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. “Learn how to build your family tree with beginner research tips, guides to DNA testing, family history storytelling, using genealogy records and more!” 2

Target audience: Genealogists and family history enthusiasts.

Publisher: Yankee Publishing, Inc. 3

Peer reviewed? No. 4

Type: Civilian publication.

Medium: Subscription-based print magazine with online content and research tools. 5

Content: Family Tree Magazine  “covers genealogy, ethnic heritage, personal history, genealogy websites and software, photography and photo preservation, and other ways that families connect with their pasts.” 6

Frequency of publication: Bimonthly. 7

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: “Family Tree covers genealogy, ethnic heritage, personal history, genealogy websites and software, photography and photo preservation, and other ways that families connect with their pasts. Please query with a specific story idea. In general, we’re looking for articles that are right for our magazine, not for writers to assign articles to. Articles need to be broad enough in scope to appeal to a general audience, yet narrow enough to support specific, useful information.” 8

“We do not publish personal experience stories or the histories of specific families in our magazine. Nor do we publish generic family or parenting articles—keep in mind that our focus is how to do family history.” 9

Submission and review process: “We accept queries by email to only. If we’ve never worked with you before, please include writing samples (published clips preferred) with your query. Allow six to eight weeks for a response.” 10

“Both online content and magazine issues are planned well in advance. Though our lead time is technically about six months, we may have a plan for the November/December issue by January of that year.” 11

Editorial tone: “Articles are beginner-friendly but never talk down to the audience. Readers may be experts in one area of our coverage, yet novices in another. We emphasize sidebars, tips and other reader-friendly “packaging,” and each article aims to provide the resources necessary to take the next step in the quest for one’s personal past.” 12

“The ideal Family Tree Magazine writer is both a writer—able to explain complex topics in clear, friendly, easy-to-read articles and sidebars—and an expert (or interested amateur) in one of our coverage areas. Your query should indicate both why you’re right for this topic and why you’re able to write it.” 13

Style guide used: None specified. “Our style is bright, breezy, helpful and encouraging. We’re NOT an academic journal or a genealogy-research journal.” 14

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. 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: “Family Tree serves the fast-growing audience of family history hobbyists, enriching their knowledge and empowering their search with tips and tools that fuel their discoveries. Family Tree Magazine in print reaches over 62,000 readers 6x annually. Each month, an average 170,000 people visit Family Tree’s website. Nearly 62,000 family historians receive Family Tree weekly alerts. Almost 168,000 fans follow us on social media.” 15

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: This US based publication is distributed nationwide. Family Tree Magazine is printed in English.

Reader characteristics: According to the website, 92% of readers want to learn about their ancestors’ lives, 86% want to record their tree for posterity, and 86% aim to trace their family tree back as many generations as possible.  The average age of readers is 62 years old, average household income is $75,454, and 89% of readers have completed education beyond high school. “Our readers spend an average of $483 annually on genealogy.” 16

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

This publication offers endless opportunities for LIS authors with background in research, genealogy, cataloging, preservation, archives, and beyond. This publication 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 editorial tone of the publication is non-academic and light, opening up the potential for articles on multiple facets of LIS subject matter that help readers apply real world skills and re-affirms the usefulness and relevancy of information organizations and professionals.

Last updated: November 21, 2020


Show 16 footnotes

  1.  Family Tree Magazine, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed March 24, 2018,
  2. “Getting Started.”,, accessed November 21, 2020,
  3. “Family Tree Magazine.”,, accessed November 21, 2020,
  4. “FAQ.”,, accessed November 21, 2020,
  5. “Family Tree Magazine.”
  6. “FAQ.”
  7. “Subscribe.”,, accessed November 21, 2020,**A51
  8. “FAQ.”
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  14. “FAQ.”
  15. “Advertise.”,, accessed November 21, 2020,
  16. “Advertise.”
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