News & Appearances


Maureen wins 2014 “Excellence-in-Writing” award from the International Society of Family History Writers & Editors

We are very pleased to announce that Maureen’ s genealogy column, History & Mystery: Perfect Together, which appears quarterly in Garden State Legacy magazine ( was recognized by ISFHWE, a long-time organization promoting the best in family history research and writing.  This year’s awards were announced at the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies held in San Antonio, Texas the last week of August.


Sunday, November 16, 2014 @ 2:30pm – Union Township Historical Society

Join Maureen for a book signing and program based on her new book  Jersey! Then . . . Again, a collection of 36 tales of New Jersey historic people and events: suffragettes, boxers, hurricanes, street gangs, hot air balloonists, con artists, politicians, inventors, women in the war effort, military heroes, the Titanic and more.  It all happened in New Jersey many years ago.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014 – 2pm-3pm – Frelinghuysen Arboretum,  Morristown, NJ

Maureen will present an interactive program based on her book Jersey! Then . . . Again – 36 short stories about interesting, quirky, authentic Jersey people and events from the early 1800s to the early 1900s.   Register at:


Sunday, September 21, 2014 – 11am – 4pm – Tale of Our Cities Book Festival – Grove Street Plaza, Jersey City

Meet Maureen as she participates in the 7th Annual Jersey City Book Festival.  There will be readings, book sales & signing and many fun activities for children as well.   Rain or shine, see you there!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014 @ 7pm – Morris Area Genealogical Society – Morris County Library – 30 East Hanover Ave, Whippany

City Records: Discovering the lives of our Urban Ancestors:  Join Maureen for a discussion of her resources and  methods for researching her urban ancestors in New Jersey in writing her books “Past-Forward” and “Young & Wicked”.   There’s always something new to learn even for those experienced in family history research.  Handouts will be provided.


Thursday, August 14, 2014 – Pequannock Public Library –  Jersey Then . . . Again!

Join Maureen for a lively discussion of many of the Garden State’s interesting, inventive, quirky, naughty residents of the 1800s and early 1900s — now long forgotten.   We all know about the enduring famous names of New Jersey like Thomas Edison, Frank Sinatra and Albert Einstein but what about the others who influenced NJ history or had their 15 minutes of fame long ago?  There are no people quite like Jersey people – then or now!


Saturday, August 2, 2014 – Somerville Public Library – Introduction to Genealogical Research for Beginners

Spend some time with Maureen getting the basics on how to start researching your family history.  Handouts will be provided and there will be a discussion of how to start using,, and more.


June 4, 2014 – Ocean County Genealogical Society“The Parent Trap”

Sometimes it’s not just the fear of unearthing family “skeletons” that deters us from family history research.  Instead, hurts, estrangements and disappointments occurring between living family members can give us pause or create a barrier to pursuing our ancestral story.  Maureen talks about this sensitive subject on a personal level and as related to others she has worked with and explains why discovering our genealogy is important –  just the same.


Jersey! Then . . . Again – Book Launch Party – Monday, May 5, 2014 6:30-8pm

Where:  Jersey City Free Public Library – 472 Jersey Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07302

Come out and join Maureen to celebrate the release of her new book:  Jersey! Then . . . Again

Maureen will talk about the interesting and quirky historic tales of  Jersey people and events in the book.  There’s no place quite like Jersey!


Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Lambert Castle, 3 Valley Rd, Paterson, NJ
Program by: Maureen Wlodarczyk
—The Parent Trap – How Issues with Living Family Members Impact Family History Research      


Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 2pm – South Amboy Historical Society Open House –  South Amboy Senior Center – 108 South Stevens Avenue

Join in the 2nd annual SAHS Open House from 1-3pm;  Enjoy an interesting exhibition of local history, old photographs, genealogical material and more.  At 2pm, Maureen will speak about genealogy, the Irish in South Amboy in the 19th century, and will have signed copies of her new book Jersey! Then . . . Again - described by a reviewer as “a ticket to a magical time machine” of New Jersey people and events from the 1800s and early 1900s.  Suffragettes, con men, sports and military heroes, politicians, street gangs, hot air balloonists, pyrotechnics, vaudeville, Titanic survivors, Irish boxers and more.  **************************************************************************

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 7pm – Hopewell Valley Historical Society     Pennington United Methodist Church, 60 South Main St, Pennington, NJ

Join Maureen for a genealogical adventure and the story of her 30-year search to discover her grandmother’s Irish roots.  While an Irish family story, it is representative of the diverse American immigrant experience that created our national melting pot.  Includes a Q&A period for genealogy research questions (including DNA testing for genealogical purposes) & genealogy tips and helpful handouts will be provided.


Thursday, October 10, 2013 @ 7pm – Sayreville Historical Society   425 Main St, Sayreville, NJ

I am delighted to be spending the evening in my hometown with the dedicated members of the Sayreville Historical Society talking about my search for my Irish roots and the greater story of 19th century Irish emigration to America.


Saturday, September 21, 2013 – Williamsburg Book Festival

I am very pleased to be a participating author and workshop presenter at the First Annual Williamsburg Book Festival taking place on Saturday, September 21 from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Williamsburg Community Building, 401 N. Boundary St., Williamsburg, Virginia.  I will be presenting one of seven workshops at the Book Festival:  Truth is Stranger than Fiction: Researching and Writing about Historical Events.  All events at the Book Festival are free.  Come out and celebrate the age-old tradition of storytelling, help promote the value of reading and the arts, and just have a good time . . . and please do stop by and say hi!  Find out more at:


Sunday, June 9, 2013 – BooksNJ2013

I am pleased to have been invited to be a participating author at the BooksNJ2013 Festival on Sunday June 9 from 1pm – 5pm on the grounds of the Paramus Public Library.  This is a fantastic event for book lovers in general and Jersey folks in particular.  Come out and meet local and nationally-known authors, help promote the value of reading, and just have a good time.  More information:  Hope to see you there.


Thursday, June 6, 2013 @ 7pm – Serendipity & Searching Your Family Tree

Pequannock Township Public Library -477 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Sometimes (often), the unplanned, unanticipated and seemingly random crossing of paths with new people opens doors to exciting new discoveries, long-term relationships and the gift of the achieving special genealogical wish-list items in the bargain.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013 – Presentation

Join Maureen for the following seminar offered through the Morris School District Community School:

Genealogical Journey of Discovery– The Search for Irish Ancestral Roots  (Noon – 1:30pm)

Join Maureen for a genealogical adventure and the story of her 30-year search to discover her grandmother’s Irish roots.  There will be a Q&A period for your genealogy research questions and genealogy tips and helpful handouts will be provided. ($15 – Location: Morris Plains Community Center)

Register by phone by calling 973-292-2063 or on-line at


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 – Fox Hills Women’s Club, Rockaway, NJ

In the ages-old tradition of Irish storytelling , Maureen will spend the evening sharing the story of  her second book, Young & Wicked, the true tale of 19th century young star-crossed lovers Willie Flannelly and Polly Sexton, each the child of Irish immigrants, discovered when Maureen was researching her own Irish ancestral roots.


Saturday, November 10, 2012 – Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society

11am  at the  Secaucus Public Library,  Secaucus, NJ

Maureen will speak about her newest  book “Canary in a Cage: The Smith-Bennett Murder Case,” the third in her trilogy of true family stories of the 19th century New Jersey.  In 1878, a Jersey City policeman is found bludgeoned and stabbed to death in his own bed, supposedly while his young wife lay beside him unaware.  Suspicion immediately falls on the wife and her suspected teenage paramour. Did a twenty-something Jersey girl and farmer’s daughter turn city-girl killer? Canary in a Cage is historical fiction based on the true story of Officer Richard Harrison Smith whose wife Jenny Woolley Smith was accused of his murder, arrested and faced the hangman’s noose along with a local boy hopelessly infatuated with her.


Saturday, September 22, 2012 – Tale of Our City Book Festival 

10am – 4pm        Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ 

Come to the book festival, meet Maureen and other NJ writers for book signings & readings in the park!


Monday, August 20, 2012 @ 7pm – The Genealogical Journey of Discovery

Pequannock Township Public Library -477 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Join Maureen for a genealogical adventure and discussion of her book Past-Forward, the search for her Grandmother Kate’s Irish ancestral roots and the surprising and poignant discoveries along the way.


Saturday, June 30, 2012 @ 11:30 am – “Turning Fact into Fiction”

Jamesburg Senior Center, 139 Stevens Ave., Jamesburg, NJ

Join Maureen at the meeting of the Sisters in Crime/Central Jersey for her talk about developing a mystery story based on a true crime – blending fact and fiction into an expanded tale using solid historical research.


Sunday, June 10, 2012  1pm – 4pm  – Macculloch Hall Historical Museum 

45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960 

Join Maureen for a book signing (books will be available for purchase) and tour the Museum and enjoy the major exhibit “Gone for a Soldier – Jerseymen in the Civil War” presented in collaboration with the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicenntennial CommitteeThe exhibit brings together about 200 objects from nearly thirty museums, historical societies, and private collections.  Notable objects in the exhibit are the infantry coat that George Thompson of the 15th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry wore the day he was wounded; and the historic drum, decorated with hand-painted patriotic motifs, carried by a musician in Company K, 12th New Jersey Infantry in famous battles such as Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.


Saturday, May 12, 2012 @ 10am – Westchester County Genealogical Society

Join Maureen for: The Journey of Genealogical Discoveries

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 600 Broadway (US9), Dobbs Ferry, NY


Tuesday, April 24, 2012 @ 7pm – Little Egg Harbor Genealogy Club


Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @ 7pm – Ocean County Genealogical Society

Ocean County Library – Toms River Branch – 101 Washington St., Toms River, NJ 08753

Join Maureen for a talk about turning your research into a written family history.


Monday, March 26, 2012 @ 6:30 pm – Morris County Library

30 East Hanover Ave., Whippany, NJ 07981

Join Maureen for a genealogical adventure and discussion of her book Past-Forward, the search for her Grandmother Kate’s Irish ancestral roots and the surprising and poignant discoveries along the way.


Friday, March 9, 2012 @ 7:30pm – Westfield Historical Society

    425 Broad Street, Westfield, NJ

Join Maureen for a celebration of Irish heritage and discussion of her book Past-Forward, the search for her Grandmother Kate’s Irish ancestral roots and the surprising and poignant discoveries along the way.


Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 7pm – Genealogical Society of Bergen County

     Ridgewood Public Library – 125 N. Maple Ave., Ridgewood, NJ 

Join Maureen for:    One Thing Leads to Another: The Genealogical Journey of Discovery


Saturday, February 11, 2012  @ 10am – Passaic County Genealogy Society

Lambert Castle ∙ 3 Valley Road ∙ Paterson, NJ 07503

Join Maureen for a discussion of her book Past-Forward, the search for her Grandmother Kate’s Irish ancestral roots and the surprising and poignant discoveries along the way.


11-24-2011 – Womens Memoirs awards Maureen first place in their “Gratitude is Evergreen” Writing Contest  for her essay:

The Angels of Sligo General


Maureen featured in Wall Street Journal article – 11-22-2011: 

-Read the article:


Tea & Tales of Olde Jersey City – Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 @ 2pm – 

 Historic Harsimus/Jersey City Cemetery Benefit                                                   

435  Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ

Join Maureen for a relaxing, warm cup of tea and a lively discussion of her years of genealogical searching that led to surprising, sometimes shocking and often poignant discoveries and led to the publication of her two books about life in 1800s to early 1900s NJ and NYC.  (Donations will benefit the restoration of the historic Harsimus Cemetery.)  For more information, call 201-707-0738 or go to


Book Festival – Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 –  10am – 4pm – Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ

Join Maureen and other local authors for the 4th Annual “A Tale of Our City” book festival, sponsored by the Jersey City Public Library.   Meet the authors, book signings and readings in a lovely park setting across the street from the Library (472 Jersey Ave, Jersey City).  Come over and talk “Jersey.”


Genealogy Talk & Book Signing:  Wednesday, May 25, 2011 @ 7 pm – Woodbridge Public Library:

Join others to hear Maureen talk about the how-tos of genealogical research and her own quest to find her Irish ancestral roots which led to her book:  Past-Forward: a three-decade and three-thousand-mile journey home.   Q&A and book-signing to follow.  There will be books available for purchase.   The Library is located at 1 George Frederick Plaza Woodbridge, NJ 07095


Book Review:     Genealogical Society of New Jersey –   January 2011:

Past-Forward “is an account of the family of Owen and Mary Flannelly of County Sligo, Ireland, focusing on their son William Flannelly and his wife Mary Lang who immigrated to Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey.  It is an excellent example of taking genealogy far beyond just names and dates, by including personal stories, summaries of the research process, and what emotions are uncovered in the quest for finding our ancestors.  Maureen Wlodarczyk does a superb job in illustrating her own personal journey in researching the Flannelly family – from seeking records overseas, the frustrations of searching through microfilmed records, and the joys of uncovering lost information.  This book is not just valuable to those interested in the Flannelly family, but anyone who has an interest in the journey of seeking their ancestors.”


-Web Radio Interview – Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 10pm - Maureen will be the guest on the Moebanshee Visionary Radio show.  The conversation will include genealogical searching, Maureen’s three decade search for her Irish roots and the role her intuitiveness plays in her life. 


-Book Signing – Saturday, October 9, 2010 (10am-2pm) – Join Maureen at the Hudson County Genealogical Society Event:

Come Home to History: Celebrating 350 Years of Hudson County’s Heritage History Fair

Location: Hudson County Community College
The Culinary Conference Center
161 Newkirk Street, Jersey City, NJ 07306

For more information about the event presentations, exhibits and workshops:


 -Interview with Maureen – The Irish Letter Blog


-Book Review:  4-29-2010 Westfield Leader:

Sayreville Author Moves

Forward By Sailing Into Past


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

 WESTFIELD – The pursuit of her Irish family roots took Sayreville author Maureen Wlodarczyk 35 years in time and three thousand miles in travel, but in the end, she discovered a family history that reaches back 200 years.  Ms. Wlodarczyk writes about her  quest in her book “Past-Forward: A three-decade and three-thousand mile journey home,” which is written as a collection of letters to her deceased grandmother, Kate Whalen.

Tracing her ancestral history, which the author began while her grandmother was living, was not easy, as Kate’s short childhood had held many disappointments.  Kate’s mother died young of tuberculosis, and her alcoholic father eventually placed Kate and her siblings into the care of various relatives while he joined the Army.

“When I repeatedly asked [my grandmother] about her childhood and her Irish roots, she reacted with surprise that I …would be interested, saying, ‘It was all in the past, and doesn’t matter anymore,’” writes Ms. Wlodarczyk in the introduction of her book. Ms. Wlodarczyk’s painstaking research on both sides of the Atlantic led to the discovery that Kate’s  great-grandparents, William and Mary Lang Flannelly, were married in Doonflin Upper, Skreen, County Sligo, on March 6, 1832, and subsequently had seven children.

In 1846, during the potato blight and Great Famine, the Flannelly family set sail for the United States on the packet ship, The Marmion.  They eventually joined a large population of Irish immigrants who had settled in Jersey City.

In addition to learning how Ms. Wlodarczyk traced the history of the Flannelly Clan, readers of “Past – Forward” will be treated to glimpses of life in the pre-Jersey City days when it was known as Paulus Hook, as well as interesting facts about the experiences of Hudson County soldiers during the Civil War. Ms. Wlodarczyk follows her family’s legacy up until 1935, the year of Kate’s father’s death.

“Solving the mystery of my grandmother Kate’s Irish family roots and discovering the multigenerational trials and tragedies that family experienced…has made my love, respect and admiration for her resonatewith the realization of how much our ancestors sacrificed and endured so that we might live,” said Ms. Wlodarczyk.

The book is well-researched, with references to documented historical sources. Ms. Wlodarczyk’s shares her experience as a genealogical researcher with others who are attempting to trace their family’s ancestry.

“I now make it a point to emphasize the importance of seeking out the oldest living family members, i n c l u d i n g extended family and even estranged family if you can get their cooperation,” she writes. “I can think of a hundred questions I could have and should have asked [Kate].”

In addition to her genealogical work, Ms. Wlodarczyk is a senior operations manager and consultant in the commercial real-estate financial-services industry.  She is also a hobbyist folk artist and painter, as well as an antique collector. She presently serves as an officer in the Flannelly Clan Organization, based in Dublin, Ireland. 

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