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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.
As part of the Newsbank, Inc. group of services, Genealogy Bank helps individuals discover more about their family history through obituaries and other information typically published in a newspaper, military records, pamphlets, and more. Their database includes more than 7,000 historical newspapers from large cities and small towns throughout the United States dating back to as early as 1690.
There are many user testimonials that express delight with finding information through Genealogy Bank that they were unable to find elsewhere, especially those whose roots lie in parts of America that are off the beaten path. On the other hand, because Genealogy Bank does not have many of the documents traditionally used as a starting point (for example, US Census records, governmental registers of births and deaths), and it also lacks the ability to create, share, and connect with one's family tree, it may be of most use to those genealogists who already have established a considerable amount of information about their family tree and are hoping to dig deeper or find that one person that has eluded them for years.
Unlike most of the genealogy services in our review, Genealogy Bank does not offer a free trial. Customers can opt for a 30-day trial for $9.95, after which point their options are a $19.95 monthly subscription or an annual subscription for $69.95. On a positive note, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee within the first 30 days, effectively making it a free 30-day trial if the customer chooses to ask for the full refund.
In short, what Genealogy Bank does, it does well: namely, providing access to more than 320 years of newspapers and other types of printed materials published throughout the United States. For family history buffs hoping to discover details about the day-to-day lives of their ancestors as revealed in society pages, featured news stories and more, Genealogy Bank may provide information that they have been seeking for years. However, for someone who is new to genealogy research or who is looking to create an online family tree, Genealogy Bank comes up short compared with other services in our review.
To help you find the Best Ancestry Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Ancestry and Genealogy Bank.
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.
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.
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!
Genealogy In The News
EDMOND - The term "GEDCom" will be explained during the Edmond Genealogy Society's meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church, 1351 E 33 St. Walt ...
Published: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 03:24:00 GMT
In the summer of 1993, the body of a 35-year-old woman named Jeanne Ann Childs was found in her Minneapolis Apartment on the 3100 block of Pillsbury Avenue. She'd been stabbed 38 times. Her killing wa...
Published: Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:53:00 GMT
DNA left at the scene of a woman's 1993 stabbing death in south Minneapolis helped lead authorities to her suspected killer decades later, police said Tuesday. The 52-year-old man, a married father of ...
Published: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 20:05:00 GMT
Police detectives say they've tied a convicted killer to a decades-old cold case homicide in Portland, all thanks to some well-preserved DNA and forensic genealogy - much like the technology that help...
Published: Fri, 01 Feb 2019 21:50:00 GMT
DNA home-testing kits have become increasingly common in the US, and for good reason: they're an easy, useful way for people to gain insight into their ancestry, as well as find unknown relatives. One ...
Published: Sat, 02 Feb 2019 07:01:00 GMT
In brief: FamilyTreeDNA, one of the big players in the consumer genetic testing market, has granted the FBI access to its database of genetic profiles. This will more than double the amount of consume...
Published: Sun, 03 Feb 2019 06:41:00 GMT
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