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Ellis Island

How You Can Help Ellis Island Rise Above the Waters

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 02.16.2013 | New York
Megan Smolenyak

With Hurricane Sandy's massive destruction, it's not surprising that we haven't heard much about Ellis Island. Those whose lives have been turned upside-down are naturally the first priority. But how did Ellis Island weather the storm?

What Race Is Bruno Mars?

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 01.12.2013 | Celebrity
Megan Smolenyak

Were Bruno Mars to go on a world tour for the release of Unorthodox Jukebox, there would likely be unsuspecting cousins in the audiences in Madrid, New York, Kiev, San Juan, Manila and Budapest. So tell me: Which box do you think Bruno Mars ticked on the 2010 census?

10 Things You Didn't Know about Rachel Maddow's Roots

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 12.02.2012 | Politics
Megan Smolenyak

Without further ado, here are some snippets of Ms. Maddow's family history.

Ellis Island, Post Offices Added To Endangered List

AP | BRETT ZONGKER | Posted 08.06.2012 | Politics

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of historic U.S. post offices nationwide face uncertain futures as the U.S. Postal Service downsizes, so preservationists ...

10 Things You Didn't Know About Martha Stewart's Family Tree

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 07.08.2012 | Celebrity
Megan Smolenyak

Martha's grandfather, Frank Kostyra, owned a tavern in Jersey City. On the 4th of July 1929, two boys stuck a piece of dynamite in the foundation of the tavern, causing an explosion. It's somewhat remarkable that the building is still a tavern today.

Dora Kirby, Beloved Aunt of Bruce Springsteen, Passes

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.27.2012 | Celebrity
Megan Smolenyak

Earlier this week, Dora (Zerilli) Kirby, age 92, passed away in Freehold, New Jersey. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she was also an aunt of Bruce Springsteen.

11th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.23.2012 | Home
Megan Smolenyak

At a time when we've become so cynical, it's refreshing to attend the annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, which celebrate individuals who have contributed to the American experience in various realms

Make History in Your Pajamas

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.30.2012 | Home
Megan Smolenyak

On April 2nd, after a long wait of 72 years, the 1940 census will be released, and in a historic first, the collection will emerge online in digitized form -- a remarkable snapshot of a nation still recovering from the Great Depression and not yet aware of its approaching entry into war.

Home of the Irish Immigrant Girls in Lower Manhattan

Alan Singer | Posted 05.02.2012 | New York
Alan Singer

During the Ellis Island era, millions of immigrants arrived in the United States. Our Lady of the Rosary and the accompanying Watson House provided greetings and safe haven for more than 100,000 young Irish girls who came to NY.

120 Years Ago: Ellis Island Opens Doors and Welcomes Annie Moore of Ireland

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 02.28.2012 | Home
Megan Smolenyak

Jan. 1 has long been regarded as a day of fresh beginnings, and never was that more appropriate than 120 years ago in 1892 when Ellis Island first opened its doors to hopefuls from around the world.

A Hassle-Free Guide To Visiting New York City Landmarks

Millie Kerr | Posted 02.18.2012 | Travel
Millie Kerr

I've been traveling for 30 years. Yet nothing scarred me more than my recent role as a tourist in New York City. You might think, as I naively thought, that locals would be savvy enough to avoid tourist traps, but you'd be wrong.

Immigration Nation

Ellen Siminoff | Posted 01.07.2012 | Education
Ellen Siminoff

With an issue that is clearly going to be a constantly prevalent one in our nation's future, as it has been in our past, how do we communicate this situation to the children in our schools without bias?

Autobiography of Former Alcatraz Inmate Tells Interesting Story

Kate Kelly | Posted 01.02.2012 | Crime
Kate Kelly

Fifty-two years ago Robert Luke, Prisoner #118AZ, left Alcatraz for his first taste of life on the outside after more than a decade of trouble with the law.

7,000 Cans Of Pepper Spray Confiscated From Lady Liberty Tourists

Posted 12.17.2011 | New York

Security officers protecting the Statue of Liberty confiscated a small arsenal of weapons from tourists in the first nine months of 2011. Visitors...

Seeds of a Trans-Atlantic Reunion

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 12.03.2011 | Home
Megan Smolenyak

As a genealogist, I'm on the receiving end of lots of inquiries from journalists. Usually they're wondering about the roots of this or that famous pe...

Crossing The Seas To Make A Legacy

Dr. Caroline Cicero | Posted 09.07.2011 | Religion
Dr. Caroline Cicero

Thanks to my bold immigrant ancestors and the legacies they left behind, I have had the freedom to choose whom to marry as well as where to worship and how to raise my children.

Paul Needham

Jon Huntsman In Reagan's Shadow

HuffingtonPost.com | Paul Needham | Posted 08.21.2011 | Politics

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- It was five minutes before Jon Huntsman Jr., former governor of Utah and former ambassador to China, was scheduled to announce th...

Sarah Palin Disses Immigrants on Her Way to Visit America's Monument to Immigrants

Disgrasian | Posted 08.02.2011 | Politics
Disgrasian

I'm guessing in the "lots of things" that Sarah Palin reads but has trouble naming, you won't find the "Brief History of Ellis Island" among them.

Memorial Day: A Holiday Weekend Held Most Dear by American Immigrants

Nasser J. Kazeminy | Posted 07.27.2011 | Politics
Nasser J. Kazeminy

As we observe Memorial Day 2011, we have a moral obligation to pause and pay tribute to every American, immigrant or not, who cares so deeply for our nation that they were willing to sacrifice themselves to defend it.

2011 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.15.2011 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

I had the privilege of attending the 2011 Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards in this, a particularly special year -- the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's dedication as a gift to the people of America from France.

WWI Soldier Representative of Connection Between Ireland and America

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Megan Smolenyak

With St. Patrick's Day looming, then, I hope you'll understand that I have no choice but to surrender to my genetic urges and write of yet another link between our two countries: Private Thomas D. Costello.

Genealogy on TV

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

There's no question that 2010 was a banner year for roots lovers, but indications are that it's only going to get better.

I've Got a Crush on Steven Tyler's Grandfather

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

I'm not sure whether he keeps coming back or was never gone, but what's certain is that Steven Tyler of Aerosmith will be coming into America's living...

A Call To Our Ancestors: Ariana Delawari's "We Came Home"

Rachel Fleischer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Rachel Fleischer

In the chaos of the everyday we sometimes forget to remember the past. Too often we take for granted what we have, forgetting the courageous sacrifices made by those who came before us.

Why Won't You Join Me In Voting? An Open Letter to A "Non-Voter"

Ilana Ross | Posted 05.25.2011 | College
Ilana Ross

What went wrong with you, non-voters? When did you sour on democracy?