The Canadian Genealogical Survey attempts, through a self administered online survey, to understand the nature of family history research and its importance for those who undertake to travel to and visit sites of genealogical resources as well as for those who do much of their work via the Internet. It asks questions about how people became interested in doing family history research, what sources they use for that research and what they plan to do with the results of their work. It collects some demographic information, to allow us to create a ‘profile’ of who is doing family history research in Canada today. We’ve also provided some opportunities for people to tell us about their experiences while conducting family history research. We estimate that the survey takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, depending on the extent of the answers provided.
The research project is funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and has received ethics approval from the Carleton University Research Ethics Board. We are not affiliated with any of the commercial genealogy databases or software providers.
The survey will likely have implications for the many museums, archives and local libraries that have seen an influx of visitors seeking information on their family’s history by gathering information on who is doing family history today and what resources they like to use. It may also be of interest to family history societies who are seeking to increase membership or provide new services to existing members. And individual family historians may be interested in learning more about how others are conducting family history research.
We’ve created this blog as a way of sharing the results of the survey with the genealogical community. Family historians, librarians, archivists and others interested in genealogy will be able to comment and offer opinions on the results. We also hope to publish our results in scholarly journals.
If you have any questions about the survey, you can reach us by email.
Associate Professor of Marketing, Carleton University
Emeritus Professor of History, Carleton University