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.
"Watch out Watson and Crick! Megan Smolenyak decodes our fascinating, complicated past in this tour de force of detective work."
— Ken Burns
"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
"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"
288 pages, 5.4" (w) x 8.2" (h), published February 1, 2012.
About the author:
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (yes, that's her real name) is a genealogical adventurer who loves solving mysteries, making unexpected discoveries and pushing the boundaries of conventional genealogy.
A popular writer, speaker and TV guest, 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 Huffington Post contributor, a cold case researcher for the Army, NCIS and the FBI, and former Chief Family Historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.com.
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