Genealogy Services Reviews

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With access to literally billions of historical records - and a collection that expands daily - there are few sites that can even come close to the access Ancestry provides. While the subscriptions may be costly, the amount of information that users can locate quickly and easily makes it possible to find details not available elsewhere. And, with a 14-day free trial, prospective customers can decide for themselves if the service will help them with their family history research. As the most recognized name in genealogy services, Ancestry is our top choice.

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As part of the Ancestry group of services, Archives could be considered as a "lite" version of its parent company. Many of the same records offered at Ancestry are offered through Archives - but at a much more affordable price, especially for beginners who are just looking to get started with putting together their family tree.

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Find My Past specializes in records related to the United Kingdom, having started back in 1965 as a group of professional genealogists known as Title Research. While the breadth of their records relating to England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland is impressive, users whose ancestry includes few or no history in that part of the world may find their collection not robust enough to help them find the records they need.

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Billing itself as "the world's largest online family tree", One Great Family helps users connect with others around the world who are interested in their genealogy. Their service streamlines many of the processes that other sites require users to manage manually, making it easier to create and maintain one's own family tree. On the other hand, for those who are looking for census records, obituaries, and other types of historical documents, One Great Family does not provide access to that kind of information.

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Genealogy Bank helps users discover their genealogy through newspapers and other published documents: from articles to obituaries and more, throughout the United States. However, for information traditionally not found in newspapers and books, such as census records or draft registration cards, Genealogy Bank isn't much help. For that reason, the average family history researcher may need the more well-rounded databases and records found with other genealogy sites.

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My Heritage has been connecting genealogy buffs with their ancestors since 2005. While their 83 million user base is impressive, their membership and pricing structure leaves room for improvement. For those who want a straightforward way to access records and build an online family tree, we recommend that they look at other genealogy services in our review.

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Genealogy, or the study of family history and lines of descent, is second only to gardening in terms of its popularity in the United States. From TV shows like Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are, to DNA testing kits that show an individual's unique genetic roots and relatives throughout the world, it's easy to see that learning about one's ancestry has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people.

In the past, researching a family tree was an arduous, often lengthy process. Vital documents had to be requested from local, state, and federal governments, and sometimes required proof of kinship in order to be granted. Many of these requests came with significant fees, sometimes as much as $20 per document.

Also, it was not uncommon for a request to go unfilled because the details provided by the requestor were incorrect - perhaps the individual was actually born in an adjacent county, or in a different year, or had a different name on his or her birth certificate.

Further complicating matters, most people's family trees contain ancestors whose native language was not English, making it even more difficult to locate and request information. Fortunately, today's genealogy buff has access to an unprecedented amount of birth and death certificates, obituaries, census records, and other researchers' results, just to name a few.

Genealogy services can help people find out more about their family history in a matter of minutes, rather than months or even years, through indexed records, broad databases, and even translations of vital documents from many different countries. Modern technology also allows genealogy buffs to take their research to the next level through DNA testing.

Often with just a simple swab of the cheek or a vial of saliva, curious individuals can get scientific evidence of their roots, connect with people who have shared ancestors, even discover family traits that have been passed down for generations.

  • Cost. How much will you need to pay to access the records and other information on the site Are there monthly options, if you only need to find a few records, or discounts for yearly subscriptions
  • Variety of information available. What types of records does the site provide Is it a wide range of governmental data (e.g. census, death certificates, etc.), published information (e.g. obituaries and other newspaper articles), and family trees submitted by other users Can the information the site provides be found for free on other websites
  • Family tree features. Does the service allow you to create your own family tree and easily link information you find on the site Are you able to connect with other researchers interested in the same ancestral line Can you add photos, stories, and other personal details to your family tree has reviewed and ranked the best Genealogy Services available today. We hope these reviews help you find your ancestors and discover more about your own family tree today!

Genealogy In The News

Greenup genealogy group to meet Jan. 25

GREENUP, Ky. - The Greenup County Genealogy and Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, in the Community Room at the Greenup County Public Library, 508 Main St., Greenup, Kentucky. Eli Allen, president of the Scioto County chapter of the ...

Published:  Sat, 20 Jan 2018 02:18:00 GMT

Cobb County Genealogy Society's January meeting to address copyright, plagiarism

The Cobb County Genealogy Society invites the public to attend an informative session on Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 7 to 8 p.m. The meeting will help participants determine whether family genealogy information was borrowed, stolen or obtained legally.

Published:  Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:32:00 GMT

Branching out: Genealogy tips from the experts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Unraveling the mysteries of your family's origins has become wildly popular in recent years as the Internet has made hitherto painstaking research into an online pastime. TV shows like Public Broadcasting Co.'s "Genealogy ...

Published:  Sun, 07 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Genealogy group hosts talk on Daughters of the American Revolution research

EDMOND - The Edmond Genealogical Society will explore the Daughters of the American Revolution application process and database at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1315 E 33 St. Pat McFall, of Edmond, will present the ...

Published:  Thu, 11 Jan 2018 02:00:00 GMT

Genealogy resources abound in Cd'A area

I very much enjoyed the recent Coeur Voice article about family history and family stories, and I couldn't agree more with the value of discovering our ancestors' stories. However, I must disagree with the last paragraph. There is plenty of information ...

Published:  Fri, 19 Jan 2018 04:00:00 GMT

Library to host genealogy presentation

Salem Public Library, 821 E. State St., will host a genealogy-related presentation, "Using Family Tree Maker," from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22. The topic will be presented by Marge Greenisen, a library volunteer who has five years of experience using ...

Published:  Fri, 12 Jan 2018 05:32:00 GMT

Genealogy Club to hold meetings at Tuscarawas County Public Library System

The Genealogy Club will hold meetings and programs at the Tuscarawas County Public Library System's Main Library, 121 Fair Ave., New Philadelphia. Research meetings will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22, Feb. 26 and March 26, and a research lock-in will ...

Published:  Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:29:00 GMT

Bartow Lunch and Learn Series Explores Genetic Genealogy

From Bartow History Museum: The Bartow History Museum welcomes Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt, Certified Genealogist®, to its Lunch and Learn series on January 17th at noon. Schmidt will answer the question: What is Genetic Genealogy She will also address what ...

Published:  Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:30:00 GMT

Documentary film aims to initiate interest in genealogy

A free documentary film, "Reflections: The People of Turtle Mountain," will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck. The film was produced by Initiatives in French Midwest about the meaning of ...

Published:  Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:28:00 GMT

Illinois Ancestors: Genealogy grants and scholarships available

This column has mentioned the Seton Shields Genealogy Grants that genealogist Megan Smolenyak makes available to individuals and/genealogical organizations for specific genealogy-related projects. It should be noted that several other awards are also ...

Published:  Wed, 10 Jan 2018 05:20:00 GMT

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