Second Largest Hobby in America; Millions of Americans Do It Every Day
Congress Designates October as National Family History Month
PROVO, Utah, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Once considered less popular than stamp collecting or baseball card trading, family history research now ranks as the second largest and among the fastest-growing hobbies in the United States. To recognize the massive surge in popularity of tracing one's ancestry, Congress has officially designated October as National Family History Month. MyFamily.com, Inc., the leading network for connecting families with their histories and one another, today announced plans to participate in the celebration. The month will be marked with activities and specials on the MyFamily network of Web sites, which include Ancestry.com, RootsWeb.com and MyFamily.com, to give those involved in the pursuit of their family history the needed tools and resources to further discover, share and explore their family's unique heritage.
Senator Orrin Hatch credits the sudden explosion in popularity of ancestral research to technology. "With the advent of the Internet, there has been an explosion of interest in family history. An estimated 15 million Americans use the Internet each month to research their family history. Genealogy Internet sites are some of the most popular sites on the World Wide Web."
At family history sites like Ancestry.com, even the amateur historian can easily gather family history information on their home computers that used to take months or even years to put together. Even the amateur historian can trace the family back hundreds of years, searching thousands of free and subscription-based databases containing literally millions of names.
"Whether it's the thrill of extending the family heritage back a few more generations or the discovery that your family is related to royalty, family history is a trail that never ends," said Tom Stockham, president and CEO of Ancestry.com, whose site now hosts family history records containing more than 1.8 billion names.
Nearly half of these records are free to all Internet users. Ancestry.com also features historical maps showing the family's place of origin, and allows the user to create an online family tree and sign up for free genealogy newsletters containing the latest research tips. The site makes it easy to learn the basics of family research and provides tools for organizing and making sense of the data collected.
Some Fast Facts about Family History research in the U.S.
-- 60% of the U.S. population has expressed an interest in tracing their family history, according to a poll by Maritz Research
-- Ancestry.com is among the top five largest paid subscription sites on the Internet with over 850,000 paid subscriptions
-- According to Nielsen NetRatings, genealogy is the most popular lifestyle category on the Internet for older adults
-- Over 60% of Americans have embarked on a genealogical journey by discovering who their ancestors were and how various forces shaped their past
About MyFamily.com, Inc.
Ancestry.com is a division of MyFamily.com, Inc. MyFamily.com, Inc. is among the largest online subscription businesses, with over 850,000 paid subscriptions and more that 10 million people using its Web resources every month. A next-generation media company, MyFamily is focused on connecting families with their histories and one another. The company provides both free and paid subscription services through its network of Internet properties, which include: Ancestry.com, the number one source for tracing family history online; RootsWeb.com, recognized as one of the Top 50 Web Sites by Time Magazine, it is the oldest and largest free genealogy community; and MyFamily.com, the foremost provider of private family web sites. The Company also publishes Ancestry magazine, Genealogical Computing magazine, Ancestry Family Tree software, over 50 book titles, and databases on CD-ROM.
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