Posted by Ancestry Team on December 17, 2007 in News

In the spirit of the holiday season, we at were curious to see how much Americans knew about their own family histories. A national survey we conducted revealed some surprising findings, such as:

– 83 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are the most interested in learning their family history, compared to 35- to 54-year-olds at 77 percent and Americans ages 55+ at 73 percent.

– One-third of Americans cannot name any of their great-grandparents.

– Four in ten Americans know both of their grandmothers’ maiden names.

– Twenty-two percent of Americans don’t know what either of their grandfathers do or did for a living.

– Although America is known as a nation of immigrants, 27 percent don’t know where their family lived before they came to America.

– Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they are interested in learning more about their family history.

– Fifty percent of American families have ever researched their roots.

Source: zOmnibus Survey, MarketTools, February 2007

With the holidays just around the corner, there’s no better time to begin learning about family roots and creating lasting memories, especially as families gather together in celebration. Here are some ideas of questions to ask family members over the holidays to get to know them better.

Growing Up

– Where did you grow up?

– What do you remember about the holidays as a child?

Family Members

– Describe the personalities of your family members.

– Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?

Family Traditions

– Can you remember any stories that were told to you as a child?

– Did your family have any memorable holiday or other traditions?

Special Interests / Hobbies

– Did you have any hobbies when you were growing up?

– What kind of games did you play?

Courtship / Dating / Marriage

– Where did you meet your husband / wife?

– How did he / you propose?

Click here for other question ideas.

Most importantly, we at hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

1 Comment

  1. Ted Steele

    I am curious to learn about the methodology that was used to conduct the survey. How were survey participants selected? How many were contacted, and how were they contacted? Were the participants in the survey already subscribers?


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