Ancestry Survey Reveals Americans Know Little About Mom's Past

Ancestry, the leader in family history, released survey findings that revealed Americans may have a blind spot about what their parents’ lives were like before parenthood. In fact, only 37% are familiar with their mother’s life before having them – yet, an overwhelming majority of moms (79%) are willing to share their stories.

Despite this lack of generational storytelling, most Americans (79%) want to know more about their parents’ lives before them, but their kids haven’t asked because they think their parents don’t want to share (23%) or they simply haven’t thought to ask (22%). Now, with new Ancestry tools that spark meaningful generational conversations and provide a way to preserve mom’s memories, everyone has the power of storytelling at their fingertips.

“Storytelling is our obligation to the next generation,” said Crista Cowan, Corporate Genealogist at Ancestry. “Records, family trees, DNA are the foundation of family history research, showing us snapshots of our ancestors’ lives and relationships between people – and Ancestry’s newest storytelling tools also allow us to share even more detail about what makes each of us, us. By adding photos and audio recordings of our family stories, memories and legacies can be preserved forever for generations to come.”

Ancestry is encouraging everyone to learn more about who mom was before them, and to discover and preserve her untold stories using its new innovative features:

Storymaker Studio: A new feature in the Ancestry app that easily allows users to create bite-sized stories form their family history and share them within the Ancestry community and on their personal social media channels. Now with Storymaker Studio, it’s easier than ever to turn those stories, combined with personal family memories and heirlooms, into engaging, sharable content. Users can also record or upload audio of themselves and others telling family stories – in their voices – to share with family and preserve for future generations.

DNA compare: People can now see a side by side comparison of their ethnicities and communities with DNA matches, as well as non-matches who have shared their AncestryDNA results with them.

When it comes to what Americans want to learn about their parents, they’re most interested in pre-parenthood adventures (52%), romantic relationship (48%) and rebellious phases (45%). Some respondents were surprised to learn things like a parent was born on a boat from Italy, faked their own death, hitchhiked across the country, composed music, performed magic, received top medals during WWII, and more.

Starting May 1, everyone can also give a gift moms will cherish long after Mother’s Day. Begin unlocking even more family stories with deals on AncestryDNA, for sale for $59 (originally $99); AncestryDNA + Traits, on sale for $69 (originally $119); and Ancestry Gift Membership, up to 30% off.

Survey Findings

In a comprehensive look at America’s knowledge of their parents’ lives before parenthood, a new OnePoll survey commissioned by Ancestry revealed the following additional information:

We know Little about Our Mom’s Life Before Kids, Yet She’s Vital To Our Upbringing

Less than half of Americans (37%) are familiar with mom’s family history / past.

Yet most Americans (83%) say their mom raised them the most growing up, and the majority of respondents say they feel closest to their mom out of any relative (36%), compared to dad (29%).

There’s a Lot We Don’t Know About Our Parents

When it comes to details about our parents’ lives before they had kids, only few Americans know about what music they listened to (19%), what they struggled with growing up (14%) and what they wanted to be when they grew up (13%).

As adult children, more than half of Americans wish they new more about their parents’ happiest moments (57%) and most valuable life lesson learned (53%).

Most parents in America (79%) think they’re cooler than their children think they are, especially Millennial parents (85%).

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