5    Nov 20116 comments

Genealogy: Why family research?

What are your reasons for pursuing your ancestors across time and space? What motivates you to gather information and preserve it for the future?

Nearly 1,400 individuals responded to a study of genealogists and family historians as a sociology professor undertook a survey of the membership of the Ontario (Canada) Genealogy Society.

Although Professor Ronald D. Lambert - of the University of Waterloo - undertook this study in 1994, its results, I believe, are just as relevant today as they were then.

In addition to questions on age, sex, national origins, marital status, employment, income, religious affiliation and other details, he asked two questions about researchers’ reasons for doing genealogy and what value they found in that pursuit.

One question sought to rank 25 reasons we pursue genealogy. Respondents marked the statements as important, fairly important or personally irrelevant.

The three reasons considered most important by respondents:

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