Earlier this year with the help of a student from the University of Applied Science in Bielefeld, Germany, we have conducted a major survey under genealogists. More than 1000 people took part in answering our unique questionnaire.
But why genealogists? Well, fair enough. The answer is simple. Almost 95% of our orders are somewhat related to family history. Mostly, it is old family photos that people love to get restored. We realized that many of our customers are returning more than once and that they have a genuine interest in their family photos and history. So who are these people? And what kind of issues do they have when it comes to their family photos.
The average age of our participants is around 57 years which reflects the fact that a lot of people get into genealogy after they retire. Astonishingly, only 0.2% were under the age of 30 and 4.4 % under the age of 40. With the ever more increasing popularity of services like 23and me we would have expected a much more balanced outcome. Apparently there is a very specific and close relation between age and the interest for one’s own family history. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this development will evolve over the next decades as more and more records become digitalized and DNA tests will become more and more common and powerful.
Another interesting thing we have revealed is that on average genealogists spend about 43$ per month on their hobby. Whereas the majority spends between 1-100$ a month and a tiny portion of people monthly pay well above 500$ for their passion.
Our study also reveals that more than 87% of genealogists have been into their hobby for more than six years. If we simply add up those numbers almost 90% of our participants have already spent about 3400$ on their hobby.
Overall the study shows that genealogy is much more than a simple hobby. For most people, it is very much a longterm passion.
This also becomes evident when one looks at the average hours spent on research. With 10.7 hours per week, the average genealogist spends about 1.5h per day on research. Genealogy is not only a relatively costly but also a time-consuming hobby. This could be another explanation for the close link between age and genealogy. Retirees simply have a lot more spare time for their passions and then who are actively working.
Ancestry.com is by far the most popular site used by our participants. Nevertheless, Ancestry.com doesn’t seem to be the ultimate solution for genealogy as almost the same amount of participants shared their frustration about Brickwalls. The next most common complaints were the lack of digitized records and the high costs related to conducting research.
One of the most surprising revelations of our study was the high receptiveness of new technology. More than 80 % of our participants consider themselves as progressive when it comes to the use of new technologies. Interestingly this directly correlates with the number of people who have already performed a DNA test. This seems to be fairly high if one considers the average age of our participants at around 57 years. Unfortunately, our study couldn’t reveal the actual competency when it comes to working with new technologies. Nevertheless, there seems to be a hint in the next section.
We as photo enthusiasts were especially interested in how genealogists use their photographs for their research. About 67% of the participants say that photographs are crucial to their research and that they would love to integrate them more into the documentation and visualization of their research results. Currently, text and photos coexist. Although photos usually reveal a lot less data than letters, private documents or census records they are still one of the best ways to actually understand something about who our forefathers were and in what time and conditions they lived in.
What really surprised us is the fact that 81% of all our participants do not use a software solution for organizing their digital photo collection. This is especially interesting in regard to the 84% of genealogists who consider themselves as progressive when it comes to the use of new technology. It almost seems like genealogists adopt new technology only when it can be easily and conveniently integrated into their research routine. Therefore one might presume that currently, no available software solution suits the specific needs of genealogists.
The average genealogist’s photo collection consists of 534 photographs. 72% percent of our participants stated that they have at least one photo they would like to get restored whereas only 10% have actually already worked with a professional photo restoration service like InstaRestoration. The number one answer why they haven’t tried it yet is “too expensive”. The most common damages are related to scratches and cracks whereas only a minority of images is serverly damaged, meaning being torn apart, missing pieces or suffering water damages or heavy mold.
We at InstaRestoration.com would like to help that 62 % who haven’t tried working with a photo restoration service yet. If you like to try our service just go ahead. We work with instant quotes and free revisions which means that there are no hidden costs and you can ask for changes as many times as you like.