Family Tree Magazine


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Family Tree Magazine

ISSN: 1529-0298 (Print)1


Purpose, objective, or mission: A how-to publication for readers interested in family history and genealogy research.2

Target audience: It is directed toward beginner genealogists and family history enthusiasts.3

Publisher: F+W Media, Inc.4

Peer reviewed? No.5

Type: Civilian publication. The publication describes itself magazine as a special-interest consumer magazine.6

Medium: Print magazine with online content and research tools.7

Content: Family Tree Magazine covers all areas of family history including ethnic heritage, family reunions, scrapbooking, oral histories and memoirs.8 A typical issue might include articles, lists of resources (including apps, websites, and databases), tutorials, and tips.9

Frequency of publication: Bimonthly.10

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: Articles should appeal to a general audience: non technical enough for beginning genealogists but informative enough for seasoned researchers. New writers are encouraged to submit short pieces of new online resources for the Toolkit section, or short, amusing stories of “the lighter side of family history.” The editors caution that personal experiences or the histories of specific families are not accepted. 11

Submission and review process: Writers should query with a story idea; completed manuscripts are not accepted. Queries should be emailed to only and include writing samples. Issues are planned at least six months in advance, with the December issue planned a year in advance.12

Editorial tone: The publisher says the tone is “bright, breezy, helpful and encouraging,” but warns writers never to talk down to the reader.13 The typical article has short paragraphs of two or three sentences with vocabulary that might be found in Good Housekeeping or Reader’s Digest.

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

This would be a good publication for reference librarians, adult services librarians and LIS students who are knowledgeable about genealogy and history resources. The editors specifically mention wanting articles about new reference materials, and past articles have focused on organizing research materials. They are also looking for how-to articles that will help beginners start their family history projects.14 Librarians have a good understanding of what questions patrons generally ask about family history research; those questions can be turned into simple, informative article ideas for this magazine.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: 75,000.15

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: This US based publication is distributed nationally on newsstands, through a retail sales program, for purchase as a download on their website, and by subscription.16 The editorial staff does not provide any statistics on geographic distribution of readers. Family Tree Magazine is printed in English.The editorial staff does not offer any information on ethnic orientation of its readers; however, they welcome articles on ethnic and cultural heritage. Feature articles on how to trace Caribbean, African American, Japanese and European roots and Latin American research have been published.17

Reader characteristics: The publisher provides a reader profile in its media kit. According to the profile, the average reader is 63 years old. The audience is largely female, and 89% of readers have education beyond high school. The readers are passionate about family history, averaging almost eleven hours per week on genealogy-related activities, with most of that time spent online.  On average they spend in excess of $500 a year on this hobby.18

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: These readers will most likely have limited knowledge of LIS-related topics, so technical subjects as well as LIS jargon should be avoided.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

The comprehensive reader’s profile is a writer’s dream come true. That coupled with details from the editorial staff on what they are looking for should provide plenty of guidance on subject matter and writing style. LIS authors can look at the typical reader and see that the overwhelming number are well-educated women, aged 60 and older.19 Perhaps an article about organizing home office spaces (using the cataloging techniques that are familiar to a librarian) would be popular. And the fact that the majority use the Internet each day offers a whole range of possibilities for articles about researching online or how to evaluate a website. Readers who travel for their hobby will want to know about travel resource materials. The well-educated reader might want an online resource for translating family documents (like a birth certificate) that are in a foreign language. Those who are retired might be interested in historical picture books that they can read to their grandchildren to help them begin to learn about their heritage. The possibilities are endless.

Last updated: October 10, 2018


Show 19 footnotes

  1.  Family Tree Magazine, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed March 24, 2018,
  2. “About Us,”, accessed September 26, 2016,
  3. About Us.”
  4. About Us.”
  5. “Writer’s Guidelines,”, accessed September 26, 2016,
  6. Writer’s Guidelines.”
  7. About Us.”
  8.  “About Us.”
  9. “Family Tree Magazine March/April 2016,”, accessed September 26, 2016,
  10. About Us.”
  11. Writer’s Guidelines.”
  12. Writer’s Guidelines.”
  13.  “Writer’s Guidelines.”
  14.  “Writer’s Guidelines.”
  15. Writer’s Guidelines.”
  16. “2014 Media Planner,”, accessed September 26, 2016,
  17. “Article Index,”, accessed September 26, 2016,
  18. “2015 Media Planner,” Family Tree Magazine, accessed September 26, 2016,
  19. 2015 Media Planner.”
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