Category: Announcements

Family History Survey Results

A couple of months ago I set out to gather more information about the general level of interest in family history by creating a short online survey. Unfortunately, I could only coax 18 people into taking the time to complete the survey. For those of you who did respond, thank you very much!

I’m not sure that these results are particularly valid due to the small sample size, and also because of issues such as respondent bias (I posted the survey to Geneabloggers and the Association of Professional Genealogists and assume that most people who answered the survey are probably already involved in genealogy in some way). Also, I’m no statistician. There may be a multitude of other reasons to ignore these results. But, for what it’s worth, this is what we learned.

Age and Gender (78% response rate)

Four out of the eighteen respondents chose to skip the two questions about age and gender, so only 78% actually responded. Of these, about 79% were women and 21% men; 14% were between the ages of 40-49, 43% were in the age range of 50-59, and 43% were age 60 or older.

Knowledge of Respondents’ Own Families (100% response rate)

Most of the respondents (83%) knew the names of all eight of their great-grandparents, 17% did not know the names of all eight. Every respondent knew the country of origin of their immigrant ancestors, although 29% did not know in what year their ancestors had arrived in their new country. Not surprisingly perhaps, 89% wanted to learn more about their family history.

Family History Research (100% response rate)

Most respondents (66%) agreed or strongly agreed that they would prefer to research their family histories themselves. The remainder, 33%, disagreed or strongly disagreed they would like to research their family histories themselves. 78% have already started their family history research, 11% said they planned to start researching their family history in the coming year, and 11% said they would not start researching their family history any time soon. Of those who have started their family history research, none considered their research completed, half indicated that they were satisfied with their results so far, 27% did not know where to look next, and 60% indicated they had hit a brick wall in their research.

61% said they would be willing to hire a professional genealogist to help them find research resources. 44% said they would be willing to hire a professional to help them organize the research they had already conducted. Only 35% felt it would be worthwhile to hire a professional to examine and verify their research results.

DNA Research (100% response rate)

Exactly half of people in the survey indicated they would like to use DNA testing to learn more about their family history. 17% had no interest in this type of service, and a third weren’t sure if they would be interested in using DNA testing as part of their family history research goals.



As I’ve indicated already it’s a bit difficult to draw any absolute conclusions from this survey. However, the age and gender data do support other studies about genealogy that I’ve mentioned in previous posts. It’s encouraging as a genealogical professional that most people would be willing to hire a professional to help with their research in some way. However, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in hiring professionals for organizing, examining, and verifying research results. That is a finding I find a bit disturbing, when I think about some of the questionable family history research results I’ve seen on sites like

I’m not sure if these findings would be true in a larger population sampling, but they do seem to indicate that people don’t mind paying for help in finding additional resources in particular. I think it’s also not surprising that people would prefer to carry out their own family history research. It’s a hobby; why wouldn’t they? Professionals, this might be something to think about when considering what services you can offer.

If anyone would like the raw information in Excel format, please feel free to contact me at, and I’ll be happy to forward the data to you.


Genealogy Hobbyist Survey


Surveymonkey (Photo credit: cwasteson)

I have done more than a bit of research to try to find meaningful (freely available) statistics about who is into genealogy. Sadly, I’ve found very little information on this subject. What I’m curious about is how much people know about their own families before they get into the hobby, how old they are, and whether they are male or female. I think this would help a lot of researchers out there, as well as providers of online genealogical resources. So, I’m asking everyone to support the hobby (and the business) of genealogy by completing a 10-question survey on SurveyMonkey created by Pearce Heritage Research. Please share this survey with as many people as possible so that we can get the greatest number of responses possible.
The survey is available here: You can also access the survey from our website at:

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to complete this survey! I will share the results in a few weeks.

Wall of Remembrance

(Photo source: Library and Archives Canada)

Pearce Heritage Research Associates supports the

Canadian Wall of Remembrance Project

According to WOR:

  • A total of 152 Canadian Forces have died in Afghanistan with approx 1,442 wounded since 2002.
  • 125,000 Canadians have served in some 50 UN peacekeeping missions since 1949, with 116 deaths.
  • Canada sent 26,791 troops to fight in Korea in 1951; 516 died, 1,042 were wounded.
  • Over 1,159,000 men and women served in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War (1939-1945); 44,093 lost their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded.
  • Over 600,000 men and women enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914 -1918) as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. Of these 66,655 were killed and another 172,950 were wounded.
  • The South African War, 1899-1902, is a key event in the military history of Canada. It marked the first occasion for which Canada dispatched troops to an overseas war. A total of 7,368 Canadians and 12 Nursing Sisters served in South Africa. Of these, 267 died and 252 were wounded.

Please visit their website today to learn more and show your support:

We say “thank you” to all our military veterans.

A Little Booke of Blackbeard, Ye Infamous Pyrate

The book I wrote for our Kemptville Pirates Day event is now available at the Pearce Heritage Research Associates website. You’ll find it at the bottom of our Links page at:

You’ll learn some interesting facts about Blackbeard the Pirate. I also look at some of the legends about Blackbeard, and provide you with some links to additional resources, including primary sources, to learn more about one of history’s most infamous buccaneers. The free ebook contains a complete transcription of the chapter about Blackbeard (Edward Teach) from Captain Charles Johnson‘s 1724 book.

There is no charge for this ebook, however, if you like what you read, please like us on Facebook and follow us here on WordPress. I still have copies of the original print version if anyone is interested. Contact me using the Contact Us section of the PHRA website.

Enjoy! Ahoy, avast, and all that!

Kemptville Pirate’s Day

Pearce Heritage Research Associates will be attending Kemptville’s 2nd annual Pirate’s Day on Saturday, September 15, 2012! The featured pirate this year is Blackbeard. To commemorate this event, PHRA has produced a 56-page booklet about Blackbeard the Pirate, aka Captain Edward Teach. The booklet will be available at the event, and we will make it available on our website at in PDF format after September 15.

We invite all our friends and clients to attend this day of family fun, magic, music, and more. Meet Captain Jack Sparrow! Meet Blackbeard and sign up for his crew to receive your certificate as an official crew member!

Visit the official website of Kemptville Pirate’s Day to learn more!