Faces of NextGen: Meet Madam Ancestry

Madam Ancestry, Georgia

What five words would you use to describe yourself? Family-oriented, Inquisitive,Determined,Humorous and Committed

 Why genealogy?

Why not genealogy?! There’s always something exciting to be discovered when doing genealogy. I will never understand how people can spend so much time following other families but don’t know anything about their own family. Genealogy is the story of what makes you who you are! I aim to learn everything I can learn about my story and strive to keep family history alive.

 What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made?

Every time I make a discovery I think it’s the coolest! BUT…if I had to pick just one…I’d say it’s discovering the story of my 2x Great Grandfather. I went from not knowing his name, to discovering a fascinating chain of events surrounding him murdering his wife! He spent the rest of his days in prison and (according to newspaper sources) is buried on the prison grounds. His story was very shocking and unfortunate, and would also make a very good screenplay! I was able to obtain a copy of his prison ledger from the early 1900’s and that was definitely a surreal feeling. Everything was there except his mugshot, so I’m still on the hunt for that!

 What are you working on this week?

Preparing to resume client work and working on new features for my blog http://madamancestry.blogspot.com/.

What’s the number one secret to your success in genealogy?

Simply sticking with it. All the answers may not be found in one day or one year. We’re all eager to find answers but you come to a point where you realize finding those answers takes time. It’s ok to take a break sometimes and regroup. I’ve had moments where I’ve hit a brick wall with one ancestor, so I took a break from that one and focused on another instead, or I’ll go back and review the things I’ve researched. And it’s always beneficial to keep learning along the way – workshops, webinars, lectures, ask questions, and don’t forget to follow others in the genealogy community. No matter how much we know we can always gain new insight and inspiration from these resources.

 What superpower would you want to help you uncover your family history?

 Can I have two?

  1. Time travel, because I love the thought of just randomly popping in on ancestors at any given time like “Hey, I’m your family from the future! You may as well tell me what’s going on now because I’ll find out anyway through countless hours of research and DNA testing!”


  1. I would be the person who somehow saves the 1890 Census!

*Genealogy world erupts in a thunderous applause*

What are we most likely to find you doing when you’re not researching family history?

When I’m not doing family research, I’m still doing family things. Most things that I love, I love to do with them. What can I say? Family is my lifeline. Periodically I escape to write, try out new recipes, or rock a karaoke session (smile)! I love to laugh and enjoy life with the people I love.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to urge people to get involved in their family history now. It’s important to ask questions while you have relatives who are still here to give you the information. Also, never throw out family history; this includes pictures, personal papers, family heirlooms, etc. Those things may not mean anything to you at this moment but may be the key to answering family questions down the line. If you don’t want the items or don’t know what to do with them, contact me and I’ll help you find a safe place to preserve them.

Find Madam Ancestry online at www.madamancestry.com

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.