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Genealogy From A Millennial’s Perspective

It’s been a while since I last wrote, but I wanted to share some resources from my presentation to the Afro- American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago. The presentation was titled ‘Genealogy from a Millennial’s Perspective’. Oftentimes, I’m the youngest person in the room when I attend genealogy programs. I would love to see more people my age get involved in genealogy.

Here are a few facts about the millennial generation. Millennials are defined as those that were born between 1981 and 1996. (Pew Research Center, 2019) We’re a very diverse group racially. We were the first digital generation so we tend to be tech savvy. (Britannica, 2024) We’re a very busy generation! Some things that occupy our time include work, professional organizations, child rearing, and hobbies. Many millennials are hustlers- working many jobs, so we value our leisure time.  We’re highly educated so we must like learning things which makes genealogy the perfect hobby!


Some advice I have to reach out to millennials is to recruit through different channels. This could be through traditional print media, digital media, or in person. I’ve found in person workshops hosted by local historical societies and libraries very valuable. I love coming across great genealogy blogs that uncover hidden gems. Some blogs that I found useful were The Root’s Tracing Your Roots Blog which Dr. Henry Louis Gates contributed to. You can see his response to my genealogy request for information about my 2nd great grandfather who was believed to be lynched here. I also think that podcasts are a great tool, although I’m not much of a listener.

Daughter Dialogues Podcast:

Social Media is another great tool to reach millennials as we are the digital generation.

Although many millennials are deleting their Facebook accounts, I’ve found it useful to connect with others through genealogy groups. The groups are probably the main reason that I keep my account. A couple of groups that I like are:

Our Black Ancestry

African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War

AfriGeneas African American Genealogy Community


Lastly, TV is another great way to target millennials. I know that a lot of people tune into PBS’ Finding Your Roots, whether they’re interested in a specific celebrity or they like genealogy, this is a good show to hook millennials.


Other helpful resources:

Genealogy research at the RI Historical Society


Pew Research Center- Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins

Family Tree Magazine- How To Get Young Adults Into Genealogy

Amy Johnson Crow-The Truth About Millennials and Genealogy


I hope that the resources shared here will help genealogical societies recruit more millennials like me and even some Gen Zers.


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