Monday, September 10, 2012
Say "Family History", not "Genealogy"
Scott Phillips, Genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services, wrote an interesting article recently. He suggested three ways to get younger generations interested in Genealogy. His first suggestion was:
"Never use the word 'genealogy' with younger folks.
Use 'family history'."
WOW! ... It sounds so simple, yet I'm having trouble accepting this idea fully because the word "genealogy" is so ingrained in my brain that I can't imagine NOT using it. And some form of that word is in the names of most genealogical societies, right? It's all over the place! And yet, if I stop and think back, I can recall some empty looks on people's faces when I would mention the word "genealogy". And I also remember that sometimes -- to clarify -- I would say something like: "You know, finding your family history". Then these people seemed to better understand what I was trying to say. But I must admit, the very next time I was explaining what I do to someone, I went right back to saying "genealogy" without even thinking twice about it!
Scott conducted his own (unscientific, but intriguing nonetheless) experiment and concluded, yes, saying "family history" instead of "genealogy" really does work. He goes on to explain why he thinks it's a better word choice. So after analyzing my past experiences and reading his article, I am going to try it from now on -- at least when speaking with people that are younger. [This is sure going to take some getting used to. Guess I have some changing of my own to do!]
QUESTIONS: How about you? What do you think about using these different words with younger people? Think it will help to get them interested in "Family History"?
To learn more about Scott's reasoning and his two other ideas to interest younger generations, read his article here: Scott Phillips article
Phillips, Scott. "Getting the Younger Generations Into Genealogy in Three Easy Steps." The Huffington Post (UK edition), posted 31 August 2012, (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/scott-phillips/genealogy-getting-the-younger-generation-invoved_b_1843709.html?utm_hp_ref=tw : accessed 9 September 2012).