Faces of NextGen: Meet Beth Wylie

Beth Garison Wylie, 39, Oklahoma

What five words would you use to describe yourself? Focused, determined, traveler, excited (about NextGen!), and family oriented.

Why genealogy? I have always loved history. I majored in it in college. I feel that genealogy makes history more relevant and personal as it connects you to the major and not so major events that shaped the world in a way that a book never can. Also, my grandmother was very interested in genealogy and she passed down that love to me.

What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made? Every month it seems I make the next “coolest” discovery! I suppose that a few of my ancestors were some of the earliest founders of this country, at Jamestown and New Amsterdam.

What are you working on this week? This week I am working on the mystery of my husband’s Wylie line. The story in his family is that his great grandfather was adopted by Scottish immigrants around 1900, but as his great grandfather has been gone many years and never spoke about his origins, it has been difficult to verify. I made some headway this week with census records, a passport application, some city directory listings and a tombstone photo. Now just waiting on a social security application to confirm his parents (adopted or not) are who I think they are. Once I have that, I will request his birth certificate.

What’s the number one secret to your success in genealogy? Patience. A distant cousin once told me that, “Ancestors will let you find them when they want to be found.” Sometimes when I hit a brick wall, I walk away. Either they aren’t ready to be found, or I need to rethink my approach.

Anything else you’d like to share? I am so excited to be involved with NextGen! I wish this group had been around in my early twenties. It is wonderful and inspiring to be involved with other young genealogists!

The NextGen Genealogy Network is made up of young genealogists with diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Faces of NextGen will showcase a different member of our community each month. If you would like to be considered for an upcoming feature, simply complete our questionnaire and submit a selfie.