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Posted November 24, 2011


Carleton Researchers Conducting Canadian Genealogy Survey

Ottawa – Calling all genealogy buffs: Carleton University researchers want you!

A team of Carleton researchers is seeking family historians to complete an online survey detailing how and why they conduct their genealogical research. This is the first national survey of its kind and aims to capture the effects of digitization and the impact of the Internet on family history research. Over 2,100 surveys have already been completed but the researchers are making one last push before the Nov. 30 deadline.

A multibillion-dollar industry, the practice of genealogy is growing exponentially and the Canadian Genealogy Survey investigates who is doing the digging.

“As a consumer researcher, I'm interested in learning more about the motivations behind doing family history, what form the 'finished' product takes, what resources people use and how that has changed in this new digital world,” said Leighann Neilson, associate professor of marketing at Carleton. “I also want to know how much money and time people are spending on this kind of research.”

“How does conducting family history research influence our idea of community?’’ asked Del Muise, collaborator and professor emeritus of history at Carleton.

“And how does doing genealogical research influence your attitude toward all other aspects of the past? In terms of identity, where you come from is important and how your family history relates to that identity is a determining factor in attitudes toward the past.”

Canadians researching their family history in Canada or abroad are invited to complete the survey, available at: here .

It takes about 20 minutes to complete and includes questions where respondents can share their experiences of conducting family- based historical research.

The researchers are blogging about their progress and will post the results on their blog: here.

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