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Erin Hill-Burns, PhD

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Erin Hill-Burns, PhD on Twitter
Erin Hill-Burns, PhD on Twitter




Genes & History


New York, USA

Tell us a bit about your genealogy/family history journey

I spent time as a kid seeing family history books, looking at scrapbooks and handwritten trees, and occasionally visiting cemeteries – getting to see a good bit of history already known about parts of my family. For nearly 20 years now, I’ve spent time doing my own research to expand that knowledge, gradually getting more careful and more thorough with my efforts. Over the past few years, I’ve furthered my genealogy education by reading blogs, attending conferences, and completing coursework: Boston University’s Certificate Program in Genealogical Research (OL25), the Advanced DNA Evidence course at GRIP (June 2019), ProGen43, and the Certification Discussion Group (Fall 2021). Moving forward, I plan to keep educating myself, keep practicing my own researching and writing efforts, and continue to share research findings, tips, and discussions with others as I can.

Favorite food or beverage

There are many things I enjoy, but I am rarely far from a mug of hot tea (or glass of iced tea).

Surnames of interest

Hill, Walker, Sterling, Jones, Wright, Noble, Hulbert, Vanderbilt, Fitzpatrick, Hearne, Doran, Mooney, Heaney, Rutledge, Henion

If you could meet one person from your family tree that died before you were born, who would it be and why?

My 3rd great grandmother, who apparently immigrated from Ireland to New York City before ending up in rural Delaware where she married my 3rd great grandfather and had a family. On top of the fact that she has been somewhat elusive in records so far, I would love to know more about her story.

Favorite place where you’ve traveled

One of my favorites so far would be Ireland, where we got to visit both an ancestral village of my husband’s family, and the cottage where my great-grandmother grew up. 

From a genealogy/family history research perspective, what would you have done differently?

I wish I would have spent time (and attention) as a kid talking to my older relatives about the ancestors and family stories they remembered. 

What are you currently working on and what’s next?

I’m working on digging deeper into the research for some of my ancestors, aiming to solidify some generational connections and to better understand them as people. I hope to develop some of these projects into parts of a research portfolio that could be ready to submit for Certification through BCG at some point. I’m also trying to engage more with other genealogy researchers, even virtually; I am getting back into blogging (somewhat) regularly, I enjoy interacting on Twitter, and I’ve started exploring the genealogy community on Instagram as well (@erinhillburns). There’s so much to learn from others!

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