Megan Smolenyak

genealogical adventurer and storyteller

Megan Smolenyak is a real life history detective who loves to solve mysteries. You might have spotted Megan or her handiwork on Top Chef, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Faces of America, Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, PBS and NPR. Her news-making discoveries include uncovering Michelle Obama’s family tree, revealing the true story of Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island, and tracing Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall, Ireland. Formerly Chief Family Historian for, she also founded Unclaimed Persons (a volunteer group that helps medical examiners find next of kin). Megan's celebrity family tree research is often featured in TV shows and magazines and includes Stephen Colbert, Joe Biden, Prince, Bruno Mars, Betty White, Jimmy Fallon, Katy Perry, Cory Booker, Beyoncé, Ken Burns, Jon Stewart, Richard Blais, Susan Sarandon, Pink, Emmitt Smith, Josh Groban, Tom Colicchio, Martha Stewart, Brooke Shields, Lisa Kudrow, and many others. She is the author of six books, including Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are? (companion to the TV series), and conducts forensic research for the Army (over 1,100 repatriation cases to identify soldiers from past conflicts), coroners, BIA, NCIS and the FBI.