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How Did You Get Into History or Genealogy Poll

Here are the results of our 13th Unlock the Past poll - How did you get into history or genealogy? 116 people voted indicating a huge range of things which triggered their initial interest - "other" scored the most votes. Over half started after family discussions, continuing a relative's interest, from family records or other family initiated events.

Pathway                                     # votes         % voters

  • Fair or expo                                     0                   0.00
  • Enrolled in a course                           2                  1.72
  • School project                                  5                  4.31
  • Study at school / uni                         2                  1.72
  • Who Do You Think You Are               2                  1.72
  • Family records                                 18                15.52
  • Research history milestone                 4                  3.45
  • Family discussion                             28                 24.14
  • Continued relative's interest             14                 12.07
  • As an LDS member                           1                   0.86
  • Read a genealogy magazine               1                   0.86
  • Search for name online                     3                   2.59
  • Haley's Roots book / TV series           2                   1.72
  • Parade Magazine                              0                   0.00
  • Other                                           34                  29.31

Other pathways mentioned:

  • 40 years ago tried to fill in chart in my new daughters baby book and just kept going .....
  • Foster child looking for parents
  • Attended my grandmother's funeral
  • I have always been interested, however became active in researching after going on an organised walk of my local cemetery, Bangalow NSW, where my great, great grandparents are buried
  • Expo 88 in Brisbane
  • Started during Bicentennial year 1988
  • 1988 - Bi Centenary Year got me interested
  • Saw a "tree" in a book in my teens and decided I wanted one
  • I thought my family contained some unusual surnames and it would be fun to see where it went. Then I was introduced to a researcher who was excited and so dynamic that I was well and truly hooked!
  • Family stories
  • Family reunion
  • Found old photos and information
  • Trying to recontact family members connected to my father in law
  • Was given some research done by someone I didn't even know existed (not on my direct line)
  • Saw my great-uncle's name in a newspaper
  • Newspaper article on family
  • Met long lost relative and discovered more relations
  • Hearing stories from my great-great aunt at my grandma's funeral and wondering if the fantastic tale was true
  • My grandmother's refusal to speak of or allow her father to be spoken of
  • My grandmothers journal and photo albums
  • Read my Grandmother's half finished life story and wanted to find out more - then I was hooked
  • Grandparents not speaking about their past because of WW2
  • Researching my grandfathers boxing career
  • Needed to know where our family came from
  • Interested since teens
  • Visited Family History Library in Salt Lake City
  • Discussion with/information from friend
  • I have been interested since I was a young child
  • Joined local genealogy group
  • Personal impulse
  • Wished I had my friend's school project
  • My dad gave me a copy of GSP and that's where I started
  • I started looking for my father's family because he knew nothing about his own father; I found quite a bit of information for him before he passed away at the end of the first year after I began
  • Researching in Land Titles Office

Where the voters came from

  • Australia - 108
  • United States - 5
  • Ireland - 1
  • New Zealand - 1
  • Unknown - 1



How Did You Get Into History or Genealogy Poll - Boxing interest

In the poll a researcher commented that he/she started by researching her/his grandfather's boxing career.

I too am researching a person's boxing career but without success. Would it be possible for my email address

to be passed on to this researcher in an attempt to get some ideas/leads for researching?


Thank you for your assistance,



Poll - how one entered genealogy research:

Thanks for results and for publishing the 'other ways' people became interested.