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Throughout all of time, people have had a deep personal interest in knowing where they came from. Our family, culture, and geography shape who we are, so it provides a unique perspective about ourselves when we are able to trace our ancestors and learn more about the people who came before us. Studying family history has rapidly grown into one of the most popular pastimes for people in the United States.
It hasn't always been simple to trace our roots. In the past, researching a family tree was a lengthy, often painstaking process. Rather than quickly jumping online and doing a few searches, you would have to track down hard copies of vital documents, which often cost as much as $20 each from government agencies.
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Ancestry is a widely-used platform with the largest collection of family history records in the world. Their website was first launched in 1998 and has continued to grow, currently adding over 2 million records a day. At Ancestry you can use a free trial and then subscribe to a monthly membership to begin creating your family tree and linking with other users. You can upload documents, articles, photos, and any information relevant to the family members on your tree. There are over 100 million family trees on Ancestry and 27 billion records to discover. Ancestry is undoubtedly the most useful resource for genealogy work and has earned our highest rating.
LegacyTree Genealogists is a team of highly-educated and vetted researchers who help people tackle major family history challenges. Their service has helped people discover their ancestors as well as other living relatives and long-lost biological family members. The projects submitted to LegacyTree usually take a few months and a few thousand dollars to complete, but their service is professional, reliable, and comes highly recommended by other customers. If you are someone running into barriers with finding members of your family, we highly recommend looking into LegacyTree.
MyHeritage is a platform where users can create family trees and search through billions of records to learn more about their ancestors. MyHeritage is known for their unique animation tool of old photos that makes short video clips and appears to bring the pictures to life. Customers can choose from one of 4 yearly subscription options to have access to all the tools MyHeritage has to offer. This company receives high ratings from customers and an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, and we've given them one of our highest ratings for genealogy services.
Findmypast offers a 14-day trial for the website to show users the possibilities of creating their family tree and discovering records related to their ancestors. They began over 40 years ago in London and focus heavily on records from England, Canada, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. You can have access to their records with either a 3- or 12-month subscription. Although some people may find the records here geographically limiting, it is a good option for getting started with your family history.
Genealogy Bank is a useful tool that makes a great research for people wanting to explore published information about their ancestors. They have over 13,000 newspapers dating back to 1960, over 260 million obituaries, and billions of births, marriages, engagement notices, and hometown news. Users pay an affordable yearly membership fee to access Genealogy Bank's collection of publications, and you can try it free for 7 days before committing. Overall Genealogy Bank is a good research addition for people diving into the lives of their ancestors.
Archives is owned by Ancestry. They are a company that was established in 2009 with the goal of making family history easy for everyone. They have billions of records you can browse to help you fill out the details of your family tree. Archives gives you a free, 14-day trial. Unfortunately their cancellation process seems to have issues as people complain about being charged after the fact. This company is trying to grow and keep up with other big genealogy websites, but if it weren't for Ancestry, they would be long lost. This isn't our favorite genealogy site, so they earn an average rating.
Lineages is a team of expert genealogists that can trace your family roots for you. Whether you want a family tree put together or to track the family who enslaved your ancestors, Lineages has unique tools to get the job done. You can choose from one of 36 products depending on the type of research you need completed. Prices range from $350 - $6,000, so this isn't going to be a cheap route. Lineages is a good option if you have a big family history project to tackle and need a professional to get involved.
One Great Family is a service that allows users to create a family tree and connect with others whose information matches their own. You can explore places your ancestors were born and died, store records, and read fun facts about any day in history. All of their features are found on higher-rated sites, so One Great Family doesn't have more to offer than their competitors. In addition, their website is badly outdated and doesn't have the functionality that it could. This isn't going to be a very good option for creating a thorough family tree and discovering new records relating to your ancestors.
People would travel far to find gravesites of family members to gather what local information they could, read through old journals, and put in hours worth of phone calls to try to connect the dots. Oftentimes language barriers, hard-to-read handwriting on old documents, or distance led genealogical enthusiasts to a dead end.
Thanks to the people who laid the groundwork for genealogy the hard way, online platforms have been created to compile everyone's histories into a simple, searchable database. Since these services have launched, it has opened doors for billions of people to find lost family members and learn about their ancestors. It's never been easier to dive into your genealogy. Some services offer a look into your lineage with just a vial of saliva or swab of the cheek through DNA testing.
As you browse different genealogy services, there are some important things to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best genealogy services available online. We hope this information helps you learn more about yourself, reconnect with estranged loved ones, and be inspired by those who came before you.
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