15 November 2006

Trends in Online Genealogy

Back in June I posted about a declining trend for interest in genealogy as evidenced by the results of a Google Trends search on "genealogy". This is consistent with a widely reported decline in membership in family history and genealogy societies.

Here's more evidence. Rootsweb hosts many email discussion lists. You can browse the lists by month, and the total number of posts per month in each list is given. The decline in number of postings is clear for most of the larger groups.

ROOTS-L with 1010 postings in October has not had over 1200 postings since March 2004 and not over 2000 postings since October 2002.

GENBRIT had 2254 postings in October 2006. The last month it exceeded 3000 postings was March 2006, and the last month over 5000 was March 2005.

LONDON with 757 postings in October 2006, has enjoyed less than 1000 postings since July 2006, less than 2000 since March 2005, and less than 3000 since March 2002.

The exception is GENEALOGY-DNA with postings in an emerging area of interest. Eight months of 2006 have had more than 2000 postings, a level it first reached in March 2005. It first exceeded 1000 postings in March 2003.