Quiz, What Kind of Genealogist Are You

What’s Your Genealogy Know-How Score? Find Out With Our Fun Quiz

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).

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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.

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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.

31. I’ve researched the meaning of my family’s surnames or belong to a surname research group.

32. I regularly look beyond obvious records to find unusual sources of data (such as city directories, old books or pension records.)

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

38 thoughts on “What’s Your Genealogy Know-How Score? Find Out With Our Fun Quiz”

  1. I was pleasantly surprised to get a 28! I started doing a little research after a trip to Sweden five years ago when I met a second cousin who had done extensive research on my mother’s father’s family. Once I learned how to use ArkivDigital I have been doing a bit of research whenever I have a little time. The question about forgetting to do a chore made me laugh because just yesterday I apologized to my husband that I hadn’t done the ironing since I was looking at some information about his great-great aunt online. I prefer working on family history to just about anything else. I have a lot to learn!

  2. I ended up about 43 but spent about 6 hours working on a friend’s mother;’ s tree today—- but got back to 1500s on one family line! English records.

  3. I have a 32, and I feel good about that.
    I have been doing this less than five years.
    I have been to the grave site of 98% of my grandmothers line that were born after the year 1800. And 100% of my father’s line that were born after the year 1800. That is mostly the parents of parents , and Some children but not all.
    I have been to another state researching my 7rh grandparents ( Henry and Mary ) four times for nine days at a time. They were born in the 1790’s .I walked on the land they own and the land her parents own. That took me 2 years to find them.
    Henry and Mary raised five children, I have been to the grave site of two of them and I think I know where a third may be, but haven’t been there yet. Finding graves and the land of different ancestors, seems to be my strong ( blessed ) area. You may be surprised where you can find land ownership information and old maps.
    You have to have an open mind, everything is a lead . And you can’t just find something and stick to it, you have to find a confirmation of some type.
    Thank you to all the more experienced people out there that help us learn and open our minds to different areas of research. I learn more just by doing this test. Thank you. Paul B.

  4. Tere Moncada Verástegui

    28. I have spend countless hours searching on line, going to the court house, the church, and speaking to some family members. Though some family members are very reluctant to share fotographs, its sad that at the end of their days those fotos are going to end up in file 13.. Besides that I love doing my tree.

  5. My score is 21. I’ve been doing family research for 5-7 years but I KNOW I have a long way to go and need a LOT of help.

  6. don… I am envious. I also started genealogy research after retirement 4 years ago. I spent a lot of 7-10 hour days. My goal was to get the info on an online tree, and break through some of my Mom’s brick walls. She was a fabulous, determined, and relentless researcher (all done through the mail or phone calls)!. I wanted to get enough stories together to print a book for her. Every time I found something new, I ran to share it with her. Then she started showing signs of dementia and now full-blown Alzheimers. Then we lost our45 year old son this summer and I can’t even add that to my tree!!! I’ve basically stopped the research because it breaks my heart. I have to have a new goal I guess – for my grandchildren or just for myself. I scored 44, but really need to follow up on the ones that were nos or half. Believe it or not, your short note encouraged me to carry on.

  7. Joyce Wilshusen Fox

    Only 17 points worked 10 yrs on Wilshusen family tree but all on my own, no classes & most Aunts who would have known history were gone. Grandpa Wilshusen died yr B4 I was born. Colon cancer-surgery was successful but patient died!

  8. Joyce Wilshusen Fox

    Many infants never made it to 2 yrs old. My mother had 2 brothers that were less than 1.5 yrs. Oftentimes mothers & grandmothers avoid future mention of this child. Hard times

  9. My score was a 43. 50 years in the adventure and love the computerized age! Tip: try FaceBook. search the name, look at their “friends” to see if names match the family tree for their line. PHOTOS! I do not request friendship because I have found too many successes and that really would be creepy – they might even go private on their information because of your telling them your creeping.

  10. I rated at 27… I have been at this family project almost 8 years now seriously. But I have discovered something I may never be able to know for sure. When the 1940 census was released, It listed three children (girls,3,2,&1) in our family. I came to Florida to caregive to my sister and brother in law in 2007. My sister was born 1937, the 3 year old listed. She had no recall of these two younger sisters listed in the census!!!! WE don’t know of any children that our mother and father “took care of” for other relatives or neighbors. We do know our mother had been married previously and had given birth to a baby who died in infancy, but had no other children when she married our father.

  11. I wouldn’t say Dick Eastman is my favorite blogger ever, but I do read his news letter every day. And I don’t have a safe for old photos/papers, but do have them stored in archival boxes. 48 out of 50.

  12. I scored 40 which was better than I thought it would be considering I haven’t done any research in a few years and live far away from all of the courthouses and archives that I would love to be visiting.

  13. 38. Happy with that, especially as it is higher than I expected. Some questions I should get a half for but answered yes or no.

  14. I scored 37. One of my cousins told me other family members have stopped searching because I have done so much more of the work. They are content to let ME be the family historian. I told her to tell them all to keep going.

  15. Mine was 50. I have been researching for 28 years. I got hooked when I took a genealogy class at college to get an easy A.

  16. My score was 32 and I feel pretty good about that. I have a lot of family history information about my family that I learned from my mother and other relatives. There aren’t written record for all of the information, but it sure has been valuable in researching my genealogy.

    If I had not listened when the older heads were talking about family; and if I had not paid attention or showed little interest when I met family members that I didn’t know, I would have no idea where to start my search. But this quiz has helped me to think more about how I’ve been approaching my family free project. I will be making some changes to aid me in my search. Thank you Family Tree Daily!

  17. I scored 33, so am down with the tree climbers. I havent done any US research so had 0 scores for those questions. I have bern researching for 9 years and am obsessed, but am just learning the genealogy research standards and stating my evidence correctly, so 0 for that one too. 90% of my research is in the UK and I live in Australia. Thznks for the fun quiz.

  18. I got a 36. I don’t know any other language but I know how to find a translator. Satisfied with my results and do see room for improvement, this was very interesting.

  19. Have 50. Know three languages and have been at this for 8 years. Started after retirement and have worked 12 hour days. 4 trees about 18k family members and their history. Some write ups are short some are 60 pages long. Very enjoyable.

  20. I got 47, I have been researching 50 years and never learned another language, however, I have friends that can read other languages for me.

  21. 35. I am the go-to for my family in the area. I have some cousins who are working on overseas and so I haven’t done much. They do share and so do I.

  22. even with only 25, I am still the family go-to gal because everybody wants to know stories, see pictures, and get data… but nobody loves “finding old dead people” as much as I do!

  23. 47 was my score..

    I regularly teach my students that social media can be dangerous and to be careful – so I don’t use it
    Can’t afford a safe! LOL
    I use a good old genealogy calendar…

    Guess I’m a dinosaur! 🙂

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