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Lineages Review

Sunday, December 5th

2021 Genealogy Service Reviews

Lineages Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Experienced researchers do the work for you
  • Free initial consultations
  • 36 products to choose from
  • Pricing based off of hours spent on projects

Lineages was founded in 1983 by Johni Cerny, the lead genealogist for several television series on PBS including "African American Lives', "Faces of America" , and "Finding Your Roots." Cerny passed away in 2020 and passed on her legacy of in-depth and precise ancestry research to her peer, Richard Price. He has continued to expand Lineages with a team of researchers focusing on England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, all European and Eastern European countries, Scandinavia, Russia, and Central and South America.

Step-by-step research process

Lineages is a service that does a lot of your family history work for you. If you've hit a roadblock in your research or don't have the time to continue it, you can hire Lineage's team of genealogists to trace your ancestry. Their services are designed to meet your research needs in 4 steps:

  1. A research consultant will contact you to learn about your family history goals. They'll want to know family stories and find out how much research you've done yourself and if you have family trees or other documents that would be useful.
  2. You will complete a "Family Tree Research Packet" before Lineages begins work on your project. They will study it carefully before beginning.
  3. Research will start by accessing records online, ordering documents from record keepers worldwide, and international agents will assist when necessary.
  4. Projects are assembled into a booklet that includes a research report, calendar, image and extracts of source documents, and a pedigree chart.

36 products to choose from

To dive into a more specific project, you can choose from one of 36 products offered by Lineage. These include preliminary, beginning, standard, and advanced research projects for African Americans, Americans, Native Americans, and Europeans. You can also purchase a family group chart, four, five, or six generation family tree, and even purchase gift cards.

Detailed explanation of each project

For a full explanation of what each product entails, you can read about them individually on the website. Most of them include over 20 hours of research, DNA analysis, on-call updates and help from a consultant, and an in-depth report after the completion of the research. You and a consultant will design a plan together to make sure you are able to accomplish your family history goals.

Best Genealogy Services

Cost depends on time required for completion

The cost of a project ranges from $350 - $6,000 depending on how many hours will be required. Initial consultations are free and this can help you determine which product you should purchase. If you end up needing more than the allotted time for a genealogist to work on your family history, you can buy extra hours for $90/hour.

No refund information

Unfortunately, the link for the refund policy at Lineages was broken, so we aren't sure what happens if you pay the hundreds or thousands of dollars and your research goals aren't met. However, since this is a process that you're so involved in with a consultant, it's likely that you will know what to expect by the end and be satisfied with the results you're able to get. If you need to contact their team, you can email or call them at any time.

Doesn't hurt to have a consultation

Lineages is not rated by the Better Business Bureau and they don't have very many customer reviews online. However, both the founder and current owner of this company are reputable and seem to genuinely care deeply about the work they do for people. Since your initial consultation is free, it's not a bad idea to contact Lineages and let them know what your genealogy goals are and see if the pricing and procedure they spell out for you seems reasonable. The in-depth nature of this company isn't for everyone and the pricing is definitely reflected in the amount of work involved, but for those wanting to do minimal work on their family tree, this is a good option.

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).
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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.

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