Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gen Y – Genealogists Completely Connected

The term Gen Y identifies individuals born between 1976 and 2001. Totally connected to technology, they have grown up with email, the Internet, Google and all the different social media sites. This generation is a great boon for the future of using technology for genealogical research. Genealogical societies need to understand the Gen Y members to encourage them to be a part of the ongoing search for more genealogical information.

The big question is how to stimulate their interest. Genealogical societies have to look at what motivates Gen Ys. What do Gen Ys look for when they do genealogical research? According to D. Joshua Taylor (, “Gen Y is motivated by the game mechanics of genealogy, having been raised with video games. Similar to video gamers, genealogists play within their own online communities through genealogical societies, social media and even large-scale indexing projects, like what happened when volunteers indexed the 1940 census. Genealogists like to win the game, progress to the next level and knock down the brick wall when they make a new discovery.”

1 comment:

  1. I have a Gen Y niece that I'm trying to get ready to take over the reins from me. One thing I'm doing to try to spark her (and her younger siblings') interest is to create a blog where I post stories about various ancestors from our family tree as well as providing tips and tricks about how to find more information, the research techniques I use, etc. I'm hoping to have a full arsenal of tools for her to use, including links to various online databases.

    Whenever I stumble through a brick wall in my genealogical research, I write up a blog post and share my discoveries with her, and the rest of my family, on Facebook and on my blog, and hope that my enthusiasm might rub off on them:)

    I'm in my late 40s, so I have plenty of time to keep on searching, and I hope to leave them with a huge family tree with each branch researched back as far as I can possibly go so that most of the work will have been done for them. I'm also gathering as many scanned images of documents and old family photos and including them in my family tree files online so that they're not lost in the dusts of time.

    It's not impossible:) We just have to get them excited about the "quests."