Genealogy Sites

Updated 03-20-2015

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 They allow you to search historical documents such as census reports, crew manifests, draft records, and birth and death records, giving you unparalleled access to once-scarce information.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: Rating:stars
Most comprehensive service with the largest resource base; easy to navigate Rating:stars
Well-priced with good family tree builder though archive search could be better, more comprehensive Rating:stars
Great document viewer and fascinating archives; is better for historians than most family-tree builders Rating:stars
Inexpensive, can yield far-reaching results but limited archives means you need a good bit of family history to start

NextAdvisor Genealogy Blog Headlines

Genealogy 101: How to Get Started
Feb 24, 2015 - Knowing and following your family history is one of the most of the most fascinating yet time-consuming things you can do. And more often than not, we have no idea where to even begin. Here are three tips to help you get started with family research and genealogy. 1. Start your search at home Bef...

Verify Your Native American Ancestry with Genealogy Websites
Feb 18, 2015 - Many of us have heard family rumors that there's Native American heritage somewhere down the line, but have no idea how to prove the validity of these rumors. Part of this is due to the fact that most have no idea where to even start with genealogical searches. For Native American ancestry, it's ...

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
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, simplifies the process o...

Build Your Family Tree with's Open Access Weekend
Aug 29, 2014 - 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...


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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