What’s a genealogy know-how score? It’s a number from 1 – 50 that you can apply to your level of ‘expertise’ as a family history researcher. The higher the score, the more knowledgeable you are on the subject.
This quiz is designed to be fun, to give you a laugh and something to share with friends. But it’s also a wonderful way to help you identify areas where you can improve your research techniques and become a better family historian! Answer NO to a statement and you’ve found an area you might want to explore and improve on.
To take the quiz read each statement below. If the statement describes you then you get one point. If it doesn’t, you get zero points.
You’re going to need a notepad and pen, or an open notepad on your computer to keep track of your score (unless, of course, you have an awesome memory and want to calculate the score in your head).
Once you’ve added up your score, match it to the genealogy categories below to find out your level. And don’t forget to post your score in the comments!
Remember, this quiz is just for fun…it does not cover every important research topic (by a long shot).
Ready to begin? Here we go…
Remember, give yourself 1 point for every statement that correctly defines you.
1. I have an offline or online family tree that I place all of my information in.
2. I store all of my family tree information in at least two separate areas to reduce the chance of loss (ie online and on your computer, or on your computer and on a back up thumb drive or disk).
3. I use at least 3 separate genealogy resources on a regular basis.
4. I use at least 10 separate genealogy resources on a regular basis.
5. I feel confident using search engines like Google to look up new resources for family history research.
6. I know the important differences between a primary and secondary source.
7. I always make sure every single event in my tree is backed up with at least one credible primary source document.
8. I always make sure every single event in my tree is backed up with at least two credible source documents (at least 1 primary and 1 or more primary or secondary).
9. I never copy and paste other people’s information in to my own tree without carefully verifying each detail and gaining permission when required. I generally only use other people’s trees as a reference tool.
10. I never trust and repeat what I find online (in a tree, on a website or in an index) unless I know it is backed by a credible primary source or several secondary sources.
11. I am helpful to other researchers when I can and share my information when it is appropriate.
12. I understand what a wildcard search is and know how to use one to further my research.
13. I regularly add more than just names and dates to my family tree (ie occupations, family stories, images).
14. I have a research plan with clear goals and stick to it as much as I can.
15. I have been known to spend more than 4 hours at a time on genealogy research.
16. I have interviewed as many relatives as I reasonably can about their family memories and knowledge.
17. I know better than to believe everything I hear from my relatives.
18. I realize that there is great value in researching family stories, even if they seem unlikely and even if I turn up something completely different from what I expected.
19. I always take some time to look at the cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles of my ancestors to increase my likelihood of uncovering details.
20. When looking at a census record, I do not take what I see at face value but realize that census takers often made mistakes and that I should verify all details elsewhere.
21. I always check the census page before and after that which my ancestors are found on because I know relatives often lived nearby and their information can be very valuable.
22. I take my family history research seriously because I know that what I record, others are likely to believe and repeat in the future.
23. I forgot to do at least one chore today because my genealogy research was more important.
24. I have read several genealogy books written by experts.
25. I sometimes use social media to make family history connections and discoveries.
26. I know how to find free records online to complement any paid subscriptions I have.
27. I regularly do research offline, such as at a family history research center, library or historical society.
28. I have a safe in my home just to store old family photos and memorabilia.
29. I stay organized and set goals with a program like Evernote or Trello.
30. I already know the meaning of the terms Ahnentafel chart, PERSI, probate, soundex, gedcom and SSDI.
33. I’ve done genetic genealogy testing and understand how the results relate to my research.
34. I belong on an online or offline genealogy research group.
35. I only share family research information I have carefully researched, or I let the individuals who I share with know that the information may not be accurate.
36. I’ve done so much research I have developed at least 2 major genealogy pet peeves.
37. I regularly look to others who have more genealogy know-how than me for help or inspiration.
38. I know how to properly digitize and preserve my family’s old photographs or documents.
39. I have logged more hours on genealogy research than on any other hobby this week.
40. I know the difference between an original record and a transcription.
41. When researching ancestors I remember to check first and last name variations to increase my chances of finding a match.
42. I search out original records when they are available, rather than relying on indexes or transcriptions.
43. I can say honestly that I have more genealogy questions than I have answers.
44. I know which US census is the ‘missing’ census.
45. Dick Eastman is my favorite. blogger. ever.
46. I have taken a genealogy course or webinar to help me with my research.
47. I can read baptismal records (or other family history documents) in more than one language.
48. I am familiar with and regularly use updated genealogy research standards.
49. I’ve been doing genealogy research for more than 3 years.
50. To me, genealogy is more than just adding names to a tree, it’s about building an accurate, well-sourced family story for generations to enjoy.
That’s all! Now total your score and see what category you fall into below!
1-10: The Genealogy Newbie — you’ve just begun your research but you’re having fun and are eager to learn!
11-25: The Brave Family History Adventurer — you’ve successfully made it past the early stages, and are brave enough to continue into the unknown…
26-35: The Family Tree Climber — you’re not quite to expert level yet, but you’re developing some serious genealogy know-how.
36-46: The Genealogy Go-to-Gal (or Guy) — everyone asks you about the family’s history and you’ve learned to bring your research to every.family.gathering.
47-50: The Family History Know-it-All — yep, that’s a good thing, a really good thing
Have a low score? Don’t feel bad! Every researcher is different, and it takes time (and lots of research) to learn the ropes. Plus, we haven’t covered everything here…not by a long shot. You may have many skills we didn’t even list.
Remember, this quiz is supposed to be fun and help you identify areas where you can improve. Go back and look at the questions you received no points on and try to implement some of these strategies and ideas into your research. You might be surprised how much they can help.
Share your score in the comments below!
Image: Federal workers school. 1937. Library of Congress