Digging into the past: Local student researches 15 generations of family history

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Kalin Wallpe

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Editor’s note: The Daily Reporter will feature our “Neighbors” occasionally, whether it be someone with an interesting hobby or profession, or a nonprofit group making a difference in our community. Here, 16-year-old Kalin Wallpe tells us about her 4-H project to research family history. Wallpe is a junior at Mt. Vernon High School and is the daughter of Glenda and Edward Wallpe. She won the grand champion award at the Hancock County 4-H Fair for genealogy and was recently recognized by a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for her research.

Daily Reporter: How did you get interested in genealogy?

Kalin Wallpe: When I started genealogy, I was in the third grade, and being that little, doing research all day was not at all my idea of fun. As I have begun to reach deeper and deeper into my family history and make connections with my older relatives, I have really begun to enjoy it because there is always something new to find and new people to talk to about.

DR: How many generations were you able to research?

KW: I have been able to go back further on my mom’s side than my dad’s, mainly because I have a great uncle who has helped me get really far back, but so far my research has taken me back 15 generations, not including myself.

DR: How did you research?

KW: I have been using Ancestry.com to find my research, but because Ancestry gives me any information it finds relevant, I have also talked to many of my family members to see if they can help me to clarify certain facts for certain people.

DR: What did you find most interesting about your project?

KW: I have found a lot of really cool things during my research, but I think the most interesting was something that I am continuing to look into. I have recently found a 12th great grandfather who I believe was in possession of a castle that was at one time used to house Mary Queen of Scots. I plan on looking more into this for this year’s project, and if I can find enough supporting evidence, I feel like that would be very cool.

DR: Did others in your family help you?

KW: I have a few great aunts and uncles on both sides, so I have received a bit of their help when it comes to the research. But when it comes to the assembly, my family is my biggest helper, as I have more pages than “War and Peace” to put in page protectors and into binders.

DR: What are your future plans?

KW: For high school, I plan to keep my streak of all ‘A’s or ‘A+’s, all year, for 5 years in a row. I have started to look at colleges such as Purdue, Rose-Hulman, and Nebraska for mechanical engineering, but no choice has been made yet.

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