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Thursday, October 21st
Findmypast is based out of London and owned by publishing giant DC Thomson. They launched their website in 2001 with the aim to help people trace their ancestral roots. Their partners include NYG&B, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The National Archives, FamilySearch, The British Library, and The National Archives of Ireland.
Build a family tree and grow it with living relatives
The main features on Findmypast include the ability to create or upload your family tree, connect with living relatives to grow your recorded history, order or upload DNA results ($89), get advice from experts, and browse vital records, employment records, and more. Findmypast has twice the amount of Irish records as any other site and has the largest online archive of British and Irish newspapers.
Three monthly subscription packages to choose from
For access to Findmypast, you can first take advantage of their 14-day free trial to decide whether or not this is the genealogical website you want to explore deeper. After your trial period, you can choose from three subscription packages:
All packages come with unlimited family trees, the ability to get common ancestors from other people's family trees, British and Irish civil BMDs, and the British and Irish census. The Plus and Pro package have additional features like British wills and probate, employment records and specialized Irish records. With the Pro package you'll get extensive US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand records, newspapers and PERSI (periodical source index).
Limited geographic range
The main issue we foresee with Findmypast is that not everyone has roots that just trace back to the UK, US, or Canada. This may make it difficult to find a full range of family history information and connect with other family trees like you could through a larger-scale genealogy site.
Cancel and still have limited access
If you want to cancel your membership with Findmypast, you can turn off auto-renewal in your account and you will no longer be charged once your subscription is up. Once your membership ends, you'll still be able to view and build your family tree, and search and view family records (with limited results). Findmypast has a collection of free-to-view records that anyone can access at any time.
Free research tools
We appreciate that there are free tools from Findmypast that anyone can view regardless of if they are a member or not. You can view over 150 free newspaper archives spanning from 1720 to 1880 thanks to The British Library. There are free vital records you can browse as well as US, UK, and Canadian census records and travel and migration records.
Findmypast is not rated by The Better Business Bureau and they have mixed reviews from customers. Some are frustrated that it is not a very intuitive genealogy service to use. Others have had issues with payments and claim it is difficult to cancel. There are also people who are excited about the family discoveries they've made on Findmypast and felt that it was worth their money as soon as they got started. This site might not offer a broad enough spectrum of family history documents for a worldwide audience, but it is still a good resource to check out.
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.
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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