of the same name which she is the chief genealogical consultant, Megan does a great job of introducing them to the many websites, documents, and resoucres available. She discusses some of the well known sites like and but also introduces you to some of the lesser know online resources from genealogy bloggers and social networks. This book plays plenty of attention to the non technical stuff as well. Megan’s orientation to the many documents that genealogists use is very helpful. She has devoted whole chapters covering census, immigration, and military records. Not only does she cover why you want to use these documents as well as what to look for in them, but she also explains how to access them and where they can be found online and in the archives and libraries.

One of the most enjoyable things about this book are the personal stories Megan weaves through each of the chapters. Her stories are interesting because she is not just telling you about her discoveries on her jurney but rather uses them as an example to show you how you can use the resource for your own research. Her writing is very easy to read and hard to put down. The has been formatted so you can easily read it in one sitting or pick it up as time allows.

 The book is currently on sale at


Feb 14, 2012 - Commentary    1 Comment

Getting Started

I have always been interested in my genealogy and wondering who has come before me, where have they been, and what is their story. I remember my first step down the path of family history was in the eleventh grade. Our assignment was to talk to our families and trace back to our ancesotrs as far as we could all within one week. Back then I had no idea how much research and time was involved so I only ever found out who my great grandparents were. Needless to say, It was that assignment that started me on a journey to discover where I come from.

Over the years I have done some research, visited my regional National Archives office, and searched for names on But recently I have had a yearning to take the next step and get serious about genealogy. Maybe this yearning is inspired by my aging elders and wanting to capture their memories before it is to late or the trill of finding that next name in your lineage. Whatever it may be I look forward to chronicling the discoveries, sharing the stories, and making connections through this blog. I also hope to inspire and inform readers with the information and resources I discover along the way.

-The Roots Sleuth