Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education/Interpretation


American Studies

First Advisor

David M. Knotts


Historical sites protect and preserve sites of national importance and shared memories of its citizens (Lenz, 2011; Mackintosh, 2000). These sites document liberty, colonial history, slavery, wars, prominent figures, and more through museums, villages, homes, cemeteries, and battlefields (Utah Education Network, 2012). Interpreters tell the stories of the people who lived and died at the historic site connecting visitors to the resource. Genealogy answers the universal need people have to know who they are and where they come from (Bishop, 2008; Brough, 1995). Interpreters bring the ancestors to life and help the visitor understand what life was like in previous generations (Rubincam, 2012; Tilden, 2007).

This study focuses on the perception of benefits derived from linking genealogy and historical interpretation and the benefits of collaboration with historical and genealogical societies. This study found that although visitors occasionally indicate a relationship with the site's subject, sites report that they only moderately or somewhat agree that genealogical interpretation is beneficial. Research found that collaboration with like-minded sites, agencies, and societies, in particular historical and genealogical societies, gives the historic site greater ability to influence visitors (Cappon, 2012; Kunreuther & Corvington, 2007). This study of historical sites showed that most historical sites do not collaborate with genealogical or historical societies but was willing to do so.