There are lots of blogs out there to help you learn how to do family history research. This blog lets you watch our progress as we roll the Canadian Genealogy Survey out across the country. We'll also track developments in research on family history. It's a bit of a twist, but we hope you'll find something of interest. We welcome your comments.

If you haven't taken the survey yet, you can find it at:

Sunday, 18 December 2011

CSI discovers genealogy

It seems that genealogy is appearing everywhere in pop culture these days....  Did anyone else see the CSI episode (Genetic Disorder) this past week featuring genealogy?  As always on that show, a somewhat convoluted storyline opened with a dead genealogist Doc Robbin’s bed. 
It turned out another case the genealogist was working on had uncovered some unpleasant pasts. To solve the case Greg, one of the younger CSI investigators involves the partner of the dead genealogist in a search through her partner's case records and eventually to the source of the mystery.  In the process we get introduced to a dedicated and able genealogist who quickly gets to the bottom of the mystery by doing what trained genealogists do best; establishing a line of descent that leads to the killer.  As a by product, she also ends up getting the young Greg hooked on his own genealogy.
You can see a brief discussion of how the episode was developed by way of a blog posting by the writer at:

Can anyone remember another instance where a genealogist was featured in the plot of a popular TV series? 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Is anyone else out there following the cartoon character Betty as she begins the process of uncovering her and her husband's genealogy.  You can follow it at:  It looks as if she is following the step process of first establishing what you can know from immediate relatives.

Friday, 2 December 2011


As we were working down to the final days of the survey we thought we were making reasonable estimates that there might be 2400 completed surveys.  Imagine our surprise and excitement when we received the figure yesterday of 2955, well over five hundred more than we expected.  It is all wonderful and will be exciting to get into. 

The Otttawa Citizen got in touch with us last week for a story about the blog that got delayed until this afternoon in its on-line edition.  It has that old estimate, but you might find it interesting at:

Thursday, 1 December 2011


When and how are we going to share the results of the survey?  It will take a few weeks to get a complete data set that will permit detailed statistical analysis from our survey provider.. 

We have three strategies for sharing the results with you:

1.       We hope to make our blog the primary vehicle for the release of broad-based findings regarding such items as gender, age and location, etc.  As we go along we will share more and more of the findings here.  So if you are not followers yet, it might be useful to become a follower in order keep up with the project via the blog.

2.       Scholarly analyses of material in the survey will take somewhat longer.  We are committed to giving papers at a number of upcoming conferences; the first of which is the Atlantic Canada Studies Conference slated for Saint John, N.B. in early spring 2012.  Following on that, we hope to publish some of the survey results in various historical and consumer research journals and perhaps in some of the genealogically oriented journals and magazines as well.

3.       Several genealogical societies have enquired about having us visit with them in person to share the results of the survey.  As time and finances permit, we hope to accommodate as many of these as possible.  But we have basically run out of funding for the project at this point, so we would have to be quite creative in meeting some of those opportunities.  Where possible we will visit in person, but we will also endeavour to incorporate as much as possible on our blog.