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      February 18, 2020

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Ancestry vs One Great Family

To help you find the Best Ancestry Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Ancestry and One Great Family.

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Research Your Genealogy with Ancestry Today! Genealogy, or the study of family history and lines of descent, is second only to gardening in terms of its popularity in the United States. From TV shows like Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are?, to DNA testing kits that show an individual's unique genetic roots and relatives throughout the world, it's easy to see that learning about one's ancestry has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people.

In the past, researching a family tree was an arduous, often lengthy process. Vital documents had to be requested from local, state, and federal governments, and sometimes required proof of kinship in order to be granted. Many of these requests came with significant fees, sometimes as much as $20 per document.

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2020

Genealogy Services Reviews

5 stars
Ancestry

ANCESTRY

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Cost:

U.S. Discovery subscription, $99 for 6 months, $189 for 12 months

World Explorer subscription, $149 for 6 months, $299 for 12 months

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award With a name like Ancestry, it's not surprising that this service is one of the most well-respected in the genealogy world. Ancestry offers a three-pronged approach to studying one's family history: historic records and other documents, such as census lists and church registers; user-created family trees; and, Ancestry DNA which, as the name suggests, allows users to trace their ethnicity and connect with others who share the same genetic roots.

The majority of Ancestry's two million paying subscribers join the site to access its unparalleled amount of historic records reaching back to the late 1300's: more than 16 billion added to the site over the last 19 years, and with an average of 2 million added daily. These records fall under three main categories: Birth, Baptism and Christening; Marriage and Divorce; and Death, Burial, Cemetery and Obituaries. Not only can users find an indexed entry for their ancestor, but often they can also view and print a scanned image of the actual document.

In order to access these documents, family history buffs first need to choose whether they need access strictly to US-based records, or if their research will require them to look at documents from other places throughout the world. Ancestry offers two types of subscriptions: U.S. Discovery, which costs $99 for a 6-month plan or $189 for a full year, and World Explorer, at $149 for 6 months or $299 for 12 months. Many of the documents we found on Ancestry were not available on any of the other online genealogy services in our review, making it well worth the extra cost of the subscription compared with other sites. We love that Ancestry offers a complimentary 14-day trial, so that prospective customers can get an idea of which plan will best meet their research needs.

Another useful feature that Ancestry provides is the ability to create a family tree. As users find records pertaining to their ancestors, they can link the actual documents directly to those individuals' entries in the family tree. Furthermore, they can benefit from research already done by other members of their family tree and easily connect that information as well. Members of Ancestry have already created more than 70 million family trees, with 8 billion connections between subscribers' trees since early 2008.

And, for those who want to know more about their family history at a cellular level, Ancestry also offers DNA testing to enable people to discover their ethnic mix, find distant relatives, and learn more about their own unique background. Ancestry DNA was launched in 2012 and since that time, more than one million people have used the service, leading to the discovery of more than four million third-cousin and closer matches. The service costs $99 and results are delivered via email within 6-8 weeks.

Although the subscription price is significantly more expensive than other genealogy services in our review, we can't help but be impressed by the unparalleled amount of resources that Ancestry makes available to its subscribers. Whether you're looking to create your family tree for the first time or trying to track down that elusive great-great-grandmother that has stumped you for years, Ancestry is your best bet for making the connections you seek in your family history journey and earns our top ranking.

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3 stars
One Great Family

ONE GREAT FAMILY

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Cost:

$14.95/month

$29.95/quarter

$79.95/year

$149.95/year with an additional one-hour consultation with a genealogy specialist

One of the most common goals for people looking to explore their ancestry is to create a family tree, and One Great Family does that quite well. With a tagline of "the world's largest online family tree", it's no surprise that One Great Family specializes in helping people around the world connect with each other through the creation of family trees.

One Great Family's online family tree service is different from those offered by other genealogy websites in several ways. First and foremost, much of what One Great Family does is automated, from identifying and eliminating duplicated data to searching for matches among different user-entered trees. When discrepancies are found, One Great Family highlights them and prompts the user to analyze the differences and makes suggestions for how to resolve them.

Access to One Great Family's "world tree" costs $14.95 for a monthly plan, and customers have the option to choose the discounted quarterly ($29.95) or yearly ($79.95) plans. For an additional $70, yearly subscribers can access a one-hour consultation with a One Great Family genealogy specialist, to get personalized help with their specific tree. Prospective users can get a free 7-day trial, in order to determine if One Great Family's service will be a good fit for their genealogy needs.

While we like the automated nature of One Great Family's family tree service, especially because it has the potential to save users a considerable amount of time when compiling their trees, we wonder if similar connections can be made using one of the other genealogy services in our reviews - ones that not only have the ability to create and share family trees, but also to access the kinds of documentation to substantiate the information entered in those trees (for example, birth certificates to prove birthdates and places, census records that show all of the members of a household).

In that vein, we question whether or not One Great Family's trees might have the downside of perpetuating misinformation across multiple users trees; for example, if one user enters a mistaken death date and five other users agree with it, despite its being incorrect, that information could be accepted by multiple people without any connections to a source document to refute it.

In summary, One Great Family offers a unique automated process to building one's family tree, and appears to do that quite well, but genealogy lovers may find a more robust package of services and information with one of the other providers in our review.

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Continued from above

Also, it was not uncommon for a request to go unfilled because the details provided by the requestor were incorrect - perhaps the individual was actually born in an adjacent county, or in a different year, or had a different name on his or her birth certificate.

Further complicating matters, most people's family trees contain ancestors whose native language was not English, making it even more difficult to locate and request information. Fortunately, today's genealogy buff has access to an unprecedented amount of birth and death certificates, obituaries, census records, and other researchers' results, just to name a few.

Genealogy services can help people find out more about their family history in a matter of minutes, rather than months or even years, through indexed records, broad databases, and even translations of vital documents from many different countries. Modern technology also allows genealogy buffs to take their research to the next level through DNA testing.

Often with just a simple swab of the cheek or a vial of saliva, curious individuals can get scientific evidence of their roots, connect with people who have shared ancestors, even discover family traits that have been passed down for generations.

  • Cost. How much will you need to pay to access the records and other information on the site? Are there monthly options, if you only need to find a few records, or discounts for yearly subscriptions?
  • Variety of information available. What types of records does the site provide? Is it a wide range of governmental data (e.g. census, death certificates, etc.), published information (e.g. obituaries and other newspaper articles), and family trees submitted by other users? Can the information the site provides be found for free on other websites?
  • Family tree features. Does the service allow you to create your own family tree and easily link information you find on the site? Are you able to connect with other researchers interested in the same ancestral line? Can you add photos, stories, and other personal details to your family tree?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Genealogy Services available today. We hope these reviews help you find your ancestors and discover more about your own family tree today!

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