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Internet Resources: Genealogy News

Americans' Fascination with Family History is Rapidly Growing

(Article from NGS Genealogy News)

A Full 73 Percent of Americans are Intrigued by Their Family Roots

PROVO, Utah, June 9, 2005 -- The popularity of family history is officially on the rise. That's the outcome of a recent poll by Market Strategies, Inc. (MSI), a national, research and strategic consulting firm and, Inc., the Internet's most popular and comprehensive family history research and connection resource. According to the poll, 73 percent of Americans are interested in discovering their family history. This figure represents a 13 percent increase over a similar Maritz Poll that was conducted in 2000, in which 60 percent of Americans said they were interested in discovering their family history.

Questions and Ancestors

Is there royalty in my roots? When and where did these family traditions begin? Who gave me my red hair and freckles? People have all sorts of questions about their family history -- and many unique motivations to explore it. Of the people surveyed, 65 percent said their interest is due to simply hearing stories from relatives. Thirty-five percent have had their interest piqued after attending a family reunion or family event. Talking to a friend, colleague or family member who was researching their family history got the ball rolling for 29 percent. And 25 percent of respondents became interested in family history after just searching for their surname online.

The Internet Makes It Easy

The Internet is fueling the growth of this popular hobby because it simplifies the process of finding information and connecting with individuals who share a common branch in their family tree.

"People are going to the Internet in record numbers in order to find, share and preserve their family history," said David Moon, chairman and chief executive officer of, Inc. "With more than 4 billion records online today and more becoming available everyday, MyFamily is making it easier for people to not only find their ancestors, but also discover the stories and details of their lives."

Digging Up Roots

Of those interested in discovering their family roots, 66 percent said they've discussed their family history with other family members. More than 35 percent have used the Internet to learn about their family history and almost a third (29 percent) have created a family tree. Some have taken their interest even further -- 15 percent of respondents have traveled to an ancestral hometown or country and 11 percent have written a personal or family history.

Many Americans simply want to learn about themselves and their family heritage. That's what 30 percent of respondents claimed. Some want to create a legacy to pass on to future generations (15 percent). And still others are enticed by the excitement of all they could discover (14 percent).

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