Monday, 18 October 2010

Genealogy More Popular Than Sports

A genealogical myth that surfaces occasionally is that genealogy/family history is the most popular, or in some versions most rapidly growing, hobby. Hard evidence is scarce as 17th century census data.

Now Stephen Abrams has posted a blog item, rankings from a survey of a group of librarians on the most asked questions about hobbies.

One could question the inclusion of some of these items as hobbies, such as religion and spiritual activities. 

While genealogy is way down on the list, below many traditional hobbies such as reading, gardening, arts and crafts. With the exception of  exercising, walking and cycling, genealogy comes in ahead of sports of all kinds, both amateur and professional, which receive huge government subsidies.


William Bruce Hillman said...

I'm not convinced John. In all the time I have spent in the London library I have seen very few "jocks". In my earlier years when I played sports (football, baseball, hockey)I met very few librarians. This data I think reflects on who uses the library.

Ellen Thorne Morris said...

Funds for sports is the old bread and circuses to keep the restless from looking at government.
Everyone has some family curiosity but not all have the knowledge or opportunity to hunt for details. If there were benefits such as scholarships or Native American tax free status, the Family History centers would be mobbed.

Anonymous said...

Anne S. says," Why not combine the two? One can bicycle to the new Ottawa Archives along the cycle paths, run up the wide marble stairs at LAC two at a time, clamber down the ravine at St James Cemetery in Toronto or climb up onto haystacks as you visit the Saskatchewan family homestead."