Hey CNN, Where’s Family History?

Was just checking out the news on CNN and ran across a special section on leisure, spotlighting various pastimes. Now, I know that family history isn’t as widespread as say gardening, but I would have thought we would have garnered a mention somewhere. There is a top ten list of hobbies as selected by users in a survey, and napping comes in at number 7. I don’t know about you, but for me there have been nights where family history has come well before sleep. 😉

In the Find Your Hobby section, other suggestions were creating your own cleaning supplies, parapsychology, participating in archaeological digs (that one does sound fun!), and building a homemade liquid cooling system for your computer. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with these hobbies. I’ve made homemade cleaning supplies (although I don’t really consider it a hobby) and this time of year, any kind of homemade cooling system is welcome. As for parapsychology, I have some ancestors I’d really like to contact, but IMHO, family history is a bit more mainstream.

What do you think? I’d be interested to hear from you where you think family history ranks. Let me know in the comments section of this article.

16 thoughts on “Hey CNN, Where’s Family History?

  1. I agree, genealogy is my #1 hobby. But napping is #2. I prefer to cat nap in the day time, then work on genealogy in the evenings when my mind won’t stop anyway. LOL

    So I picked some of the genealogy things that WERE listed.
    #3 Photography (those cemeteries aren’t going to photograph themselves),
    #4 travel (got to get to that library somehow),
    #5 browsing the web (well okay, maybe just Footnote.com, Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com…)
    #6 Household projects (okay, so maybe they didn’t have entering 15 deeds and a will a household project, but I do it at home don’t I?),
    #7 Socializing (okay, if talking to the dead isn’t socializing, then what is? LOL),
    #8 reading (well, okay, proofreading. After all, what good is entering a will if it’s full of typos.)
    #9 Watching TV, (well who doesn’t like a good documentary on the History Channel?)
    #10 Listening to MP3 player (okay so perhaps Dear Myrtle and Dick Eastman weren’t what they had in mind)
    I also picked #11 Going to the movies (Okay I hate going to the movies, but my teenagers LOVE it, so if they want to head out to a movie on a rainy Saturday afternoon, they certainly aren’t going to mind if I cuddle up with a good probate file)
    See Genealogy really is all ten of the top ten!

  2. Very well put Teresa, thanks for your comment it made me smile.

  3. Very funny stuff! I guess all things do lead back to family history! 😉

    Thanks Teresa!

  4. This was obviously another inaccurate survey. Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobby/pastimes going. I Think they did not ask the right persons. As we older adults know, our younger family members are not yet aware of the importance of finding our roots and learning from the past. I am trying to encourage my younger family members to take an interest but it is not easy. However I see family researchers growing by leaps and bounds everywhere I look.
    I tend to agree with Teresa, all lthose hobbies, can in a humorous way, be related to ” Gene. “

  5. I live alone now, but have a kitty, a TV and a computer. I have no talents to speak of, cleaning gets done eventually, but I do spend hours in research for myself and for others. Genealogy is my reason for getting up in the morning. I cannot believe that there isn’t just one show regarding genealogy on a cable station. A station available on Dish Network. Because there is not usually any program on TV worth watching, I don’t turn it on till late in the afternoon. How I would enjoy seeing just one program, once a week, at least, on a station like HGTV or DIY. If they can put a needlework, rid your clutter, or scrapbook show on, why not a show on genealogy???
    Thanks for letting me air my gripe!

  6. I read just a couple of years ago that Genealogy was ranked as the #2 most popular hobby, second only to gardening. I’m afraid I don’t remember who did the survey but it was credible.
    I think I will google it and see what turns up.

  7. Genealogy is #1 in my life. Thousands others feel the same way, see how many genealogy websites there are.
    PBS used to show a genealogy weekly show, but haven’t run it for a long time.
    The Mormon Church had a genealogy show on their channel.
    Some history channel shows actually hit on genealogy during their programs.
    Genealogy IS the fastest growing hobby…..the genealogy community, ie magazines, websites, Ancestory.com, should be the ones promoting more shows on family history and developing TV shows themselves.
    Where are they?

  8. Teresa, your top 11 was very amusing. I would say you described a lot of us. As for a genealogy or family history themed show, I agree there should be at least one (if not several). After all, I can watch a show about decorating a very expensive cake or building a 5 foot sugar sculpture (even though I rarely use anything in my kitchen). I can even watch a bunch of guys build a motorcycle, even though I don’t ride & have never pumped gas (let alone anything mechanical). At least a genealogy show would be useful, since I work on that daily. Maybe we should start an e-mail campaign & show the networks how many people would be interested in the topic.

  9. I not only have genealogy as a hobby it is more like a passion. It becomes addictive and as Teresa pointed out, it takes over many aspects of our lives.
    England has their very popular show “Who do you think you are” and it seems that we should have one of our own.
    An e-mail campaign sounds like a great idea.

  10. The closest to a genealogy program that I have seen is “History Detectives” on The History Channel. I don’t watch it as consistantly as other cable programs I like; however, last week they researched a photo of a GAR group which had two African-American members. They were able to find a living descendent of one of the two and introduced him to the owner of the photo! It was a good program. I’d like to see more of that. Perhaps The History Channel would be the place to have a genealogy program. Actually, weekly would be great because then we would have time to absorb it and possibly use some of the tools they might show. Hey, Ancestry.com, what about it?

  11. I agree with Teresa, the top ten hobbies do connect back to family history in a humorous kind of way.
    I have to wonder about CNN and the other top channels, who does the surveys and who do they ask?
    I would rank genealogy right at the top. Years back PBS ran a family history series called Ancestors. But alas that series ended and they are now on the web at http://www.byub.org/ancestors.
    They offer many valuable tips on researching family history, and there are links to other websites.

  12. I, too, wonder who the pollsters asked about hobbies. Surely they were not talking about napping as a hobby? Where is genealogy,quilting,photography,woodwork, etc. Perhaps one of the reasons there is no choice of genealogy programming is that the program directors are 10-15 years old and cannot conceive of anyone wanting to know about ‘dead people’. History channel is the ideal spot for genealogy programming and Ancestry.com, Cyndieslist.com, Roots.com should all be interested in sponsoring such programing. Other possible sponsors (it is all about money, you know) might be book publishers, software developers, and tourist sites. “Come to Niagra Falls and see the sights and research your New York or Canadian ancestors”

  13. Genealogy helped my husband and I transition to retirement 10 years ago. He had no hobbies; I did, but our children wanted us to put our family lines in a book for them. So I started researching and since he did not have knowledge of his background, he joined me. Now we take vacations to other states and help each other in our research. Finally, we have an activity we enjoy together.


  14. I understand that Canada’s PBS equivalent has a program similar to History Detectives where viewers send in requests for assistance finding information on ancestors. It sounded to me like a marvelous show and I do wish the American networks or cable companies would take note.

  15. Check out HGTV’s show “If Walls Could Talk.” It isn’t exactly a genealogy show but certainly is interesting and touches on how people can really be rewarded with a bit of research!

  16. In England where I come from, Genealogy has become No.1 hobby, so much so, that the extremely popular T.V. show ” WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? ” is now planning its fourth series, and of course, with each airing, more people become interested.

    The General Register office where we send for copies of Marriages, Births & Deaths was absolutely swamped for months, when the show began and have since had to employ lots more people to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, just to keep up with sending out requested certificates. You could say it helped the economy.


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