Meet your NextGen Leadership Team – Kristin Britanik

Name: Kristin Britanik
Age: 32
: Pittsburgh, PA

What is your role at The NextGen Genealogy Network?
Outreach Coordinator

How did you hear about NextGen?
I heard about NextGen through Twitter when the group was calling for blog submissions on bridging gaps between generations with genealogy. I was lucky enough that my entry was featured!

When did you first get interested in genealogy?
In graduate school, I studied architectural history and did a lot of archival research. I had free access to an account to help with creating house histories. I found I was way more interested in the people who lived there instead of the actual buildings I was supposed to be researching.

Do you have a specific area of expertise or interest?
I enjoy debunking family myths. On my blog, I have a series called “Is your Granny a liar?” where people send me their family legends, and I do research to try and find the truth. It’s not always possible, but I’m always amazed by the amount of information that can be found and how there are usually seeds of truth to family stories.

What is your favorite type of genealogical record?
I love probate records. I especially like using extensive ones with room-by-room inventories of the estate. I think that level of detail really tells you a lot about a person and can illustrate their lives in ways that other record sets can’t.

If you could meet any ancestor, who would it be?
I’d like to meet my 2nd great-grandmother. From what I have heard from my family, and what I’ve seen in the records, she was a strong and independent woman who looked out for herself and her children. She came to the United States from Belgium by herself at the age of 40 to be with her son. I’d also ask her who is my 2nd great-grandfather because it’s my toughest brick wall.

Are you involved in any local societies/organizations?
I’m a member of the Western PA Genealogical Society in Pittsburgh.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new genealogist?
Be determined and don’t be afraid to question old and established research. Sometimes things you think are true are actually what is preventing you from breaking down the brick wall, so never stop looking for new evidence.

Do you plan on becoming a Certified or Accredited Genealogist in the future?
Yes, it’s a long-term goal of mine. Right now I still have a lot of work to do before I’m ready though.

Where can we find you online? (FB/Instagram/website/email etc)
You can read by blog at and find me on Twitter & Instagram @deepgenes