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Family History Boom blamed on TV

Family history is becoming increasingly popular here in the UK and many believe it’s because of television shows like Who Do You Think You Are? – Sarah Jessica Parker being the latest star to appear in the hit BBC series.

It’s always interesting to find out about our past – where we come from, who we are. People enjoy digging up their family secrets and seeing if they have any interesting ancestors.

Speaking to the Guardian, Anne-Marie Kramer, a sociologist from Warwick University, said she hopes to explain our obsession with family history in a book, Genealogy and Kinship, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan next year.

“Genealogy allows people to personalise the past,” she told the Guardian. “Genealogists have told me: ‘I hated history at school. It was just a series of dates with no connection to my life.’ But then they’ve discovered that their great uncle won a medal during the first world war, and the place where he fought immediately becomes more than just another battlefield.”

She continued: “People enjoy imagining themselves in the place of their ancestors,” she says. “They may feel pity for the conditions they lived in or pride that they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. And they’re surprised to see how far they travelled to look for work and a better quality of life. We have the idea that families were always settled in one place in the past. But migration is a pattern repeated across the generations.”

Whatever our reasons for choosing to delve into our family’s past, it’s a fascinating subject and one that is made ever more popular with TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are. If you’ve always wanted to know where you come from but you haven’t had time to start researching, why not give us a call? We can do everything on your behalf, taking the hassle out of family tree research.

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