family research resourceWhether you know little or nothing about your family history or you have a ton of information and are looking to discover even more, family research projects spark an interest in just about anyone. And thanks to the Internet and online genealogy, you no longer have to skim through paper documents and thick historical books to find out more about your family. If you’re still looking for a reason to try an online genealogy service to start your family research, here are three perks you can expect from using one.

Gain access to more records

With the evolution of the Internet and everything that’s followed it, we’ve gained access to more and more information at the touch of our fingertips, and genealogy records are not exempt from this. As more genealogy records move online, the more people can access them. For example, if you were to try to find historical documents in person, it could take you weeks, months or years to locate the right libraries or research facilities that house the document, not to mention the countless hours you’ll spend looking through indexes for your family surname. But with online records, genealogy services take care of all the hard work for you. All you have to do is plug in names, locations and dates, and you’ll have access to pages and pages of all different kinds of historical records, from U.S. Census to immigration records and more.

Create and share digital family trees

Traditionally, family trees have been passed down from generation to generation and are a sacred part of a family’s history, as they contain a log of all your relatives, both past and present. While handwritten trees hold a sense nostalgia and sentimental value, they are also more susceptible to physical damage from the wear-and-tear of time, accidental damage or the result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, tornado and fire. By creating a digital family tree with an online genealogy service, you not have the ability to store it on multiple devices (e.g., a desktop computer, laptop and tablet), but you can also share it more easily with your relatives, who can help you edit and expand the tree. Some services, such as MyHeritage, even give you option to order and print your family tree, so can have both a digital copy to edit whenever you need to, as well as a hard copy to treasure or give to any loved ones. If you’re concerned about the confidentiality of your online family tree, you’ll want to opt for a service like Ancestry that gives you the option of keeping your tree private — that way only you and authorized users have access to the information it contains.

Connect with new relatives

When you create a family tree with an online genealogy service, you will be matched with historical records as well as potential relatives. These services discover the matches by finding other users in the database that share similar family names and dates (e.g., birth dates and dates of marriages). If a user has opted to keep their family tree private, you will only be able to see the information of the relative you two have in common. Whereas, if the family tree is public, you can see the full scope of that user’s family tree, complete with other relatives the two of you may share. Whether you want to connect with this person or not is completely up to you, but if you choose to do so, you may discover a distant cousin or great aunt in the process! Additionally, if you opt to take a DNA test through your preferred genealogy service, you could increase your potential of discovering new relatives, and thus, learning even more about your family’s history.

Interested in getting started with a genealogy service to start your family research project? Visit our online genealogy reviews to compare the top-rated services and decide which one is best for you.