Rootin’ Tootin’ True Confessions of Genealogists: Fun Quiz

Introduction: In this blog article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak provides a fun quiz for family historians to see just how hooked on genealogy they are. Mary is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background.

Social media is exploding with fun lifestyle quizzes – but not for genealogy. So “eureka!” I thought: don’t you think it’s time for one of our own?

Graphic showing a definition of "rootin' tootin'" for genealogists

Take my genealogy quiz to see how hooked on genealogy you really are!

The Rootin’ Tootin’ True Confessions of Genealogists Quiz
by Mary Harrell-Sesniak

Give yourself a point if you have ever…

  1. __Gone to sleep reciting details about ancestors?
  2. __Photographed more than 20 tombstones?
  3. __Had an ancestral chart, family photo, coat of arms, ship of immigration (or similar) professionally printed or framed?
  4. __Figured out your kinship to someone famous?
  5. __Solved a stranger’s dead-end mystery for free?
  6. __Considered consulting a psychic about genealogy?
  7. __Taken a selfie in a graveyard or hugged a tombstone?
  8. __Probed the ground or used a divining rod to locate a missing tombstone?
  9. __Written your own obituary?
  10. __Created a birth, marriage or death notice (obit) for an ancestor who didn’t have one?
  11. __Eschewed the sunshine for valuable library/research time (or met the dawn while tracing your family tree)?
  12. __Celebrated a birthday, marriage or commemorative event of a deceased forebear?
  13. __Rescued (i.e., purchased) photos, medals or similar objects of someone not related to you?
  14. __Reunited lost artifacts with living relatives?
  15. __Centered a vacation around genealogy?
  16. __Traveled to meet a newly discovered cousin whom you met through genealogy research?
  17. __Tested your DNA?
  18. __Paid for others to get their DNA tested?
  19. __Worn clothing (t-shirts, jackets, hats) emblazoned with genealogy surnames, slogans, society names, etc.?
  20. __Upon their leaving the nest, converted your child’s bedroom (or personal space) into a genealogy room?
  21. __Spent more on genealogy in a month than groceries?
  22. __Collected odd records in the name of genealogy (for example, taxes)?
  23. __Added margin notations in books (error corrections, enhanced details)?
  24. __Mapped a forebear’s traipsings?
  25. __Traveled more than 100 miles for research (library, court house)?
  26. __Purchased something that belonged to an ancestor or that has his/her name on it (photo albums, homesteads, lineage society pins)?
  27. __Participated in a reenactment related to your ancestry?
  28. __Made something to commemorate genealogy (historical costumes, paraphernalia, needlepoint or model of an immigrant ship, painting, genealogy quilt)?
  29. __Joined more than five lineage or genealogy societies?
  30. __Overlaid an ancestor’s photo on that of a living person to identify a doppelganger (look-alike)?
  31. __Downloaded, emailed or shared genealogy jokes?
  32. __Purchased a book with only a small reference to your ancestry (100 words)?
  33. __Mentioned genealogy in your will?
  34. __Studied old handwriting or consulted with a handwriting expert so that you can read old documents?
  35. __Made a gen-tote of gadgets for on-the-go projects (portable scanning, grave cleaning, flash drives, notepads, acid free gloves)?
  36. __Taken a handful of dirt or a stone from a place significant to your ancestry?
  37. __Diverted a mealtime conversation to genealogy?
  38. __Initiated conversations about ancestry with complete strangers (outside of a genealogy setting)?
  39. __Researched the genealogy of complete strangers?
  40. __Transcribed an old document, or more than 500 genealogy records?
  41. __Joined a dozen or more social media genealogy groups?
  42. __Created a genealogy blog or a public tree (online)?
  43. __Published a family history book or distributed genealogy folders amongst the relatives?
  44. __Programmed gen-destinations (court houses, cemeteries) into your GPS?
  45. __Taken genealogy courses with the intention of receiving a certificate or other form of recognition?
  46. __Paid to attend genealogy conferences?
  47. __Searched surnames on eBay?
  48. __Scoured thrift or resale shops for genealogical finds?
  49. __Trespassed in the name of genealogy?
  50. __Dined anywhere but your dining table to avoid disturbing a genealogy project?


50 points          –           You are awarded the “Rootin’ Tootin’” Genealogy Award!
40-49               –           Hopelessly Hooked Family Historian Award
30-39               –           Up and Coming Genealogist Award
20-29               –           You Probably Took This Quiz Out of Guilt Award
Under 20         –           You Need to Find Another Hobby Award

Feel free to share this quiz with your genealogy club, lineage society or at your upcoming family reunion!

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