Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Find My Past Review

Thursday, October 21st

2021 Genealogy Service Reviews

Find My Past Review 4 Star Rating

Find My Past

4 Star Rating
  • 14-day free trial
  • Largest online archive of British and Irish newspapers
  • Cancel anytime
  • Over 1 million newspaper pages from 1720 to 1880

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:

  • Basic: $9.11/month for a 12 month subscription or $11.38 for a 3 month subscription
  • Plus: $13.65/month for a 12 month subscription or $16.38 for a 3 month subscription
  • Pro: $18.21/month for a 12 month subscription or $21.39 for a 3 month subscription

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.

Best Genealogy Services

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.

Mixed reviews

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.

What is the Best Genealogy Service?

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.

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).
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Features. Are you able to create your own family tree on the website? Can other researchers have access to the family tree to add relevant information? Does the platform allow you to upload photos, documents, stories, and other personal details for individuals on the family tree? How about DNA matches with potential blood relatives?
  • Variety of information. What types of records will you be able to obtain from the genealogy service? Do they have government records (birth and death certificates) as well as published information from news sources submitted by other users? What unique information do they offer that you aren't able to find for free online?
  • Cost. What is the cost to access records on your family tree? Do you pay a one-time fee, or does the service require an ongoing subscription? Are you able to get discounts if you use it long-term?

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.

The Best Reviews of Genealogy Services