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Family History

7 Questions To Ask Your Parents Before They Die

The Huffington Post | Ann Brenoff | Posted 07.16.2015 | Fifty

Much has been written about living wills and medical directives, yet there is a huge gap in our knowledge about other things that involve our parents...

Season 3 of 'Finding Your Roots' Green-Lighted for January 2016 Return on PBS

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 07.14.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Season 3 of the popular show, hosted and produced by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was put on hold until certain measures were implemented.

America's Daughters: More than Ribbons and Pins

D. Joshua Taylor | Posted 06.30.2015 | Impact
D. Joshua Taylor

As we remember our Independence, every American owes a debt of gratitude to the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Celebrity Genealogy on TV: Who and When?

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.28.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

We can probably expect an interlude between the next seasons of Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots, and the duration of that lull will hinge largely on how PBS chooses to balance and accommodate the sometimes competing goals of content accuracy and viewer demand.

The Case of the Sultry Mountie: Doing Family History Queerly

NOTCHES | Posted 06.26.2015 | Gay Voices
NOTCHES

We are unlikely ever to uncover the 'truth' of Cic's sexual identity. But engaging with Cic' allows us to think about the past differently, and also to engage with the present. For queer men and women today, it's critical to see that there is a queer history, even if they don't map precisely onto today's understandings of LGBT.

LeBron James Is Making His Cleveland Ancestors Proud

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.15.2015 | Sports
Megan Smolenyak

Whether LeBron knows it or not, three generations of his family once called Cleveland home. LeBron has classic, Great Migration heritage, and two branches of his family tree made their way from the South to Cleveland.

World's Largest Family Reunion: Genealogy or Preen-ealogy?

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.01.2015 | Fifty
Megan Smolenyak

Here's my deepest concern about the Global Family Reunion: Has the marketing of it been so successful that we're in danger of changing the definition of genealogy? The interest in famous cousins has always been there, but has its prominence in the GFR's PR campaign been such that many will think that's the whole point?

The Irish Heritage of the Remarkable Anne Meara

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.25.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Like so many, I am mourning the loss of actress, comedian and writer, Anne Meara. Partnered in every sense of the word with Jerry Stiller, her husband of 61 years, she brought smiles to all of us, but there was so much more to her career than many of us appreciated.

Saying Farewell To Our Family Home After 24 Years

Sharon Greenthal | Posted 05.03.2015 | Fifty
Sharon Greenthal

I know this place. For 24 years we've lived here. I arrived, not quite 30-years-old with my one-year-old baby girl in my arms. I had fought moving to the suburbs for two years, but my husband was right -- it was a wonderful place to raise a family. So that's what we did. Now we're leaving.

Melissa Etheridge's French Canadian British American Spanish Ancestor

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.20.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

She swiftly discovers French Canadian ancestors who were embroiled in a bitter lawsuit against a man who got their teenage daughter pregnant and refused to marry her, but there's more to the story than she first thinks.

Bill Paxton Learns of His Revolutionary Past On 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.16.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Actor Bill Paxton is featured this Sunday (April 19 at 10/9c on TLC) on Who Do You Think You Are? and digs into the paternal half of his family tree. He begins by solving a long-standing mystery by determining that he is indeed related to Texan hero Sam Houston.

Hillary Clinton Family Tree a Wake-Up Call for Genealogy

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.06.2015 | Media
Megan Smolenyak

If everyone got a quarter of Hillary Clinton's tree wrong, what about yours? Are the names adorning your family tree really your ancestors or just crowd-sourced fiction?

The Gift of #ThrowbackThursday

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.01.2015 | Good News
Megan Smolenyak

One random #tbt post revealed a milestone moment to my sister, triggered a trip down memory lane and gave us anecdotes we had never heard about our mother.

Lou Szucs: Genealogical Hero

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.31.2015 | Good News
Megan Smolenyak

That's why I count myself lucky to still have a hero in Loretto "Lou" Szucs, and I'm far from alone. Within the genealogical world, Lou is loved and respected by all and has been for decades. Today, she is retiring as Vice President of Community Relations of Ancestry.com.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Sean Hayes Discovers Family's Criminal Past

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.28.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Sean explores his paternal ancestry focusing on his Hayes line, and that leads him via Chicago and Dublin back to Ballylongford in County Kerry. What will he learn there? Check out this exclusive video provided by TLC to get a taste:

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Angie Harmon Understands the Power of Walking in Your Ancestors Footsteps

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.19.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

This Sunday on Who Do You Think You Are? (March 22, 2015 at 10/9c on TLC), Angie Harmon -- who always thought she was Greek, Irish and Native American -- makes some surprising discoveries about the Harmon branch of her family tree.

Exclusive Video: Josh Groban Discovering Remarkable and Controversial Ancestor

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.13.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Josh Groban knows little about his mother's lineage, so sets out on a journey to learn more about the maternal side of his family tree on Who Do You Think You Are?, airing this Sunday, March 15 at 10/9c on TLC.

Who Do You Think You Are? Returns With Julie Chen

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.07.2015 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Who Do You Think You Are?, the popular celebrity roots show, is finally back on Sunday, March 8th at 10/9c on TLC. Kicking off the season is Julie Chen who ventures to China (a first for the series) and rediscovers the grandfather she thought she knew.

Grace Revealed: A Powerful, Haunting Memoir

Kristen Houghton | Posted 03.14.2015 | Books
Kristen Houghton

Greg Archer, author and award-winning journalist, has brought to bear all his remarkable journalistic skills to tell the story of the haunting and heart-wrenching journey he undertook to discover his Polish family's past during the terror-filled time of Stalin and the Russian ruler's ruthless actions across Eastern Europe.

The Little-Known Story That Lit a Civil Rights Fuse and Created the NAACP: My Great-Uncle's Call to Action

Burke E. Strunsky | Posted 03.11.2015 | Black Voices
Burke E. Strunsky

In the tradition of investigative, watchdog journalism, that particular news story has since been credited for lighting the fuse that led to the creation of the national civil rights organization known today as the NAACP.

What I Found Inside My Grandmother's Shoebox

Jessica Katz | Posted 03.09.2015 | Women
Jessica Katz

There are hundreds of pictures of her. She's always dressed in crop-tops with high-rise flowy skirts. I look at the men who surrounded her and the way they gazed at her and I can just tell they loved her. It's strange to think that these men knew her better than I do.

Genetic Testing for Cancer

Lisa Marie Wilson | Posted 03.01.2015 | Healthy Living
Lisa Marie Wilson

When I decided to have the test done, I figured I would carry something since I had already had cancer myself. I was pretty surprised that I didn't test positive. The associate said that they can't test for everything, so it's not like I'm in the clear by any stretch of the hopeful imagination.

Photo of Barack Obama's Irish Immigrant 3rd Great-Grandfather, Fulmoth Kearney, Discovered

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 02.18.2015 | Politics
Megan Smolenyak

It was seven years ago when I identified Fulmoth Kearney of Moneygall, Ireland as the most recent immigrant on the maternal side of Barack Obama's family tree. Inheriting land in Ohio from a brother, Fulmoth's father, Joseph, left Ireland for the United States in 1849.

Who Wants to Talk About That?

Tom F. Driver | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics
Tom F. Driver

Racism is so ingrained in the American experience that no one who has grown up here is free of it -- white, black, or anyone else. Until we acknowledge that, describe it, and share it across the racial divide we are not free.

How My Mom's Death Changed My Definition of Family

Rachael Rifkin | Posted 01.26.2015 | Women
Rachael Rifkin

When I'm shopping and I see something she might like, I think about how much she loved chocolate and the color turquoise. And how strange it is to know that I won't be buying her anything anymore.