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FamilySearch Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Genealogy Service Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award FamilySearch Review 5 Star Rating


5 Star Rating
  • Free for everyone
  • 12.19 billion searchable names
  • Community family trees
  • Unique family history activities
  • Record your own history
  • Free online consultations with experienced genealogists
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

FamilySearch was first named "The Genealogical Society of Utah" and was founded to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints trace their family trees. The website now has users in 238 countries and over 5,700 locations worldwide.

No faith requirement

People can get in-person assistance from volunteers to help build their family tree - with no requirement to be a member of the faith. The FamilySearch website launched in 1999 and was initially garnering over 7 million hits per day. In 2011, FamilySearch debuted what has now become the largest genealogy and family history conference in the world, RootsTech.

Free for all users

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints continues to host FamilySearch as an international nonprofit organization that's free for everyone to use. The church believes that feelings of family connection can help people overcome the ups and downs of life. They aim to help people draw strength from their past, present, and future family relationships through continuing to fund this genealogy website.

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Community trees

With your free account, you'll be able to see what's already been discovered about your family in a community tree that has over 12.19 billion searchable names. You can discover fascinating details about your ancestors by viewing photos and memories, a life sketch, information about parents and children, and more. If you find an ancestor that you have additional information about, you can contribute to their profile to continue growing your family tree.

Endless assistance

FamilySearch is committed to making sure that everyone who uses their site does so with confidence and excitement. If you have specific questions, you can always call FamilySearch or send them an email. You could also visit their nearest location and get guidance from a trained assistant to get started. Another resource offered by FamilySearch is a free 20-minute consultation that will strategize with you on the next steps you should take in your research journey. Users can also submit requests for specific records that may not be available online. Someone from the FamilySearch library can retrieve them and send them to you digitally or in print if needed.

Fun genealogical activities

There are some fun activities on the FamilySearch website that you should for sure take some time to play around with. They have information on surname origins that is really interesting, a "famous relatives" search that can tell you if you're related to everyone from the passengers on the Mayflower to President Obama, "compare-a-face" generator that shows you which relatives you look most like, and a "record my story" section where you can start to write your own personal history and include information about close relatives as well.

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Well-liked by users

We were shocked to see that FamilySearch has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, the reason for this is their lack of response to 3 complaints about the service. There are no reviews on their BBB page and it doesn't seem like it's actively used enough to be a reliable gauge of whether or not you should give FamilySearch a shot. There have been millions of people who have benefited from this free service and you have nothing to lose by signing up. The only complaint we've really seen from users is that sometimes you have to double-check information since a lot of your family tree can be edited by others (similar to Wikipedia). There have been issues with people disagreeing on how a family lineage actually should be traced when it comes to adoptions, divorces, and other technical and complex personal details.

Incredible resource

Overall, FamilySearch is an incredible resource for everyone. To have as much easy-to-obtain information at your fingertips at no cost as can be found here is amazing. The layout of FamilySearch is clean and easy to understand. Having instant access to a trained genealogist is also an exceptional tool that will help you deep dive into your family history. We have given FamilySearch our strongest recommendation and our #1 ranking among genealogy websites.

Where is the Best Place to Discover Your Genealogy Online?

Everyone on earth seems to have an innate, yearning desire to deeply understand who they are and where they came from. One of the most exciting ways to dive into this is through genealogy. Learning about ancestors on both sides of the family, what areas of the world they lived in, and stories from their lives can give an indescribably profound sense of pride and self-worth to an individual.

Genealogy has become a fast growing hobby for people of all ages since it is easier than ever. No longer do you need to go to government agencies for vital documents or "cemetery hop" while trying to learn names and death dates of family members. It used to be a complex puzzle trying to trace your family lineage, but now there are incredible companies that have compiled billions of records and made it possible for people to easily create their own family tree.

The Best Genealogy Services Compare Genealogy Services Compare Genealogy Service Reviews What are the best Genealogy Services Best Genealogy Service Reviews

Genealogy Service FAQ

Genealogy is often referred to as family history: it's the study of your ancestors, lineage, and heritage. If you've ever wondered about where your grandparents came from, what family traits have been passed down through the years, or if you're related to someone famous, you've already been interested in genealogy.
There are a lot of reasons why people are interested in their genealogy. Some people are curious to verify old family stories about "the old country" or having "royal blood" . Others hope to connect with living relatives by tracing their ancestry; this is especially common for people who were adopted (or have parents/grandparents who were). And, a growing segment of genealogy researchers are hoping to get dual citizenship by documenting that their family tree has recent connections to another country.
Start with what you know: the names, birth/death dates and places of your parents and grandparents, if you have them. If you still have living relatives, they'll be one of your best sources of information. From there, choose an online genealogy platform that allows you to create a family tree and start entering the details you get. (Even guesses or approximations are okay when you're getting started.) Then, you'll use online databases to find documents that support those facts, like census records or birth certificates, if you don't already have them in your possession.
DNA testing is the biggest trend in genealogy right now, and with good reason: it's one of the most reliable ways to find living relatives, confirm suspected parentage, and even get ethnicity estimates. However, the science is still evolving, so be ready to take any results you get with a grain of salt.
You'll find everything from birth/death/marriage certificates to yearbook photos and beyond when you use a genealogy service. One of the most popular types of genealogical records is the US Census, which documents every household in the nation every 10 years. You can often find details about your relatives' educational level, income, how many children they had, and how long they had been married at the time. Even documents like draft registration records can tell you a person's height, weight, hair and eye color.
There are many genealogical records available at no cost, but the vast majority require you to pay to access them. You could pay for individual documents through county clerks' offices, but it usually makes more sense to subscribe to an online genealogy service that lets you search and view billions of records at your convenience. Most genealogy platforms also make it easy to connect with other people who might be doing research in the same part of the world or with the same family names, and to get help if you get stuck.
Not at all. You can get a subscription for anywhere from $10 to $25 per month, and there are usually discounts if you pay for your plan annually instead of monthly. Most genealogy sites also have different levels of service: for example, if you know that you only need access to records from the United States and not worldwide, you can probably choose a less costly plan than the all-inclusive package.
That's probably one of the most common questions asked by people who are interested in learning about their family tree. Most of us have heard that we descended from royalty, right? It's possible that those family stories are true, but you'll have to start by charting out your family tree to see if you connect with any famous people at some point in the past. The good news is that many famous family trees have already been established, which should make it easier to discover your connection (if there is one).
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Continued from above...

Through genealogy websites you can not only learn the names of the people in your family tree, but you can usually see pictures of them and view any documents that are attached to their records. You could spend days pouring over journal entries, news articles, and contributions from other family members about an ancestor. To learn about the people who paved the way for your existence is remarkable and will likely teach you more about yourself than you can imagine.

These online genealogy platforms provide you with instant access to vast databases of historical records, DNA databases, and family trees from the comfort of your own home. This accessibility makes genealogical research much more feasible for people with varying levels of experience and resources.

Once you find an online platform that gives you all the resources you need to do your own genealogy, you'll understand why this pastime is so addicting for people. Incredible things have transpired for people who have looked for lost family members and been able to reconnect through genealogy work. All it takes through most companies is to set up an account and get started.

When deciding which online genealogy service to spend your time and energy with, take the following things into consideration:

  • Variety of information. Does the company have a plethora of information that you easily search online? What types of records do they keep on file that you can view? How does the layout of all the information compare to other genealogy sites? You'll want to easily be able to sort through files and keep things organized.
  • Features. Can you easily create your own family tree? Or can you search for a family member and easily get connected with a tree that has been started for you? Are other family members able to contribute to your ancestors' information through uploading documents, photos, and stories?
  • Cost. Some of the best genealogy sites are completely free. But, there are valuable resources on today's popular paid sites as well. Does the company charge a one-time fee for access to your family tree? Or do you have to pay a subscription? What happens to your family tree if you cancel your membership? How does the price of one genealogy site compare to another?

Ready to research your genealogy? Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best places for you to get started on your personal family tree. We know this information will help you make life-changing discoveries that give you a deeper sense of who you are and an appreciation for those who came before you.

Compare Genealogy Services

Select any 2 Genealogy Services to compare them head to head

  • FamilySearch
  • LegacyTree Genealogists
  • Ancestry
  • Genealogy Bank
  • Lineages
  • Find My Past
  • The USGenWeb Project
  • My Heritage
  • Archives
  • One Great Family
FamilySearch vs LegacyTree Genealogists FamilySearch vs Ancestry FamilySearch vs Genealogy Bank FamilySearch vs Lineages FamilySearch vs Find My Past FamilySearch vs The USGenWeb Project FamilySearch vs My Heritage FamilySearch vs Archives FamilySearch vs One Great Family LegacyTree Genealogists vs Ancestry LegacyTree Genealogists vs Genealogy Bank LegacyTree Genealogists vs Lineages LegacyTree Genealogists vs Find My Past LegacyTree Genealogists vs The USGenWeb Project LegacyTree Genealogists vs My Heritage LegacyTree Genealogists vs Archives LegacyTree Genealogists vs One Great Family Ancestry vs Genealogy Bank Ancestry vs Lineages Ancestry vs Find My Past Ancestry vs The USGenWeb Project Ancestry vs My Heritage Ancestry vs Archives Ancestry vs One Great Family Genealogy Bank vs Lineages Genealogy Bank vs Find My Past Genealogy Bank vs The USGenWeb Project Genealogy Bank vs My Heritage Genealogy Bank vs Archives Genealogy Bank vs One Great Family Lineages vs Find My Past Lineages vs The USGenWeb Project Lineages vs My Heritage Lineages vs Archives Lineages vs One Great Family Find My Past vs The USGenWeb Project Find My Past vs My Heritage Find My Past vs Archives Find My Past vs One Great Family The USGenWeb Project vs My Heritage The USGenWeb Project vs Archives The USGenWeb Project vs One Great Family My Heritage vs Archives My Heritage vs One Great Family Archives vs One Great Family
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