You Won’t Believe What This Quiz Says About What Kind of Genealogist You Are

You Won’t Believe What This Quiz Says About What Kind of Genealogist You Are

by Kerry Scott on 14 February 2014

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I’ve been paying close attention to the internet lately. One thing I’ve learned is that people like slightly ridiculous headlines. Another thing I’ve learned is that people will spend all day doing dumb quizzes so that they can categorize themselves and then post the results on Facebook. Because I’m all about applying the things the internet teaches me, I’m combining these two things into one post.

So here’s a dumb quiz to see what kind of genealogist you are. This is not Buzzfeed, so you’ll have to write down your answers and then look at the key at the bottom. We’re old-school around here.

You receive an email from a new fourth cousin. She says she became interested in genealogy while she was home sick and caught a Who Do You Think You Are marathon. She has nothing to share, but she wants to know what you can tell her about your shared third great-grandparents. You:

  1. Immediately send her a link to a Dropbox folder that contains every vital record, pension file, and photo you own that contains information about your shared ancestors. It’s no trouble, since you already had that stuff uploaded.
  2. Send her a link to your public Ancestry tree, which contains photos, stories, and everything else you have on this line. You also add her to your holiday card list right away, and then you friend her on Facebook. Everyone loves a new cousin, right?
  3. Send her a DNA kit. Duh.
  4. Ignore her. What’s the point of sharing with someone who doesn’t have anything to share back? That’s a huge time suck. She’s got a lot of nerve.

It’s your Great-Aunt Pearl’s birthday. You:

  1. Interview her using the Evernote app. Then you find someone on the internet who can transcribe the interview within 24 hours. You upload the transcription to Evernote, tag the crap out of it, and then add a picture of you conducting the interview with Great-Aunt Pearl while holding a white board that shows the date, location, and full names of everyone present.
  2. Spend the entire day with her, taking notes while maintaining eye contact. Then you help her troubleshoot her AOL account, change that burned-out lightbulb in the closet, and eat three helpings of the casserole she served even though it was made with three cans of cream of mushroom soup.
  3. Swab her. Duh.
  4. Nothing. She won’t let you take the family photos to scan, she rants about Obama nonstop, and she smells like mothballs and Vick’s VapoRub. Why would you waste your time with her?

You find an online tree that includes your great-grandfather…who is married to some random woman. There are no source citations, and throughout the tree they spell it “geneology” and “cematary.” You:

  1. Contact the owner and provide copies of the marriage record, death certificate, and probate file that show that your grandpa was married to your grandma, not Random Woman. You also include a link to your tree, which has no fewer than 10 source citations for every fact.
  2. Email the owner and introduce yourself, saying how excited you are to meet a cousin. You include documentation on your grandpa’s real wife, and offer to enter this info into his tree. You also offer to upload all of your photos of this family.
  3. Send him a kit. Duh.
  4. Send the idiot an email correcting him, and then rant about him on Facebook. People like this are why genealogy is going to hell in a handbasket.

It’s Thanksgiving. Your grandma starts talking about how her grandma always said she was the great-granddaughter of an Indian Princess. You:

  1. Whip out your iPad and show your grandma who she’s actually descended from. Carefully record her reaction to each story to see if it jogs her memory, and then note the date and time of the conversation, along with who was present, the address of the house, and the recipe for the pumpkin pie you were eating when this took place.
  2. Reflect on how lucky you are to still have your grandma around, and give her a hug. Offer to buy your grandma an iPad with all of the genealogy stuff pre-loaded, so she can look at her tree whenever she wants.
  3. Wait for her to stop talking so you can swab her. Duh.
  4. Roll your eyes. This story is so dumb. How many Indian princesses do they think were running around anyway? SO DUMB.

Now, count up your answers. See which number you got most frequently. 

If you got mostly 1s, you are an iGenie3000. Your genealogy friends think you’re kind of a freak, but that’s mostly the envy talking. You have your act together, and it shows. Rock on.

If you got mostly 2s, you are a Saint Genie. You’re generous and kind, and you get that it’s okay that not everyone plays at your level. You probably smell good too. We should all be so lucky to have a cousin like you.

If you got mostly 3s you are a Spit Stalker. You’ve been bitten by the DNA bug, and it shows. Swab away, but don’t forget that there’s a human attached to the inside of that cheek. At least offer the human a glass of water or something.

If you got mostly 4s, you are a Weenie Genie. You kind of suck. You’re forgetting that it’s not all about you, and you’re taking the fun out of genealogy. Knock it off, okay?

TOTALLY UNRELATED NOTE: Today’s the last day to enter to win a seat at the Family Tree University Winter 2014 Virtual Conference. I’ll be hosting a chat for this event, and they have an awesome speaker line up. You really should check it out. 

Photo by happy days photos and art


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Eva Goodwin February 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

This is amazing! You nailed it with the headline. And you nailed it again with the types of genealogists. I was chuckling the whole time. :)


Diana Ritchie February 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Loved it!! It’s the best quiz on the internet (on the WHOLE internet – I checked)


Colleen February 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm

And if we are sending all our genealogy friends a link to the quiz, what does that say? ha! Very funny quiz!


Jo Henn February 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

LOL I love it! I love it so much I posted it to Facebook and G+; wonder what that says about me?


Ann G. February 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Thanks for the chuckle!


Jeanne February 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Very clever….so glad I’m still (mostly) a two, because sometimes I secretly want to be a 4!!


Rondina February 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

So, I totally suck and my best friend Cousin (distinguished from all the others with the given name of “Cousin”) is generous, kind, and kind of sucks. Interesting. I’m figuring that you came up with this while waiting in a carpool line.


Nancy Loe February 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Kerry does it again – makes us laugh while she makes us think. ++++


Jana Last February 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm


I want to let you know that your awesome blog post is listed in my Fab Finds post today at

Have a great weekend!


Kerry Scott February 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Thank you!!


NIck W February 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Thanks, Kerry! I loved this post!
You remind us all that genealogist can/should be good people too!
After 20 years of die-hard genealogy research, a person can forget what it is like to be a new or ‘part-time’ genealogist!


Karen Seeman March 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Hilarious! I’m all over the place as far as the numbers go though… not quite sure what that means!


Celia Lewis November 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

How funny, Kerry. I was too well brought up to react like some of those options. And all the older relatives who could have helped me had died before I even got into genealogy. Sigh. I’m oh-so-grateful for finding any cousin at all!! Second, third, fourth – I’m thrilled to find any.
Great post, with lovely humour. :)


Carole Steers November 5, 2014 at 2:26 am

Love it, I’m a split between 2 and 4, which is about right. I’m 4 with one side of my family and 2 with the other – nailed it!

and yes, I’m going to retweet :D

Thank you for making my Wednesday at work more interesting


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