Updated 02-11-2016

Genealogy SitesGenealogy Sites

Genealogy sites help you discover, organize and publish your family's history. They allow you to search historical documents such as census reports, crew manifests, draft records, and birth and death records, giving you unparalleled access to once-scarce information. Many sites even allow you to add to your family tree with your own photos, videos and family documents. Genealogy research sites also help you discover and network with other family members. Not sure which site to use? We've carefully reviewed each of these genealogy sites and our rankings below can help you find the site that's right for you.

Genealogy Sites Reviews & Ratings

View Full Comparison Chart
Services: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
Ancestry Rating: stars
Extremely comprehensive database of all kinds of searchable records; numerous resources for research help; member connect option
FamilySearch Rating: stars
Large database for family records; multiple options for viewing and creating a family tree; not as user-friendly as other options
MyHeritage Rating: stars
Huge database for records; accurate record matches; tons of additional features; free basic plan, yet paid plans require at least one-year commitment
Archives.com Rating: stars
Decent database for an affordable price; accuracy of search results vary; not as comprehensive as other genealogy services
FindMyPast Rating: stars
Large database for historical records, though results are not always accurate; several different options for family tree views; moderately priced
OneGreatFamily Rating: stars
Searches other members' trees and automatically syncs matching information; dated website that lacks resource database; not very helpful unless you have a tree of 18+ people

NextAdvisor Genealogy Sites Blog Headlines

4 Historical Records You Can Find with Genealogy Research
Although most people know that genealogy services provide ways to build family trees, discover new relatives and find historical documents on their family members, many people aren’t sure which historical records are available to them through these services or what these records contain. We’ve outlined the different ways you can search record databases online before, […]

How to Search for Records with Online Genealogy Services
Online genealogy services are more than just a means to build a digital family tree that you can share with your relatives. These services can also help you find new family members, connect with existing ones and discover things you may have not previously known about your family history. Because these services also search through […]

The Do’s and Don’ts of Genealogy Projects
Genealogy can be a fascinating and rewarding experience for anyone, yet starting a family research project with an online genealogy service can be an intimidating task to take on, especially when most people have no idea how and where to even begin. Whether you’re just beginning your family research project or you’ve hit a bump […]

How Ancestry Helps You Find New Family Members
A family research projects can be a time-consuming yet extremely rewarding task to take on, and online genealogy services can lend a huge helping hand. In addition to DNA testing, there are many other useful benefits that genealogy services offer when it comes to family research. These services help you organize your research, share your […]

What is genealogy?

Genealogy is the study of families, genetics, and ancestors. Our modern technological world has not diminished our desire to know where we came from, but it has made finding out about it a lot easier, and a lot more fun. Modern genealogy is a mix of worldwide records research, family tree building, social networking, and even DNA testing. There are a number of different services offering a number of different ways for you to research your family tree. They offer a unique exploration of family history powered by the reach of the Internet.

A long way from the old way

Most of us, at one time or another, have attempted a family tree, often as part of a school assignment. Sooner or later our knowledge of family history ran out and we gave up. Quite simply, we didn't have the tools or the information. If family records weren't kept, details are lost to history, residing in obscure record books moldering in libraries half a world away. Today, genealogy research is made easier by the easy accessibility and searchability of census, military, birth, death, immigration, and other records. The best genealogy research sites allow you to look at scanned versions of actual historical documents. DNA testing can reveal the unique migration patterns of one's ancestry. Finding common ancestors with other genealogists on the web can help complete the puzzle. We reviewed the best genealogy services, and help you find the right one.

Discover the past

Genealogy is about discovering the way our family lines link us to history: migrations, wars, booms, busts, new discoveries, and other world-altering events. It brings history alive as you see how world events affected your ancestors, and how your ancestors may have affected world events. And discovery is just the first part. You can share your research, download a GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunication) to use with other genealogy services, and find other family members. Genealogy research is a way of understanding our place in the world, how we arrived, and where we came from.

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