Genealogy as a lifelong learning endeavor

Arnon Hershkovitz*, Sharon Hardof-Jaffe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genealogy has gained much popularity in recent years as a lifelong learning endeavor, usually conducted by adults during their leisure time. So far, only little is known about the educational aspects of genealogy. In this study, we define six characteristics of genealogy as lifelong learning: harmonious passion, suddenly triggered; implementation of research practices; inductive and deductive relationships with multiple disciplines; technology as a research partner; consuming information and producing knowledge in multiple representations; and strengthening intergenerational connections–present, past and future. This set of characteristics is based on a qualitative study of active genealogists (N = 8) through in-depth interviews. We discuss these features and their implications on learning and teaching genealogy to various audiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-560
Number of pages26
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • Genealogy
  • lifelong learning
  • project-based leisure
  • serious leisure


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