Genealogy is Good for Your Brain

Genealogy is good for your brain! I stumbled across a study done in Berlin that seems to prove that genealogy increases brainpower. Thinking about our ancestors can boost performance on intelligence tests creating something called an “ancestor effect,” according to the European study.

Maternal grandmother’s sister Aunt Emily and Uncle Mansing pose in Trinidad.

“Anecdotally, there’s reason to believe that such thoughts (thinking about where we came from – our ancestors) are beneficial. Why else the public fascination with genealogy and programmes like the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Now Peter Fischer and his colleagues at the Universities of Graz, Berlin and Munich have shown that thinking about our ancestors boosts our performance on intelligence tests – what they’ve dubbed ‘the ancestor effect’.”

Read more about it in the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest Blog at:

What happy good news! I have always felt that the genealogists were smarter than most people. So, here’s some scientific proof to back up that claim.  I mean, what profession requires one to be an historian detective organizing, analyzing, and interpreting data and using the brain in so many different ways? Genealogy is a multidisciplinary pursuit that demands insights into many areas including history, psychology, sociology, biology, genetics, geography, languages, problem solving, logic and mathematics.

Do you think about your family history? Have you tried to do genealogy searches for anyone? Great. Your are brilliant!

2 thoughts on “Genealogy is Good for Your Brain

  1. I can’t believe you left out “history,” but you added some I hadn’t thought of. Another one you can add is Cultural Anthropology.

    1. Helen, You are so right! Thank you for that obvious topic. How could I leave out ‘History’? Yes! Cultural Anthropology. And what about its related field–enthnomusicology?

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