Howdy! Today we are going to deviate a bit from a full on travel conversation and delve into some genealogy with Lauren Gribble, founder and owner of Find Your Branch Genealogy. But don’t worry – I will absolutely tie it into travel! I have had such amazing conversations with Lauren that I needed you guys to meet her as well. So, you have ever wondered about your family tree, about where you came from and what your ancestors did read the conversation I had with Lauren below because she can help you dig through all of that and more!
Lauren: So, what I do in genealogy is I help people find out a little bit more about themselves by researching all their family history for them and also doing consulting as well. Now, what consulting really entails is that I teach you how to do your genealogy because you may want to do it through your own efforts, all by yourself without anyone’s help so that they you don’t take it over. That way you get to see it happen right in front of you and make it come to life through your own efforts.
Chief Travel Guru: That’s super awesome! So how does somebody get started and what are the moving pieces to kind of work with you? I mean obviously I can’t just go to you and say hi I’m Loulu can you find my family please? Lol!
Lauren: So basically, what I tell people when they come to me is that I need to know really the information that you have already on your family and that is so that the research isn’t going to be done all over again, that I’m not just simply rehashing what you’ve done. I need to have that and then just in terms of really what they want to know, and what do they know, how do they know this and what do you want to learn? That’s really the questions that I ask when potential clients come to me so that’s really what I need to get started.
Chief Travel Guru: Ok so now I’ve given you here’s the family tree that I know of so far. How do I get to learn about somebody famous in my family? Did somebody invent something? Maybe I’m connected to amazing people in history?
Lauren: Well, that’s actually a great question because I have a current client right now who is related potentially to a US president. So, when that happens, I really have to think, well is this really the truth because typically on Ancestry.com or another platform if I see a famous person in someone’s tree, I have to think well are they just kind of placed in the tree or is this really fact. And so, for this client I’ve told them if you really want to confirm this you have to do a DNA test. So, whenever I see somebody famous – no matter who it is – I always tell people that because DNA allows you to confirm from a biological standpoint rather than just saying well this person showed up and I’m just going to put them on my tree because I found another family trees that says they’re in it.
Chief Travel Guru: And that’s awesome and so there’s so many different DNA tests. There’s Ancestry DNA, there’s 23 and me, there is – what is it Family DNA or something like that?
Lauren: Yes! So, Family Tree DNA is one, My Heritage is another one and there’s another one called Living DNA so there’s plenty of them out there.
Chief Travel Guru: So which DNA is good?
Lauren: Well, the one that I recommend the most, just due to the size of the database, is Ancestry DNA. They have database testers, and they have a really good way of figuring out how you related to the matches that you have. So that is what I recommend the most.
Chief Travel Guru: That’s awesome! I know that my family did Ancestry DNA as well and at one point we actually downloaded our DNA results and uploaded them to the other sites so that if we had a family member that decided to do it on one of the other sites, we actually were able to go hey we’re out here! That way there is that great opportunity to be able to connect. And so, one of the reasons why I have Lauren here to talk about the genealogy piece of things is because there’s this whole segment on genealogy travel and so of course you know me I have to link everything to travel so here’s what I want to propose to you guys. As you guys are learning about your genealogy and learning about your ancestors why not walk in history? Why not go to where Lauren is helping you find all of these things that are coming up for you. As she’s guiding you, you’re learning, you’re uncovering, your being your own explorer, right? So, this is a travel as a living classroom. Let’s kind of get to that and we’re in our own classroom because we’re learning about ourselves! How great would it be to learn about all of these moving pieces?
So, with that Lauren, what else would you like to showcase and be like hey I want to help you explore, I wanna do this, what is the passion behind genealogy for you that you want to bring to others?
Lauren: Well, I should note a little bit of my history and how I got started in this. I got started in roughly 2015 because my dad was adopted, and I didn’t know anything about his heritage and of course neither did he. And from that experience of really only having two names – it was my grandmother and her husband, and I found out who my actual grandfather is through DNA, and I was able to get really far back into my tree. It really just comes from a desire to help people. Adoptees and non-adoptees but I specialize in adoption so that’s where I really like to focus – but I will do other cases as well. I’ve done everything from British, Irish, Mexican heritage and American heritage as well, so I am experienced in many different areas. And that’s really where the passion lies for me is really helping people really find out where they come from and just really helping them to discover through the paper trail and DNA where family comes from. I know not only from my own personal experience but from client experiences as well – the look on their faces when they find out where they’re from and you know with the fact that I’ve answered maybe a question that they’ve had about their family – that to me is the most fulfilling thing really about doing geology for a living.
Chief Travel Guru: We actually have Karen who joined us with a comment. Karen O’Connor is a guide in Ireland and she’s an amazing guide and she said I love to help people find Irish roots. So, you know there’s plenty of people on the ground and all around the world that when we give them this information as I build your itineraries, they’re going to be like oh and by the way since I’m local I know XYZ – so it’s just an extra added piece of all of this. And oh my gosh how amazing is that – you have a local who who’s going to be able to help you and you’ve got Lauren who knows how to find your genealogy – I’ll get you your tree or get you to get your tree. Then I build your itinerary and you’ve got amazing people here that all we want to do is wrap this up for you. Let’s go learn! Let’s go explore!
Lauren: Absolutely! That’s the best part about both genealogy and travel – that you get to learn
Chief Travel Guru: And so, and there’s so much culture that you will learn but all the food behind it too because all of our genealogy always has some food behind it! And as you all know I love to eat! And I enjoy going into different countries and going oh what’s that and how does it relate to the history of food. Imagine learning some of the history of food with your own personal history. And depending on how far back we can trace – I mean specially if you’ve got Irish roots or anything along those lines – maybe you can go back as far as the Vikings because all that is Nordic.
Lauren: Irish ancestry is a little bit more difficult to figure out because at a certain point the records obviously aren’t there. I am not saying that it’s not possible, but it is a little bit more difficult.
Chief Travel Guru: And you know, as we started learning my family history, we found out my mother’s grandfather, so my great grandfather, actually came from Spain to Cuba. We didn’t realize how close it was and so we were like well my mother actually could qualify for a Spanish passport! So, believe it or not we’re still trying to figure all this out and I’m learning about these little, tiny towns in Spain that I didn’t know about and I’m like oh, gotta go figure that one out! So again, there are lots of those moving pieces and you know as people migrated from one country to another back in the day there were certain records that were done and ones that were not. During the time where my great grandfather married my great grandmother it wasn’t necessarily a true marriage the way we know it today with documents. It was a common law marriage and those aren’t documented anywhere it’s so hard to figure out all those moving pieces.
Lauren: It is, and you know some families are easy to figure out, others aren’t. It really depends upon the paper trail that they leave behind and when you get into Ancestry DNA and looking at your matches – what trees that they built and what documents that they have found. Just because another relative maybe researching another part of their family or the other side of their family – so every family is different. Everybody has a different paper trail and the things that somebody else finds in their family, you may not find. It all depends on the situation.
Chief Travel Guru: Yeah, absolutely so whether you’re looking for your family that’s indigenous or whether you’re looking for your family that is from the European old world – there is a way to find your family anywhere and so Lauren really gives you all of the tools that you need. And so, I highly recommend her – that’s why she’s here – she’s my girl! And at the same time, I want you guys to be able to take this journey – especially if you have children – you want to be able to give them that opportunity to learn their roots. Even if they are adopted children, you can give them your roots and you can find theirs, and then they can kind of go, you know what, I’ve got two family trees now that I can really enjoy and be a part of. That’s a great opportunity!
So, Lauren as we wrap up is there anything that you’d like to tell our viewers today?
Lauren: Well again thank you for having me and if you’re interested in doing genealogy in whatever family it is – whether it’s your family, your spouse’s family, if your kids are adopted their birth families or whatever family that you have an interest in and you need help with it, I’m more than happy to help you. You can reach out to me on my website findyourbranchgenealogy.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m located in Austin, Texas and I can work with anybody that throughout the United States.
Chief Travel Guru: Awesome so just because you start in the United States doesn’t mean that you’re limited to being in the US – you can work globally.
Lauren: Yes, that’s correct!
Chief Travel Guru: This is a global adventure and I think that we should take this on! Let’s take the globe and wrap it around our hands – it is a small world after all! Thank you so much for joining me Lauren and talking about genealogy! For more details on Find Your Branch Genealogy, it’s price points and more – contact your Chief Travel Guru! Until the next time…