Genealogy is the Second Most Popular Hobby in the U.S.

number 2Is genealogy your favorite hobby? You aren’t alone! What once was a hobby pursued by royalty and the ruling class has become one that average people can easily partake in. It is rather interesting to consider the reasons why genealogy is so popular today.

According to USA Today genealogy is currently the second most popular hobby in the United States. What’s the most popular hobby? That would be gardening.

The article doesn’t specifically state why those two hobbies are the most popular out of all the hobbies that people in the United States are currently doing. When you think about it, though, there is a connection. Genealogy and gardening are two hobbies that are often enjoyed by people who have retired. The “Baby Boomers” are at retirement age right now, and there are a whole lot of them!

Genealogy websites are the second most visited category of websites on the internet. What’s the first most visited category of websites? That would be the ones that are “adults only” or “not safe for work”. That type of subject matter seems to consistently garner a lot of fans. It is rather impressive that the genealogy websites are in second place in this unofficial “popularity contest” of internet content.

One thing that has helped people to discover a new interest in genealogy are the genealogy related television shows. “Who Do You Think You Are?”, a show that combined genealogy research and the excitement of taking a peek into the lives of celebrities, was extremely popular. The show helped put genealogy right into people’s living rooms via their TV.

Another thing that has increased people’s interest in genealogy were the direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits. One of the most well known brands came from 23andMe. Originally, these type of tests were intended to supply genealogists with both the ancestral history and the medical history that their genes held. Today, the emphasis has moved to the genealogical data, only.

It cannot be denied that one of the most influential factors that has caused people to want to research their family tree are the various genealogy websites that can be found on the internet. Everything is now at the new (and seasoned) genealogist’s fingertips and can be accessed from the comfort and safety of one’s home.

There was a time when genealogy research meant a walk through a cemetery or hours spent in the records archive of a courthouse. Both of those locations could be far from where a given genealogist happened to live. The push to get as many records as possible online is incredibly helpful, and welcoming, to people who are thinking about taking up the second most popular hobby in the United States.

Image by Emma Craig at Flickr.

Related Articles:

The FDA has Ordered 23andMe to Stop Marketing its Personal Genome Service

Steps Along the Genealogy Path

Who Do You Think You Are?

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.