Genealogy is a popular hobby in America. And it’s not just older people signing up to research their past.
Amateur genealogists are growing by the thousands each year, thanks to services like Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, 23andme and more.
If you are wondering if you should start a genealogy hobby, we absolutely think you should.
A Genealogy hobby gives you things to talk about at family barbecues, makes you use your brain and allows you to be a detective. It’s also low-cost and can inspire travel and in-depth offline research.
Here are some other reasons we think Genealogy makes a great hobby.
11 Reasons Your Next Hobby Should Be Genealogy
These are our top ten reasons for considering genealogy a great hobby for anyone.
1. Common topic at family barbeques
Want something to talk to your great Aunt Lizzie about that doesn’t involve dentures? Get into Genealogy.
No one else will be as fascinated about your family history as your own family!
Wow them with facts about your great great great great Uncle Tom who battled the Oregon Trail to a new life.
2. It’s relatively low-cost
Ok, you might want to treat yourself a membership to an online family tree service or do an Ancestry DNA test but you aren’t required to do that in order to start a genealogy hobby.
Genealogy can be a super low cost hobby. There are loads of free genealogy courses and webinars available online. If you are a member of your local library, you might even be able to access all the paid resources via your library card, for zero cost.
We also list the best free genealogy websites for research here.
The biggest cost will be in your time, but we think it’s totally worth it.
3. You get to be a detective
Online family tree makers and services are only as good as the data they are provided by other members. That means you can’t always trust the hints linked to your account.
The exciting thing is you get to be a detective to ensure the data is correct.
You might need to go hunting through online databases, public records, books and even call your great-grandmother to piece together vital clues.
4. It can be as 3D as you want it to be
You can bring your genealogy hobby if you want to give depth to the research. Interesting ways to deepen your research include road trips to historical sites, graveyard visits, museum research and more.
If you have children who you want to engage with your research, getting it off the screen and into the real world can be an effective way of getting them interested.
5. You’ll be joining a huge club
There is a rumor that genealogy is the second most popular hobby next to porn (not sure I’d call that a hobby but OK) followed gardening.
I personally doubt this is true, but there are enough genealogy societies and clubs to make the statement that it is popular amongst it’s fans, and once you start researching, you’ll be joining a large club of genealogy fans around the world.
6. It’s a lifelong passion
Putting together a family tree is not a quick pursuit. It requires patience and time.
You won’t get this done quickly, and the best thing is you don’t need to.
A genealogy hobby can be pursued throughout your life and will evolve as technology advances to make putting a family tree together easy as pie.
7. You’ll improve writing and communication skills
Writing and communication are vital parts of the genealogy process.
You’ll spend a lot of time emailing, writing short reports and communication with potential family members so you’ll definitely improve your writing and communication skills.
8. Themed travel
Genealogy travel is a growing industry with more and more people interested in traveling to the birthplaces of their ancestors.
For most of us, this means travel to England, Ireland and Europe, to see how our ancestors lived before they sailed to the New World.
9. Sense of belonging
Putting together a family tree can give you a huge sense of belonging, especially if you are estranged from your immediate family or perhaps have no living relatives.
As you start to make connections with long lost cousins, you’ll discover you are a one small part in a huge history which can be very comforting.
10. To bring joy to your immediate family
On a personal level, finding out my family had lineage to the Mayflower was an amazing discovery.
As a history nut myself, I was probably more excited than most in my family but there were some who showed a special interest and began their own genealogy journey.
11. You can turn it into a profitable business
That old adage “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” could certainly ring true for genealogists.
Your days could be filled with uncovering mysteries, reuniting lost family members and helping people find closure.
We believe a genealogy pastime is a worthy pursuit, we hope this article has helped to convince you of the same.
Related: 11 Reasons Why Genealogy Is Bunk