This study examines current research methods utilized by genealogists, and seeks to discover the impact of emerging tools and technologies on their information seeking needs and behaviors. When it became clear that there is a shortage of scholarly studies identifying the use of newer technologies (i.e. blogs, social media, and apps), an original survey for genealogists was created. Over four hundred genealogists were surveyed regarding their use of both traditional research methods (methods that have existed for many decades) and Internet/electronic resources, in order to demonstrate which new trends are emerging. The data from the survey might lessen the gap in current scholarly research. Technology is constantly changing, and the findings show which trends are currently being utilized the most by genealogists. The results indicate that genealogists are definitely using more technology to research their family trees. In fact, they adapt fairly quickly to new methods, relying heavily on technology and the Internet to conduct research and share information. Due to the ease of using technology, fewer and fewer genealogists rely on in-house visits to repositories to access original documents. The research concludes with a discussion on where the use of technology for genealogical research is headed, and what genealogists hope to accomplish by using new tools and technologies.

About Author

Catherine Lucy is a MLIS candidate at the San Jose State University iSchool. She resides in St. Louis, MO, and is currently employed at Fontbonne University's Jack C. Taylor Library in the dual position of Technical Services Manager and Archivist.