Best Genealogy Software Online: MyHeritage vs Ancestry vs FindMyPast vs GenealogyBank & More!

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Want to know when your family migrated to the U.S. or where your great-great-great-grandmother was born? One of life’s biggest mysteries, “where did I come from?” is now a puzzle almost anyone can piece together, at least when it comes to your ancestry. With the evolution of the Internet, genealogy has become a hot hobby. It’s now easier than ever to trace your family roots back multiple generations online, but where do you start? An online genealogy software program is a great place to begin. We’ve researched many of the best genealogy websites and given you our top choices, as well as some other resources to get you started on your genealogy journey.

A Hobby That Pays It Forward

Online genealogy continues to be the fastest growing hobby. And there’s no doubt that genealogy websites will continue to gain new fans, from serious genealogists and hobbyists to casual family history curators, in the years to come. Discovering your family’s roots is a fun mystery to unravel, and the best ancestry sites we’ve reviewed prove that there’s a ton of answers yet undiscovered.

What Are The Best Genealogy Websites?

Below are our choices for the top three best genealogy software websites. Each one has billions of searchable international historical records and an easy-to-use family tree maker. See their key features, pros and cons and pricing options to help you decide which family history website is best suited for your family research needs.

Ancestry Review

#1

Visit Website

Coming in at our top spot for best genealogy website is Ancestry.com. In 2012 Ancestry.com was acquired by Permira, a European private equity firm, for a whopping $1.6 billion — a testament to the popularity of the field (and to the company itself). Ancestry sets the bar pretty high with 16 billion historical records in 60+ countries, excellent beginner and advanced search options, and an abundance of features. While it’s on the expensive side compared to other sites, it’s worth the investment if you’re serious about doing genealogy research the right way. Plus, with a 14-day free trial, you can try before you buy.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent records, with more than 70 million family trees
  • Easy to navigate website with more ancestry search options than other sites
  • View public member trees
  • You can create a personal profile
  • Excellent Learning Center with tutorials, videos, articles, webinars and blog
  • Extremely active online community with a member directory, online forum, message boards and social media
  • Free Android and iOS mobile apps
  • Free templates to help you keep track of research, sources, charts, etc.
  • Ability to give a gift subscription
  • Credit card required for free trial
  • Hard to cancel your subscription
  • Consumer feedback that customer service reps aren’t very helpful

Key Features

  • Easy to use Card Catalog with the ability to filter searches by collection, location, dates and languages
  • Hire one of their professional genealogists to do expert research for you
  • AncestryDNA: with their advanced DNA autosomal testing technology you can discover your genetic ethnicity and find new family connections with their dynamic list of DNA matches.
  • My Shoebox tool lets you store records you find but wish to review at a later time
  • Highly active Twitter feed, as well as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube

Pricing

Ancestry.com offers a 14-day free trial.

U.S Discovery Plan: access all U.S. records on Ancestry.com

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

World Explorer Plan: access all U.S. and international records on Ancestry

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

All Access: access all records on Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com and Fold3.com (an excellent U.S. military genealogy website and partner of Ancestry.com)

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

Coupon Code

From November 1st to 23rd, 2017, Ancestry is offering 20% off of Gift Memberships and Ancestry.com offers a 14 Day Free Trial, click here to take advantage of this offer.

Click here to read our in-depth Ancestry.com Review

MyHeritage Review

#2

Visit Website

Based in Israel with U.S. offices in Utah and California, MyHeritage is one of the largest international genealogy sites with more than 88 million registered users. MyHeritage comes in a close second for best family tree software. It has an intuitive platform, endless features including downloadable tree builder software. Their robust database of over 7 billion records is impressive but does not match that of Ancestry’s 16 billion records. While they do offer professional assistance, their customer support and help resources lack those on Ancestry. Otherwise, MyHeritage.com is a major player in genealogical research — and to top it off, they offer a free forever plan for those who just want the basics.

Pros

Cons

  • Free basic plan and affordable pricing for premium plans
  • 38 million family trees and 88 million registered users
  • Some records date back to the pre-1000s
  • Good collaboration tools to sync with other members
  • You can build a Timeline or Timebook documenting your family roots
  • Supports 40+ languages
  • Free Android and iPhone mobile apps
  • Customer service is prompt and knowledgeable
  • Active on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • Can’t upgrade to Premium or Plus plans without signing up for at least a 1-year subscription
  • Phone support is available but difficult to find a contact number
  • Smaller record base than Ancestry.com

Key Features

  • Free download of Family Tree Builder software, the preeminent family tree finder used by millions worldwide
  • Smart Matching technology uses algorithms to match your family tree to hundreds of millions of profiles in other family trees
  • Face Recognition technology: when you upload a photo, the face recognition tool scans each face and finds any possible matches already in their database
  • Megadex tool: with one click you can search the world’s top genealogy sources with name spelling variations
  • MyHeritageDNA: offers at-home autosomal DNA testing
  • Instant Discoveries feature allows first-time users to enter a couple of family members and they’ll find at least one ancestor they think is a match (as well as more information about your family)
  • Family Graph API: you can family-enable any app or service to reach a broader number of people

Pricing

Basic Plan: up to 250 individuals in family tree; 500MB image storage

  • Free

Premium Plan: up to 2,500 people in family tree, plus Smart Matches and Priority Support

  • $82.50 for 1-year subscription
  • $132 for 2-year subscription
  • $288.75 for 5-year subscription

Premium Plus Plan: all features from Premium Plan, plus Instant Discoveries and Search Trees

  • $131.34 for 1-year subscription
  • $210.14 for 2-year subscription
  • $459.69 for 5-year subscription

Complete: all features from Premium Plus Plan, plus Record Matches and SuperSearch

  • $175.77 for 1-year subscription

Coupon Code

We are not aware of any MyHeritage coupons at this time.

Findmypast Review

#3

Visit Website

Rounding out our top three Best Genealogy Websites is Findmypast. This site is Britain’s foremost genealogy website and owner of The British Newspaper Archive and Lives of the First World War. Findmypast is an excellent website for those who already know that their ancestors are of British origin. They also have a strong emphasis on records from the U.S., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. They’re not nearly as community-centered as other websites, but that’s not their purpose. Their strengths lie in their rare and exclusive records and their easy to use family tree generator. Findmypast doesn’t have a free trial, but you can conduct a free search of more than 830 million records to get you started.

Pros

Cons

  • Search 830 million records for free
  • Only site we found to offer pay as you go pricing
  • Easy to use, intuitive platform
  • You can add up to 5,000 people on your family tree
  • More than 8 billion historical records, the earliest dating back to 850AD
  • You can build a profile for each family member
  • Excellent how-to resources and blog
  • Customer support via live chat, phone and email (located in England)
  • Active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • No weekend customer support
  • Not as community centered as other top sites we reviewed
  • Premium Plan is pricey
  • No mobile apps

Key Features

  • 1,000 exclusive collections that you can’t find anywhere else online
  • Extensive U.S. and World Newspaper collections from 21 countries and all 50 states
  • Complete U.S. Census records from 1790-1940
  • A majority of records are scans of original documents, the gold standard in genealogy research
  • Partnered with some of the most well-respected genealogy societies, including FamilySearch.org, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Society of Genealogists, and the UK National Archives

Pricing

Pay as You Go Plan

  • 60 credits for $10.95; valid for 90 days
  • 300 credits for $37.95; valid for 90 days
  • 900 credits for $82.95; valid for 90 days

Starter Plan

  • $9.95 per month
  • $34.95 for 12-month subscription

Premium Plan

  • $19.95 per month
  • $239.50 for 12-month subscription

Coupon Code

Until October 31st, 2017, get 10% off 12 Month FindMyPast Premium with Code FMPOCT10. FindMyPast also offers a 14 Day Free Trial, click here to take advantage of these offers.

Comparison Table of Ancestry Websites

See our comparison table of all genealogy sites we’ve reviewed to give you the side-by-side picture of record types, features, support, pricing and more. You’ll find terminology below the table.

 1st Place: Ancestry2nd Place: MyHeritage3rd Place: FindMyPastArchivesGeneology BankMyTreesOneGreatFamily
1st Place: Ancestry2nd Place: MyHeritage3rd Place: FindMyPastArchivesGenealogyBankMyTreesOneGreatFamily
Read ReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReview
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Price Per Month$19.99 US plan
$34.99 World
$44.99 All Access
$9.95 Starter
$19.95 Premium
$9.99$19.95$20$14.95
Price Per Year$198 US plan
$298 World
$398 All Access
$82.50 Premium
$131.34 Premium Plus
$175.77 Complete
$114.50 Starter
$239.50 Premium
$119.88$69.95$120$79.95
Free Trial14 DaysFree PlanFree Limited Search14 DaysNone31 Days7 Days
Research AssistanceHire a professionalThrough Partnership with LegacyTree (users get a discount)Search Results for Professional GenealogistsOne hour consult (extra fee)
TutorialsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
US CensusCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
International CensusCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkOnly UK & PanamaCheckmark
BirthCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
MarriageCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
DeathCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
CemetaryCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
ObituaryCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Social Security Death IndexCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
MilitaryCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
ImmigrationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
EmigrationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
SurnamesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Native AmericanCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Court & LandCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
MapsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
NewspaperCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
PhotosCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
School RecordsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Family Tree BuilderCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Family HintsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Integrate with Other Family TreesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Upload GEDCOMCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Upload ImagesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
DNA TestingCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile AppsCheckmarkCheckmark
Social MediaCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
BlogCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
User ForumsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Member DirectoryCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Read ReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Terminology

GEDCOM: a specially formatted text file with genealogical information and meta data linking records together. Most genealogical software programs allow you to import and export GEDCOM files.

Surname Index: You can search a database of surnames and also get the meaning and history behind each last name.

Family Hints: As you fill in your family tree, the website will suggest related family members found by their own search engine. It’s fairly hit or miss, but you can get some good leads with this feature.

Other Genealogy Software Reviews

To jump straight to an in-depth review of a particular genealogy website, click on the link in the list below:

Archives.com | GenealogyBank | Mocavo | MyTrees | OneGreatFamily

Archives.com Review

Visit WebsiteArchives.com logo

Acquired by Ancestry.com in 2012, Archives.com pales in comparison to its parent website. Yes, it’s much more affordable, but in this case, you get what you pay for — which isn’t much. Archives.com does give you most of the basic ways to search, but the records only go back to the 1500s. If you’re just starting out and looking to make a family tree, you might want to give them a try with their 14-day Free Trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable monthly pricing
  • More than 4.3 billion records dating back to 1500s
  • You can pay to have them do an in-house search of county courthouse records
  • Living people search
  • Customer support 7 days/week via phone and email
  • Live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • Must enter credit card information for free trial
  • You must cancel; otherwise, they begin billing you
  • Only includes U.S., U.K., Ireland and Panama records (not even Canada)
  • Archive search could be more comprehensive
  • Not as sophisticated as many other sites
  • Pricing is very difficult to find
  • Several customer complaints about still being billed after cancellation

Pricing

Archives.com offers a 14-day free trial.

  • $9.99 per month

GenealogyBank Review

Visit WebsiteGenealogyBank logo

More of a niche genealogy website with records only from the U.S., GenealogyBank is an excellent resource if you’re looking for historical newspaper content. They do have a decent collection of historical documents (1789-1994) and books (1749-1900) as well as the Social Security Death Index, but the vast majority of their records are newspapers. If you’re looking for a family tree maker or online groups, this is not the site for you. But for what GenealogyBank.com is, they offer good search options and resources to help you with your discoveries. Note: their collections date back to 1690.

Pros

Cons

  • Historical newspaper collections from all 50 states
  • Ethnic collections search includes African-American, Hispanic and Irish American newspapers
  • Good Learning Center with tips on how to do genealogy research and how to get the most out of their website
  • Phone and email customer support
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube
  • No free trial
  • No international records
  • No family tree maker
  • Absence of any member forums or discussion groups hinders your ability to share discoveries with other family history seekers
  • No weekend customer service hours

Pricing

  • $9.95 for 30-day trial
  • $19.95 per month
  • $69.95 for 12-month subscription

Mocavo Review

Visit WebsiteMocavo logo

Mocavo was acquired in June 2014 by FindMyPast and is no longer a genealogy site on its own. You can find all of Mocavo’s content on FindMyPast’s website.

MyTrees Review

Visit WebsiteMy Trees logo

MyTrees has been in business for more than 10 years and has an impressive pedigree-linked database of international records as well as thousands of family trees. While My Trees has many search options, it lacks some crucial types of records such as land, deed and court records. They are also missing Native American collections. However, they do offer some unique features not found on most other sites like a professional genealogist directory, a date converter and the ability to embed family YouTube videos into your family albums. You also have the option of downloading free software Legacy 8.0 Family Tree if you don’t want your family tree online. MyTrees.com is fun to use once you figure out the cluttered homepage.

Pros

Cons

  • Ancestry Archive tool lets you search 1000s of family trees around the world
  • You can create multiple family albums, a family world map and timeline
  • Sign up for “Notify Me” to get emails when new content is available based on specified criteria
  • Free templates and newsletter
  • Customer support by phone and email 6 days per week
  • Website is difficult to navigate with dozens of links on the homepage alone
  • A lot of their records are extractions and therefore not as complete as on other sites
  • No member directory
  • Absence of court and land records and Native American records
  • No DNA testing
  • Free trial is conditional

Pricing

MyTrees offers a free 31-day trial, but you must upload your family tree to get started (minimum of 15 families; 60 individuals)

  • $10 for 10-day subscription
  • $20 for 1-month subscription
  • $45 for 3-month subscription
  • $120 for annual subscription

OneGreatFamily Review

Visit WebsiteOneGreatFamily logo

OneGreatFamily is similar to a genealogy co-op. Unlike other sites, OneGreatFamily.com is a 100% shared community of members and their 190 million unique entries. Using its Genealogy Handprint technology, this website searches for you 24/7, merging two trees when an individual in both trees is an exact match, identifying and eliminating duplications, and identifying areas on your family tree that have different information from other members’ trees. Some serious genealogists may not like the automatic updates. You can manually search on your own, but other members submit most of One Great Family’s records, so you’re taking some risk with unverified information. But this is a fun site, and the idea of contributing to a globally linked family tree is intriguing. It’s worth trying out OneGreatFamily’s free 7-day trial before committing to their site.

Pros

Cons

  • Advanced technology does a lot of the searching for you
  • Community centered website is all about connecting and sharing with members around the world
  • Data provided by OneGreatFamily is verified and reliable
  • Free printable genealogy templates to help with research
  • Links to other sources for research, learning center and newsletter archives are good resources
  • All subscriptions automatically renew
  • Credit card needed for free trial
  • User contributed content may not be reliable
  • No searchable international census information
  • No DNA testing
  • No weekend customer support hours

Pricing

OneGreatFamily offers a 7-day free trial.

  • $14.95 per month
  • $29.95 for 3-month subscription
  • $79.95 for annual subscription
  • $149.95 for annual subscription, plus a one-hour consult with an expert

Where Else to Look Online

There are a handful of must-see resources online that we don’t review here but absolutely must mention to help you uncover your roots.

  • The USGenWeb Project: Volunteer-run, it provides free ancestry sites in every U.S. county and state
  • FamilySearch.org: Free genealogy website/database, run by the genealogy experts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • NewspaperARCHIVE: More than 170 million newspaper pages dating back to 1607
  • Fold3: The place to go for U.S. military records going back to the Revolutionary War (and it’s just a cool site!)

A Unique Global Effort to Preserve History

Ancestry.com is leading an exciting effort to digitize as many historical records as possible with the help of everyday volunteers. Check out this video to learn more about the Ancestry World Archives Project and how you can be a part of making and preserving history.

 

What Will Your Past Tell You?

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your family tree. Geneology is a fun way to find out more about who you are and where you come from. Want to explore even further back in time? Through a simple, at-home DNA test, you can map out your lineage and family’s migration dating back thousands of years.

What are you hoping to discover with genealogy sites?

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.

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "Best Genealogy Software Online: MyHeritage vs Ancestry vs FindMyPast vs GenealogyBank & More!"

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Joseph Loerzel
Joseph Loerzel

I subscribe to Ancestry.com and to MyHeritage.com. I have found that Ancestry has mush more record searches, but MyHeritage records are more accurate. MyHeritage pricing is a bit confusing however. I have both RootsMagic and Family Tree Maker Genealogy Programs that I sync with Ancestry in order to archive all the online records on my personal hard drive.

Fred Reese
Fred Reese

Very good information. I belong to your top 2, but mostly use MyHeritage. I have ask both to provide to their USA users a timeline of when each Crown Colony started. Too many users list family members as born in a USA city before it existed in a Colony. Our US history classes are bad and even good ones are too soon forgotten.

Judith
Judith

I would be interested in knowing, for each of these sites, what happens to your data when you stop paying the subscription price? I can see my family tree, but can’t seem to be able to access the records I saved when I was a paying subscriber to Ancestry. I thought saving those records (like death certificates) and linking them to the individuals in my tree would be enough for me to view them, but now I have no access to them. Do the other sites let you view your records after the subscription runs out?

Joseph Loerzel
Joseph Loerzel

Judith: If you purchase a database program (RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker) and syc them with your Ancestry online tree, it will archive all data and records on your hard drive.

Eric
Eric

Ancestry is a complete joke. I tried world explorer plus and found nothing but the information I applied. I didn’t expect that I need to make my family tree. Save your money. I could do better with a crayon and paper. Complete waste of time and money.

Carolyn Wilcox
Carolyn Wilcox

My opinion of Heritage is low. I added my great neice (an aspiring actress) to my tree, and a young man from Venezuela attached himself to my tree as being related to her. Conversations with my nephew and great niece to discover if they knew this person, they informed me they had the same problem with others “attaching” on Facebook. When I contacted My Heritage, to have this young man removed from my tree, they wanted either my nephew or great niece to contact Heritage for possible removal. They were not concerned that a total stranger was able to access and attract my “tree”. I had to delete each individual and his/her individual data to get out of My Heritage.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Carolyn, so sorry to hear but thanks for sharing your experience with Heritage with us!

Antonio Sanchez
Antonio Sanchez

I had my Dna test with My Heritage and I am very dissapointed and upset. The results are ridiculous,and bizarre. I also had the test with Ancestry and seems to me Ancestry is very accurate.

David Dawes
David Dawes

I joined Geni not long after it started thinking it would be a great place to gather my family history in a collaborative fashion.
Anyway, I noted that their Record Match, & Smart Match suggestions needed Pro membership, so after 8 & 1/2 years, I decided to take up their offer of 40% discount (just as we were about to go to Fiji for 9 days. We have free WiFi, so I decided to bring my laptop so I could get stuck in while I had time – what a way to relax! 😉
So, now their suggestions often point to MyHeritage, and I thought that by going Pro, these links would be available to me.
Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case, but interestingly, they offer Geni members a monthly subscription at a reduced rate (25-30% off the yearly rates, up to 50% for 5 year subs). I was thinking I might do so short term as it looked like you could take just a month, but as many have said, the info in these trees isn’t necessarily correct, so I doubt I’ll spend $100+ to try it.
So I think I may take membership at FindMyPast instead (as almost all my family is from a UK/Aus/NZ background).

Julie Foster
Julie Foster

At present I have an account with Ancestry but am looking to change, Can you tell me the price of the Premium plus and a worldwide subscription please. Also I would not like to lose the work I have done so far which is on Family Tree Maker 2014, is this compatable with your site. Will I be able to synk with your site. I don’t understand about this paying separately or what the charge is. Is this different from the synk?

Peter Suter
Peter Suter

My experience with myheritage.com?
I was surprised when an account existed for me prior to my first visit to the site.
I was puzzled when the information provided showed me US ancestors with an extremely surprising almost exact match to my actual Aussie ancestors.
I decided that the information was suspect and cancelled my account prior to the expiry of my 14 day trial.
Surprisingly I was billed at the end of the trial period, my credit card was deduced almost $100.
I would not use this site again for it’s purported use; but as a pretty clever example of what to avoid.

David Dawes
David Dawes

Not good! I assume you have, or will eventually get a refund?
If you have/had a Geni profile/login, I imagine they might’ve used that info.

mary a. hendrix
mary a. hendrix

I paid 4,000 to a Pro genealogy got a oh this could be your possible grandfather so sad every answer possible.

Roger W. Peak
Roger W. Peak

This site asks the question, “What are the best genealogy web sites?” The answer is not answered in a clear and concise manner. I cite some examples:

ancestry (1) The overview mentions “if you’re serious about doing genealogy the right way.” What does this mean? How is this site better than the others? (2) One of the Pros is “excellent records.” Many of the public member trees are just copies of information from other trees with no sources. I do not consider this information “excellent” information, but maybe a clue to further research. (3) One item not mentioned as a Con is that two or more members of the same family are required to share the same login information or pay for multiple subscriptions.

MyHeritage: (1) The overview notes that there are 82 million registered users. The number of users was not mentioned for Ancestry. (2) This overview also notes the help resources are lacking when compared with Ancestry. However, there is no further details. (3) The number of pre-1000’s records is noted, but not for Ancestry.

This analysis could be improved by ensuring the same information is mentioned for each of the web sites. It would also be nice to know which dovetail better with a particular genealogy application (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Legacy, etc.).

mentummike
mentummike

Maybe I read through this too fast, but I didn’t see anything about keeping multiple trees. But I will say, I checked out MyLegacy for about 5 minutes and declined. There are so many bad reviews online they’re uncountable, and most of the problems have to do with billing and customer service. Ancestry is absolutely the way to go if you’re a serious researcher.

The biggest problem Ancestry has is shared by every service, and the Internet in general, and that is all the amateurs sharing their viral misinformation and incorrectly matched records through their trees. Once you accept that Public Trees are best used mainly for clues, and as last resorts for sources (unless a specific tree is provably reliable) you can save yourself a lot of rework and frustration. The compatibility of Ancestry with Family Tree Maker (originally Broderbund’s “My Family Tree Maker”) was just icing on the cake for me, since I began digitizing our family books with that program in the 1990’s before the Internet was of much use in researching my own families.

I would say one major caveat is in order, in my opinion neither Ancestry nor Family Tree Maker is for the less experienced computer operator: navigating both the website and software should prove fairly difficult for the average user.

Barbara McGeachy
Barbara McGeachy

Good discussion of subscription sites. However, a major point for me is the U.S. National Archives digitization partners. There are only three: FamilySearch, Fold3, and Ancestry.com . Specific record groups are listed here: http://www.archives.gov/digitization/digitized-by-partners.html

drklassen
drklassen

One of the Ancestry cons says “If you want to take your family tree offline, you must pay a fee to download”; I don’t see where this is true. Perhaps if you are only using Ancestry a non-member? With their Family Tree Maker software and a membership I automatically have an offline copy of my tree (complete with all the source images). I can also freely export my tree to a GEDCOM file (sans images and notes which are unsupported in that format).

mentummike
mentummike

They must have removed that off the “con” list, I don’t see it.

Steve Weisberg
Steve Weisberg

How does Geni line up? Yes, I know it’s owned by MyHeritage but it’s run as a separate company and db.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Steve, appreciate you sharing Geni – from first glance it looks like a basic, free alternative to creating a family tree with the option to upgrade with additional features you’d get from the other big players. But we’ll be sure to add them to our list and look into adding them into our in-depth review in the next update! Thanks again!

Peter Hjalmarsson
Peter Hjalmarsson

Wow, you really got that wrong!

Roni Lepore
Roni Lepore

Thank you for doing comparisons on genealogy software/websites. They are very helpful and informative.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Roni, you’re certainly welcome, so glad to hear you found the article useful – hope you enjoy finding your roots!

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