Faces of NextGen: Meet Murièle Gadaut

Murièle Gadaut, 45, France

What five words would you use to describe yourself? Curious (very!), Passionate, Stubborn, Independent, Imaginative

Why genealogy? Why genealogy…? Well, well, well… When I was around nine years old, my father used to be our village’s mayor. I loved joining him at the city hall where I spent my time flipping through the very old registers of births, marriages and deaths. I loved everything of it: smell, beautiful handwriting, and all those stories I could imagine… I suppose that my very first interest in genealogy comes from those beautiful moments. I have always been very curious about my family history, always asking many questions to my grandparents and great grandparents: they told me many stories about WWI, WWII, the way they used to live in the East of France, they showed me old pictures. It was fascinating to me and I always wanted to know more.

Then, when I was fifteen years old, I discovered in a book that “genealogist” was actually a real job and I decided to choose that profession. But unfortunately, I had not made the right school choices and could not apply to a History School as I wanted. I had read that Law was useful so I studied Law in France and Spain. I never forget about my initial project. Finally, to make that story short (!), after working as a Communications Director and travelling quite a lot, I jumped at the opportunity to become a professional genealogist in 2013. This is one of the best decisions I made for myself and my life. I just love my job and genealogy!

What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made? It was for one of my clients, an old man from Chile whose roots were in the south of France. He wanted to check if he had cousins in France and if this was the case, if they would know something about that common ancestor they had. Luckily, I found out he has cousins and could arrange a meeting in France. That was just extraordinary.

What are you working on this week? I am doing research on a Parisian actress named Geneviève Lantelme for a journalist planning to write her biography. More precisely, I am looking for descendants of her sisters with the objective to have access to private papers, documents or objects that belonged to their incredibly beautiful great-great-great-aunt. I also work for an American woman interested in learning as many things as possible on a painter – Julius Delbos – whose family lived in France. Both stories are just incredible and drive me to unexpected archives.

What’s the number one secret to your success in genealogy? Passion and curiosity combined together!

What superpower would you want to help you uncover your family history? I would love to be able to travel to the past and to meet some of my ancestors. I know, it is crazy!

What are we most likely to find you doing when you’re not researching family history? I am quite busy taking care of my family but when I can, I enjoy a lot watching TV shows on history or reading a good book.

Anything else you’d like to share? I am proud and glad to be part of the NextGen community. I would be very happy to get in touch with members interested in French genealogy.

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.