Genealogy 101: Why The Surge In Popularity

Have you caught a glimpse of the new NBC show on TV called “Who Do You Think You Are?”, the one that features various celebrities wanting to find out where they come from. This show would never had seen the light of day, if it weren’t for the popularity of genealogy.

Genealogy is the study of where you come from, in other words – your ancestors. Research via public records is required in order to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Which is exactly what genealogy is, a giant history puzzle that is scattered about and located in myriad places.

Each week on Who Do You Think You Are? a different celebrity signs up to find an old relative that has gone missing without a trace. The celebrity then literally goes on a wild goose chase all over the world, wherever the public records take him or her to grab a piece of the puzzle. Each piece brings them closer to unraveling the mystery of the missing relative and it’s quite fascinating to watch. Throughout the journey, they uncover many secrets and previously unknown information about their families.

Which brings us to the question. Why has the field of genealogy taken on a recent surge of popularity?

  • Ancestry.com – Ever since sites dedicated to finding and preserving “the family tree” sprung up in the late 90’s, there has been an increase in the topic of family history. Ancestry.com is perhaps one of the better known and most established sites on the topic of genealogy and is the go to place for those who seek to find and create their family tree on the web. This site single handedly is responsible for the sheer interest and demand for family life history.
  • Who Do You Think You Are? – The popular TV show that airs once a week on NBC follows one celebrity and his or her quest to find out more about their ancestors and their family tree – has also fueled interest in all things genealogy. The show travels all over the globe in search of history which is fueled by public record information and what you think you’re going to find is sometimes not what is expected. An informative, entertaining and captivating series.

Have you taken a recent interest in your family tree? If so, what online or offline resources have you used and what has been your experience so far. Weigh in below in the comments.

Genealogy is an interesting field with an air of mystery surrounding it that holds one in suspense throughout the journey. Whether you’re seeking a long lost relative, are doing a school project or simply have a passing interest in the field, lucky you – as genealogy is here to stay.

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Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.pbgeeks.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.

7 comments

  1. Hey Praveen,

    I’ve never watched that show but have heard about it. Personally, I could care less about celebrities and where they came from.

    My uncle researched my Mom’s side of the family over ten years ago and did their tree. My Dad’s side of the family was researched years ago and we actually have a bound book on that family history. So I know where both of my family trees are from and about most of my ancestors and luckily, I didn’t have to do any of it.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…What Is Posting On Purpose For ProfitMy Profile

    1. Hi, Adrienne:

      Nice that you were able to find your tree and get answers to your family history, this is what everyone wants to know.

      Thanks for you comment.

      Cheers!

  2. Interesting Praveen!

    I agree with Adrienne there as I’ve never heard about the show earlier, nor would I really bother much about finding out the family history of celebrities.

    But yes, I think we all would love to know about our own ancestors for which my grandfather had made a family tree that my dad now carries forward, so that works well for us. However, we never really get to know the roots or the real origin until you find ways to go more deep within.

    Loved your sites given and I would surely be checking them out too. And is that your family photo? Seems years old. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…3 Ways to Create Family Bonding TimeMy Profile

  3. Hi, Harleena:

    Glad you like the article and I guess not too many people have seen the “Who Do You Think You Are” show. It use to run on Friday nights on NBC which is not the most popular time slot, so I could see how many haven’t yet seen it.

    It’s interesting because the executive producer of the show is Lisa Kudrow (a/k/a Phoebe on Friends) and the very first episode some years back was about her family history and well let’s just say it – was a horrific tale of her Jewish ancestry. But very interesting and as sad as it was – I couldn’t take my eyes of it. It was VERY unexpected coming from the bubbly and cheery Phoebe. (as we all know her)

    Not all episodes are that depressing though. Lol.

  4. That giant history puzzle can be made a lot easier with the help of relatives, even those you don’t know about.
    The key to this is having your own dedicated genealogy website (living privacy can be set) which becomes a powerful path to getting others onboard, through searches, common access and collaboration.
    You also own your own data (as against on a subscription site), and solve the problem of having immediately updated data available to those you choose to give access to.
    Get your own genealogy website!

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