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Genealogy Services Reviews

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With access to literally billions of historical records - and a collection that expands daily - there are few sites that can even come close to the access Ancestry provides. While the subscriptions may be costly, the amount of information that users can locate quickly and easily makes it possible to find details not available elsewhere. And, with a 14-day free trial, prospective customers can decide for themselves if the service will help them with their family history research. As the most recognized name in genealogy services, Ancestry is our top choice.

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As part of the Ancestry group of services, Archives could be considered as a "lite" version of its parent company. Many of the same records offered at Ancestry are offered through Archives - but at a much more affordable price, especially for beginners who are just looking to get started with putting together their family tree.

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Find My Past specializes in records related to the United Kingdom, having started back in 1965 as a group of professional genealogists known as Title Research. While the breadth of their records relating to England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland is impressive, users whose ancestry includes few or no history in that part of the world may find their collection not robust enough to help them find the records they need.

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Billing itself as "the world's largest online family tree", One Great Family helps users connect with others around the world who are interested in their genealogy. Their service streamlines many of the processes that other sites require users to manage manually, making it easier to create and maintain one's own family tree. On the other hand, for those who are looking for census records, obituaries, and other types of historical documents, One Great Family does not provide access to that kind of information.

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Genealogy Bank helps users discover their genealogy through newspapers and other published documents: from articles to obituaries and more, throughout the United States. However, for information traditionally not found in newspapers and books, such as census records or draft registration cards, Genealogy Bank isn't much help. For that reason, the average family history researcher may need the more well-rounded databases and records found with other genealogy sites.

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My Heritage has been connecting genealogy buffs with their ancestors since 2005. While their 83 million user base is impressive, their membership and pricing structure leaves room for improvement. For those who want a straightforward way to access records and build an online family tree, we recommend that they look at other genealogy services in our review.

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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.

  • 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? 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

'I wasn't sure we would ever find out': How DNA, genetic genealogy made 2018 the year to crack cold cases

'I wasn't sure we would ever find out': How DNA, genetic genealogy made 2018 the year to crack cold cases originally appeared on Christine Franke was a 25-year-old college student when ...

Published:  Mon, 10 Dec 2018 01:55:00 GMT

Genealogy research stories to be shared by Zalman Usiskin at Jewish Genealogical Society meeting

Amateur genealogist Zalman Usiskin will share "Stories about Things I've Learned from Doing Genealogy" at the Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, special luncheon meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illi...

Published:  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 03:29:00 GMT

Washington Township Genealogy Club helps people get back to their roots

WASHINGTON TWP. - As an 11-year-old, Ruth Huntington was adamant she was not related to the famous Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold. So Huntington went about trying to find the truth and it l...

Published:  Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:23:00 GMT

How DNA, genetic genealogy made 2018 the year to crack cold cases

(NEW YORK) - Christine Franke was a 25-year-old college student when she was shot dead in her Orlando apartment on Oct. 21, 2001. Though DNA was left behind at the crime scene, years went by ...

Published:  Mon, 10 Dec 2018 11:12:00 GMT

Genealogy helps people connect, historian tells crowd

FARMVILLE - Genealogy connects people - sometimes in life-changing ways, a local historian told those attending the final May Museum & Park at the final Coffee & History series of 2018. Pitt County's ...

Published:  Sat, 08 Dec 2018 21:33:00 GMT

Residents learn genealogy software

Jim Valdez decided to take up a new hobby after his retirement. After years of service in the Air Force and working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Frederick resident turn...

Published:  Sat, 08 Dec 2018 18:43:00 GMT

NIAGARA GENEALOGY: Gifts for the ancestry hunters on your list

The holiday season is here! If you have a genealogist on your gift list this year, whether they are new to the hobby or professional researchers, there are several simple gift ideas that are sure to p...

Published:  Sat, 08 Dec 2018 21:05:00 GMT

Man honored for genealogy dedication

DECATUR (AP) - David Kent Coy likes to study history - his own history. His love of family research comes from - where else - his family. The 65-year-old Decatur man began keeping genealogical record...

Published:  Sat, 08 Dec 2018 02:09:00 GMT

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