Megan Smolenyak’s Honoring Our Ancestors Newsletters continue to post tidbits of interesting information. The April 17 issue tells of the town of Story, Ind., that is for sale for $3.8 million.

Story is located near Brown County State Park, is not far from Bloomington, and is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Read more details (as reported on the Atlas Obscura website) at

Smolenyak also has an article about the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and its mission “to provide the fullest possible accounting of our missing personnel to their families and the nation by searching for the remains of service members lost during the Vietnam War.” DPAA identified 201 remains in 2017 and 206 in 2018. She provides a link to more details at

The Honoring Our Ancestors website, at, offers links to Smolenyak’s research of famous people from a click on the toolbar’s “celebs.”

Michelle Obama’s family history is included and now Smolenyak has revealed more interesting data about her. The third great-grandmothers of Michelle Obama, who was Melvinia Shields, and Meghan Markle, who was Martha “Mattie” Henderson, were both living in Jonesboro, Ga., population 4,677, when the 1870 U.S. Census was taken. Read details at

Remember veterans

Following the Civil War, Congress authorized the president to purchase grounds to be used for the burial of this country’s veterans. Fourteen cemeteries were established that year. Since then, more than 3 million Americans — including veterans from every war — have been buried in national cemeteries.

The National Cemetery Administration’s website at provides links to information on these cemeteries. For example, one can click on “Illinois” (or go to and be taken to a page with this state’s cemeteries, including addresses, phone numbers, and website links.

Select “grave locator” from the list on the left and conduct a search for a specific veteran. For example, a search for Albert Porter, one of my great-uncles who served in the Civil War, resulted in a list of several by that name, including mine at the Danville National Cemetery. Further details include a gravesite location, a map showing that grave section, driving directions and complete contact information.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration maintains 136 national cemeteries in 40 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldier’s lots and monument sites.”

Genealogy cruise in 2020

Dick Eastman will be one of the hosts/speakers at the 7-night Genealogy Cruise to Bermuda and Newport, RI scheduled for July 19-26, 2020. Complete details can be found at

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter has touted the advantages of a cruise over a “normal” conference (comfortable seating, wonderful food, interesting ports of call, etc.) “Early booking amenities such as shipboard credits, beverage packages and pre-paid gratuities may be available when booking.” Call cruise consultant, Herb Tinley, for information: (800) 959-SHIP or (239) 275-1717.

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing