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Discover Your Roots: Ancestry.com Review

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Ancestry.com logoEver wonder what mysteries lurk within your family tree? You might be surprised at what you can dig up about your roots and how fun Ancestry.com makes genealogy research. The most well-known genealogy website, Ancestry.com lives up to its high-profile reputation. This company placed first in our best genealogy software online comparison review and second in our best DNA ancestry test comparison review.

In 2012 private equity firm Permira acquired Ancestry.com for an impressive $1.6 billion. And in April 2016, Ancestry.com received a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake and GIC. Obviously, genealogy research pays off!! We give you an in-depth Ancestry.com review to help you see if it’s the right path for your genealogical journey. We’ve broken this article down into two ancestry review sections —the first explores Ancestry.com’s genealogy research offerings, and in the second section, we review Ancestry DNA testing.

Ever wonder what mysteries lurk within your family tree? You might be surprised at what you can dig up about your roots and how fun Ancestry.com makes genealogy research. The most well-known genealogy website, Ancestry.com lives up to its high-profile reputation. This company placed first in our best genealogy software online comparison review and second in our best DNA ancestry test comparison review. In 2012 private equity firm Permira acquired Ancestry.com for an impressive $1.6 billion. And in April 2016, Ancestry.com received a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake and GIC. Obviously, genealogy research pays off!! We give you an in-depth Ancestry.com review…

Review Overview

Pricing
Database of Records
Search Tools
Online Community
Resources & Tutorials
Customer Support

4.66/5.00

Summary : Ancestry.com's excellent databases, resources and navigation tools are hard to beat. The only things keeping them from a full five-star rating? Their high subscription rates and no live chat feature.

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Ancestry Review (Genealogy)

Visit Ancestry.com

Ancestry’s abundance of features far surpasses what its competitors offer. Their historical records top 16 billion—much more than any other site.

Ancestry Key Features

  • User-friendly Card Catalog that allows you to filter searches by collection, location, dates, and languages
  • In-house professional genealogists for hire to help you with research
  • My Shoebox tool: a place to store records from your searches
  • Highly active social media presence including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr
  • AncestryDNA: discover your genetic ethnicity and locate new family members with their advanced DNA autosomal testing technology (see next section for our Ancestry DNA reviews)

Pros

Cons

  • 32,600 collections — a wide variety of historical records
  • Intuitive website with excellent beginner and advanced search tools
  • 14-day free trial
  • Customer support 7 days a week – phone and email
  • View public member trees
  • Create a personal profile
  • Excellent Learning Center includes blog, webinars, tutorials, videos and tons of articles
  • The most active online community we’ve seen with a member directory, forums, message boards and social media
  • Free Ancestry.com App (Android and iPhone)
  • Free templates to keep you organized during your research
  • Gift subscriptions available
  • Consumers report unhelpful customer service reps
  • Free trial required credit card
  • Canceling your subscription is difficult, according to customer reviews
  • You incur a fee to download your family tree offline

Pricing

Ancestry.com offers a 14 Day Free Trial, click here to take advantage of this offer.

U.S. Discovery Plan: access to all of their U.S. records

  • $19.99 per month
  • $99 for 6-month membership

World Explorer Plan: access to all of their U.S. and international records

  • $34.99 per month
  • $149 for 6-month membership

World Explorer Plus: access to all records on Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com and Fold3.com (a fun and helpful U.S. military genealogy website)

  • $44.99 per month
  • $199 for 6-month membership

AncestryDNA Review

Visit AncestryDNA’s Website

Ancestry.com offers AncestryDNA testing as a separate feature on its website. While the parent site came in at number one in our rankings for overall genealogy research, one of Ancestry.com competitors (FamilyTree DNA) beat them out of the top spot for best DNA ancestry test, primarily because Ancestry DNA suspended its offerings of Y-DNA and mtDNA testing, which FTDNA still offers. Still, AncestryDNA was our number two pick for best DNA ancestry test.

Ancestry DNA Key Features

  • They analyze your saliva sample at more than 700,000 genetic markers
  • Database of 1.4 million DNA samples
  • Access to millions of family trees
  • Largest online community when compared to similar services

Pros

Cons

  • Ancestry.com cost for Autosomal DNA test is competitive
  • Largest database of ancestry DNA testing companies we reviewed
  • DNA test samples and results stored securely (stores your sample indefinitely)
  • Excellent online community and customer service
  • Biogeographical ancestry analysis provided
  • Ability to connect with your genetic matches via email and message boards
  • Separate Y-DNA or mtDNA testing not offered
  • Lacking targeted genealogical DNA projects on website
  • No ability to upload raw DNA data from similar services
  • No ability to compare shared chromosomal segments via website

Pricing

  • $99 DNA testing kit (saliva sample)
  • $9.95 shipping
  • Get results in 6-8 weeks

Ancestry DNA Coupon

AncestryDNA often has time sensitive coupons, find and share them here!

What’s the Buzz About Ancestry.com?

We did some digging of our own around the web to see what customer feedback we could unearth about Ancestry.com. Here’s a sampling of Ancestry.com reviews by real users.

Positive Ancestry Reviews

I’ve been involved doing family research for over twenty years. I’ve used most of the available sites on-line, and have found Ancestry.com to be the best of these. It has proven to be indispensable [sic] in my research. They are continually working to improve it and add features. It’s relatively easy for anyone to use – whether you’re a beginner or an expert. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is serious about genealogy. – Susan M., TrustPilot.com, 6/9/2015

I started with Family Tree Maker and have been using Ancestry.com for years. I find it to be well worth the money and have found lots of info on my family. I guess if you expect something for nothing you might not be happy with it. I will continue using it for years to come. – Ardelle G., SiteJabber.com, 5/20/2015

Negative Ancestry Reviews

Don’t even waste your time and money on this service. I’m certain the DNA I sent in wasn’t even tested, they just did a name search on my maternal grandfather (the only family member I listed) and put in the ethnicities found associated with it. My test results are absolutely incorrect. My maternal grandmother is a very specific (and full-blooded) ethnicity and it didn’t even come up, only the ones associated with my grandfather’s name. I completely wasted my money! – Stacy B., TrustPilot.com, 1/21/2017

My warning to others is that if you sign up for the free trial, ensure you set a reminder/alert on your calendar to go cancel it. I never received notification that I was about to be charged the $50 monthly subscription fee. First off, way overpriced. Second, most service sites that have trials like this will notify prior to ending it/charging you. – Dave, ConsumerAffairs.com, 2/11/2015

What Can You Find From Your DNA?

One of Ancestry.com’s most exciting features is the ability to have your DNA analyzed, allowing you to drill down into your family history (if you can trust DNA tests after reading Anna’s comment above!). Check out this video to learn more about their DNA analysis.

Why Pay for Research When You Can Do it for Free?

You can only get so far in your research with free websites, say experts. And most free sites don’t give you the advanced tools you get with Ancestry.com. Yes, free online genealogy websites help get you started, but statistics show that paid sites can take you the distance. GenealogyInTime Magazine conducted a study of the top 100 genealogy websites and found that website traffic for paid services accounted for 56% of all traffic, compared to 44% for free sites. If you’re serious about tracking down your ancestry and want to do it right, Ancestry.com is an excellent choice.

Have you uncovered any family mysteries using Ancestry.com or other genealogy tools?


About Sally Jones
An international traveler since she was under 10 years old, Sally loves exploring the world’s mysteries first hand. Her favorite destinations? Greece and the British Virgin Islands. She grew up learning to question, explore, and discover new things and ideas — it’s probably why she went into journalism as a career! She loves what the Internet has brought to research and exploration, but she still hits the ground to travel whenever she gets the chance.
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4 Comments on "Discover Your Roots: Ancestry.com Review"

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Myra
Myra

My ex husband was adopted. He passed away October 2015 and our daughters want to try to find medical background and possible other biological family members of his that he never knew about. I cannot decide which DNA testing package is the right one for this purpose.

Tillymae52
Tillymae52
I ordered an Anncestry DNA kit in Dec 9th ‘2016 as a Christmas gift, as of Jan2017’ the kit has not arrived. I have sent many messages and called customer service, and they just keep telling me that there was a delay at Christmas. They will not, or can not do a postal search and just send a tracking nip umber, that stopped at the Canadian border.it can’t be tracked into Canada. I have requested a second kit to be sent, but have had to wait for 25 business days before they would replace it, that 25 days is just… Read more »
Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Thanks for sharing, that’s unfortunate to hear and hopefully you’ll get your kit soon!

Don Green
Don Green

My sister’s in laws have an Ancestry account since they are very much into tracking their family’s heritage but she and I recently started using it to track our side of the family too and it’s so awesome because you can link up with other people’s trees and find photos and “hints” to missing people and data (birth dates etc). It’s not only fun but educational, I’m shocked how much I’ve learned from only plugging in a few names into the tree.

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