Megan Smolenyak’s “Honoring Our Ancestors” newsletters always include good news about her research, as well as other interesting reports. Her recent issue includes a link to a video that is sure to brighten your day.

Three-year old Emma Sophia of Ireland sings “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tear,” the song Brendan Graham wrote about another Irish girl, Annie Moore of Ellis Island.” (Smolenyak’s research proved that Annie Moore was the first immigrant to enter Ellis Island.) Enjoy: .


Smolenyak’s newsletter also calls attention to a collection of stories from the 1918 flu pandemic as gathered by a librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles. Read them at (Are we “walking in our ancestors’ footsteps?”)

Genealogist Mary Harrell-Sesniak has searched through old newspapers around the country to find letters written by children during the 1918 flu pandemic. Enjoy these letters from 100 years ago at .


The genealogical seminars at the conference called RootsTech 2020 can still be attended. Webinars are video recordings of seminars — thus enabling anyone who couldn’t be there for the original event to observe the presentation. View some of the RootsTech 2020 webinars, free, at For example, there is a free webinar titled “German Research for the Everyday American.”

Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter recently had a not-genealogy article for anyone “stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.” He lists “10 free video chat apps … videoconferencing options to keep in touch with family, friends and your workplace.” Read his article at


Anyone whose ancestor was born before birth records were mandatory should attempt to locate a “delayed birth certificate” which may have been filed in order to obtain a passport or other legal document. Finding such a record involves some research challenges, and is detailed in Lisa Lisson’s interesting article at The author also notes, “Delayed birth certificates provide additional information that an original certificate does not.” (Don’t be intimidated by all the website’s special “offers.”)


Tom Tryniski has been digitizing millions of pages of newspapers in his home and his collection now surpasses that of Chronicling America, which is sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment of the Humanities. His first newspapers were from New York, but now include the rest of the country and Canada and go back to the 19th century. To read more about this exceptional gentleman, visit Conduct a search (free) of his collections at


Have you ever picked up a book and checked for an index, and if it had none, put the book down? Or put it down if it did have an index and the index did not include the surname being researched? It might be appropriate to select a name in the text and look for that name in the index to determine the comprehensiveness of that census. Read more index tips in Donna Przecha’s article at

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

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