Genealogy Sites

Updated 09-22-2014

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 They allow you to search historical documents such as census reports, crew manifests, draft records, and birth and death records, giving you unparalleled access to once-scarce information.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 Site Reviews & Ratings


Services: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
Ancestry.com Rating:stars
Most comprehensive service with the largest resource base; easy to navigate
Archives.com Rating:stars
Well-priced with good family tree builder though archive search could be better, more comprehensive
Footnote.com Rating:stars
Great document viewer and fascinating archives; is better for historians than most family-tree builders
Onegreatfamily.com Rating:stars
Inexpensive, can yield far-reaching results but limited archives means you need a good bit of family history to start
FamilyBuilder.com Rating:stars
Expensive service returns highly general and abstract results that shed no real light on the specificity of one's origins

NextAdvisor Genealogy Blog Headlines

Why is It Important to Find Your Family's Roots?
Dec 10, 2014 - PBS recently aired its second season of "Finding Your Roots," which is nominated for an NAACP Image Award, where Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. works with a team of genealogists to trace ancestral history. This season uncovered family secrets from celebrities like Angela Bassett, Derek Jeter, Anderso...

Celebrate Family History Month With Ancestry.com
Oct 17, 2014 - The month of October is Family History Month, and what better way to get in touch with your family?s history than building your family tree? Assembling your family tree isn't always the easiest task, especially if you've never done it before. Luckily for you, Ancestry.com simplifies the process o...

Build Your Family Tree with Ancestry.com's Open Access Weekend
Aug 29, 2014 - Ancestry.com wants to help you discover your lineage over the Labor Day weekend. From now through Sept. 1st the service is hosting an open access weekend, giving everyone the ability to use to the site's vast database of global records for free, no credit card required. For those who aren't famil...

Ancestry.com's New And Improved Mobile App
Jun 6, 2014 - Finding out your family's past is now even easier with the new mobile app from Ancestry.com. As one of the premier sites for genealogy researching, Ancestry.com has created a mobile app that will allow you to research your family's history on your Apple or Android tablet or mobile device. Ancestr...

Ancestry.com Releases New Global Records
Feb 28, 2014 - Have you ever wondered how your family ended up in the United States or where the roots of your family tree lead to? Ancestry.com, one of the leading Genealogy websites, is helping thousands of people trace their family's past every day through their vast database of records and other tools. Ance...

Genealogy
Research
Overview

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.


Sign Up For Our Newsletter



Advertiser Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most but not all of the companies whose products and services we review. For credit cards, we review cards from all of the top 10 US issuers by purchase volume (according to Issue 1035 of The Nilson Report, Feb 2014) excluding issuers that require additional accounts to be a cardholder and private label issuers. We may also review cards from other issuers in select cases. We do not review all products in a given category. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.