Faces of NextGen: Meet Melanie McComb

Pic 1Melanie McComb, 31, New York

Why genealogy? In college I was assigned a project in my genetics class to research my family tree to review medical history. I started to hear more of the family stories and I was hooked, particularly about my paternal grandparents. They died when I was young so I don’t remember much about them. When I had the funds to purchase a subscription to Ancestry.com, I dug in and started finding out as much as I could. That was three years ago and now I do genealogy every chance I get! I feel a connection to my ancestors every time I find out more about their lives.

What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made? I found my great grandmother’s declaration of intention documentation which included the name of the city in Romania she lived as well as a picture of her! I had never seen a picture of her before. It also included her birth name as well as my great grandfather’s name.

What are you working on this week? I am helping several adoptees locate their family by reviewing their DNA matches and completing mirror trees. For my personal tree, I’m re-reviewing my oldest ancestors to see if I can find further records to keep going further back.

What’s the number one secret to your success in genealogy? Change up your approach when you can’t find a particular record or ancestor. Try another website, ask for assistance in a genealogy group, post on message boards, contact DNA matches, etc. 

What are we most likely to find you doing when you’re not researching family history? I love to travel, spend time with friends, and binge-watch Netflix.

Anything else you’d like to share? I will be starting my blog showcasing the research I have completed on my family tree. I’ve learned so much since I started and I want to use that advice to help others. I’m also hoping it will serve as cousin bait to help my relatives learn more about our family history. Please follow me on Twitter to keep posted on when the first blog entry is ready!

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.