Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

New Zealand has the highest interest in Genealogy
Every so often, I take a look at Google Trends and look up various topics relating to genealogy. My first search this round was for the word "genealogy" as a search term. I found it interesting that both New Zealand and Ireland showed more activity searching for genealogy than the United States.  It is also interesting that all of the top five countries speak English. Searches for genealogy peak in about May and then drop off somewhat for the rest of the year. Here is a 12-month graph.

Google Trends takes the point of most activity or peak for any search and that becomes "100" and then any other activity is measured against the peak level. So this chart does not show the relative interest in genealogy compared to other subjects, but just the activity as compared to itself. Here is the long-term chart.

If I take some random topic, such as football for instance, here is what the long-term graph looks like.

You can easily see the seasonal interest in this particular sport.

Now, what happens if you compare the large online genealogical database/family tree programs? Here is the graph for

Interesting that its peak of searching interest was in 2015. Now, here is

Here we go with peaked back in 2010 which likely corresponds to when the website was just gaining traction in the United States.

Now, with peaked back in 2007 and was exclusively in the UK and other related countries.

How do all the companies stack up? Here is a chart of all four for comparison.

It appears that is living on its past glory days. Recently, both and have shared about the same interest but neither or have reached their levels. What this chart does not show at all is the phenomenal growth of as a company worldwide. Currently, has over 91 million members, a number that far exceeds any other genealogy-related company. I surmise that those who are involved in these programs don't spend any time at all looking for them online; their users already know who and where they are located.

Here is another indicator of the cyclical nature of genealogy searches. This is a search for #RootsTech, the large genealogy conference.

I can't imagine what that little blip back in 2004 was, but the rest of the searches are predictable and regular.

So, for this go around, it looks like searches for genealogy have leveled off in a sort of background way. One more search is interesting. This one is for "genealogy websites."

The peak here was in 2010, which appears to correspond to the peak for and was also the peak for Interesting.

Oh, I thought I should show the chart for as a search term also. shows the same 2010 peak but has another peak in 2013 that seems to correspond to the peak for #RootsTech that year. That's all for now for this update.


  1. Good post. Thanks! Have you considered looking at Google terms for genealogy in other languages, such as genealogie in French? It would be interesting to compare.

  2. Very illuminating post! Thanks for compiling the data.

  3. Very interesting James! Thank you!

  4. Keep in mind, almost a quarter of Canadian genealogists are French speaking and Google the term, "généalogie." Adding the French equivalent of "genealogy" would increase Canada's numbers. :)