Next Generation Genealogist Attends NWGS

How many times have you heard, “How can we involve the younger generation in our passion for genealogy?” Well, let me introduce you to Kellen Shoe.

Kellen and his grandmother Michele Heiderer.

I met Kellen at Wednesday’s Meet-and-Mingle at the Northwest Genealogy Conference. He’s just turned 17 years old and is going to be a junior at Arlington High School. And he’s passionate about genealogy!

Kellen’s interest in genealogy began about four years ago. When asked why he became interested in a field not usually associated with youth, he responded that he wanted to know who he was. His mother had never talked too much about her family history, but did write down what she knew. With that information, along with DNA results, Kellen started searching and researching. He can now trace his roots back to Colonial America, coming from England to Virginia and Missouri as early as 1607. He’s full of facts, dates, relationships, some of it a tangled web of children born out of wedlock, half siblings and other delicate family matters.

Kellen is the proud owner of original family letters, some describing the complex relationship of his 2x great grandmother and 2x great grandfather who never married. He’s also got old photos including daguerreotypes. His next big research hunt is to find the half siblings of his 2x great grandmother. With the help of DNA testing, he’s optimistic he’ll find some answers.

While Kellen’s interested in becoming a mechanical engineer, it’s pretty safe to say, he’ll stay interested in genealogy. A future genealogist in the making.

3 comments on “Next Generation Genealogist Attends NWGS

  1. Debbie Golding says:

    I hope this trend continues!!

  2. We can all encourage the next generation by offering a youth (13-17) FREE CONFERENCE ADMISSION with a paid patron. We’re doing this again next year for the NwGC2018 Conference.

  3. Marline Shoe says:

    Kellen is my son, and his father, grandparents, and I are so proud of his dedicated interest in our family history. He has learned so much from my mother, Michele, and has become quite astute and accurate in his research. He has even completed research for two very dear family friends. Ironically, he discovered that he and his father are related to both of them! Go figure! You can imagine the excitement around our houses!

    As for carrying on this tradition to future generations, I’m sure there are many volunteers who go into elementary classrooms and teach students how to fill out a simple family tree. Offering a short packet for students to take home and share with their families would be a another fun option. I teach 4th grade, and I’m sure that your excitement will spark a lifelong interest in history in many of our students. I encourage you to get involved. Remember children are our future, and everyone can help encourage them to be lifelong learners! Cheers…

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