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At GenealogyInTime Magazine, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to help people find their ancestors. This article furthers our mission with a ground-breaking study that provides interesting insights into the current state of genealogy.

Published June 2012.

It is difficult to find reliable statistics on genealogy. How fast is it growing? What are the most popular areas? Where is it headed? In this article, GenealogyInTime Magazine releases a comprehensive analysis on the field of genealogy that provides some thoughtful answers to these questions as well as several other related issues. The purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of how genealogy is progressing, where it is evolving and what this means for someone trying to find their ancestors.

 

Methodology

The focus of our study was genealogy on the internet. In many ways, the internet is the future of genealogy. The internet has reduced by orders of magnitude the traditional barriers people encounter (time, money and access) in trying to find their ancestors. This has allowed genealogy to be opened up to a much broader group of people who previously may never have been able to find their ancestors.

1887 Norfolk electoral roll

More genealogy records are coming online every year making it easier for people to find their ancestors.

A study that focuses on the internet also provides several additional advantages:

Quantifiable –Our study is based on traffic statistics provided by Alexa, the internet traffic people. These quantifiable numbers provide hard statistics and allow us to avoid reliance on anecdotal evidence (basically asking the how, what, when, where and why questions). For example: “Why are you interested in genealogy?” or “What are you favourite genealogy websites?”. These kinds of anecdotal surveys can be extremely powerful. They can provide great context. However, they cannot answer the broader questions about genealogy, such as how fast is the field growing.

Comprehensive – A proper study needs to look at a wide variety of genealogy sources. The GenealogyInTime Magazine study does this by encompassing all of the largest genealogy websites. Realistically, these are the sources that drive much of the future growth of genealogy. Specifically, our study focussed on the top 100 genealogy websites.

This study by based on the methodology originally developed and described in our article The Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites. The methodology was expanded and refined for this study. You may find it useful to (re)read the Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites article to familiarize yourself with the methodology and the Top 100 Genealogy Websites list.

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