The MyHeritage Interview Series: genealogist Pablo Briand


MyHeritage genealogy blog interview seriesPoliticians, stay-at-home dads, academics or businesswomen…they all know the value of family and the joys of staying in touch with them. But what is on their family photos? How often do they call their mother and what celebrity do they secretly admire? Get ready to find out through the MyHeritage interview series!

It only takes a photo, a conversation, a story, to awaken the genealogy investigator in us. Pablo Briand knows this from his own experience. He set off to inquire about his own roots with the help of technology and Internet tools, without which he may not have become the genealogist he has been for almost 20 years.

Combining his interest in technology and genealogy, Pablo hosts his project on a blog called Gen Briand, where he writes and sheds light on genealogy related topics, rather than just providing historical data. He wants to help fellow genealogists bring their records alive and provide information that can let them draw the living context of their ancestors.

He also keeps a website depicting the origins and story of his family, which goes back 500 years.

Pablo is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he has lived in Miami, USA, for the past eight years. He has French roots, which is why his family website is in French, as well as Spanish and English. There’s no doubt he’s a man with a passion for genealogy. This is what he told us:

How did you get involved with this project?
Years ago, I received some familiar information and a genealogy tree from my father. Trying to confirm all that was recorded on there, I – surprisingly – found that a great part of that information was not exactly very accurate. Then, I started to investigate it as if I was magnetically attracted to doing research. I never could stop doing it.

What is your favorite family photo?
The oldest one, no doubt. An excellent daguerrotype of my great-grandmother, Julie Marie Kerny, a photo from 1876. It’s also very expressive.

How international is your family?
Very international, indeed. Besides Argentina and United States, I have kinship with people in France, Luxembourg, Saint Pierre et Miquelon and Halifax, in Canada… and every once in a while I find someone else in other countries.

How do you think technology impacts family?
In both good and bad ways. Fast communication is essential, nowadays, and all this tech-advancement allows people to stretch hands along the world. That’s nice. But in other aspects, like the video games contaminating children’s health, with serious consequences, it is not very helpful.

How does your family use the internet and what do they use it for?
The question should be: what they do not use for? Every day, it has more and more applications.

What MyHeritage feature do you like most?
It’s a very active social network, and is always up to date with the news on genealogical topics.

What famous person would you like to have in your family and why?
Sincerely, I do not have that secret desire. This question reminds me that I’ve published a note yesterday on my blog referring to Australian criminal ancestors. I’m a supporter of the people who dare to expose all these kinds of embarrasing ancestors while others try to hide them. I have among my ancestors “French seigneurs”, which means noble landlords, corsairs and notaries of the French Navy. But, how could I know, between them, who were better people than the others, despite their titles or positions? I think we need to go beyond that in genealogy: to expose everything, what is good and what is not so acceptable: it’s the only way that genealogy will be a modern, proactive, efficient discipline. On the other hand, I feel affection for the people who dare to show their hidden family sides.

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  • Gustavo Briand

    July 21, 2009

    I am very proud of my Father, also, proud & happy the world can understand were are they coming from in an other context, reader than just a vague cloud from the past.

  • Neil Johnson

    April 14, 2012

    Hi Briand Family. I belong to the Briand’s of L’ardoise Cape Breton on my mother’s side and am currently working on a book of my family’s history. I plan to visit St. Malo in 2014 as part of my research. I appreciate all the information that you make available and it has been a great help to me in my research. Bravo!

  • Laurent Briand

    July 18, 2015

    >>Allow me to introduce myself, I am Laurent Briand.
    >>I am very proud of your work, Pablo. my dear cousin. >It is much more extensive than the informations that i have, but I too have traced our roots to 1550-1539 , to our dear ancestor, Alain Briand.
    >>All of the names or dates i have , they are the exact same as yours and other family members documentation I have seen as well.
    >>It would seem that we are the descendants of some very special people.
    >>My name is Laurent Briand, I am a descendant of Pierre Francois Briand (1706), and Renee Marchand, like you.
    >>Our dear father Celestine is a brother to your dear father, Georges Cyprien.
    >>Only a handful of us ever made it back to canada alive,
    for permenant. I am descended from Celestines (m. Isabelle Beaudry. ) son Francois (Francois-Celestine) who was m. to. Francoise Orlie. They had a son Louis Francois, who married Rosalie LeBlanc. and they somehow obtained a chance to have land in Canada (Harvre Boucher, Nouvelle Ecosse) , leaving St. Pierre-Miquelon and from him comes, >>Charles, Augustine, Charles, Aimable,Warren,Laurent ( c’est moi)!.>Our family lives in Canada have been difficult, my branch suffering many tragedies, the worse being the death’s by Fire of Augustine and his wife Julie Girroir by fire in 1884 on their farm house.
    >>Several of the children also died, but Charles survived and I carry his name and the name of all my fathers, and family, with great pride and honneur.

    It is very strange, but you Pablo look extremely similar to both I and my Father Warren , as younger men. We embrace you and all of yours, as brothers and sisters, which you truly are.

    -Laurent Briand, Moncton, Nouvea Brunswick, Canada. 18-Juillet-2015