Faces of NextGen: Meet Katie Welka

Katie Welka, 31, California

What five words would you use to describe yourself? Creative, dedicated, introspective, passionate, whimsical.

Why genealogy? I read over fifty Nancy Drew books in my youth, obsessing over mystery stories. When I started researching my grandfather’s adoption, I fell in love with the “real-life mystery” aspect of genealogy and was hooked.

What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made? I solved the eighty-eight-year-old mystery of my grandfather’s adoption, uncovering the identity of both of his birth parents. He was adopted by his birth father’s sister!

What are you working on this week? I’m starting a genealogy business. This week, I’m creating some sample reports, one of which shows how I proved Ancestry’s “We’re Related” app was incorrect in suggesting a Sicilian fisherman’s grandson was the second cousin of baseball star Joe DiMaggio.


What are we most likely to find you doing when you’re not researching family history? Working on my mystery novel, crocheting, scrapbooking, or hanging out on the California coast.


The NextGen Genealogy Network is made up of young genealogists with diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Faces of NextGen showcases 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.