TV genealogist talks about family secrets, genealogy @ TR

Genealogist and television personality Megan Smolenyak will speak at Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch (101 Washington St.) Thursday July 8 at 6:30 p.m.

 Smolenyak, one of the researchers who appears on the NBC network’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”  and author of two books, will talk about “Cases That Made My Brain Hurt.”

 Recent episodes of the show have investigated the ancestry of such celebrities as Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Spike Lee and Emmitt Smith.

 The show personalizes the celebrity’s family history, uncovering secrets and long-lost relatives.  And along the way it records the raw emotions they feel as their stories unfold.

 Smolenyak, who has written a companion guide to the series, is a genealogical adventurer who loves to solve mysteries.  Since 1999 she has worn many hats in the family history world.  She created RootsTelevision.com and founded UnclaimedPersons.org, a volunteer group that assists coroners and medical examiners.

 The program is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  For more information or to register check the library Web site www.theoceancountylibrary.org or telephone the operator at (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-0514.

 Copies of her books, “Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History” and “Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree” will be available for purchase. 

 The program is cosponsored by the Ocean County Genealogical Society and the Leisure Village West Genealogy Club.

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