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Best Genealogy Software Online: MyHeritage vs Ancestry vs FindMyPast

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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.

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


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Coming in at our top spot for best geneology website is In 2012 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, 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.



  • Excellent records, with more than 70 million family trees
  • Easy to navigate website with more ancestry search options than other sites
  • 14-day free trial
  • 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 iPhone 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
  • Difficult 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


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

  • $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, and (an excellent U.S. military genealogy website and partner of

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

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


Click here to read our in-depth Review

MyHeritage Review


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Based in Israel with U.S. offices in Utah and California, MyHeritage is one of the largest international genealogy sites with more than 82 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 6.6 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 lacks that of what we found with Ancestry. Otherwise, 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.



  • Free basic plan and affordable pricing for premium plans
  • 33 million family trees and 83 million registered users
  • Some records date back to the pre-1000s
  • Good collaboration tools to sync with other members
  • Partnered with a top DNA testing company,
  • You can build a Timeline or Timebook documenting your family roots
  • Supports 40+ languages
  • Free Android and iPhone mobile apps
  • Active on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • Customer service is prompt and knowledgeable
  • 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

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
  • 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


Basic Plan: up to 250 people 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


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Rounding out our top three Best Genealogy Websites is Findmypast. This is Britain’s foremost genealogy website and owner of Mocavo (also reviewed here), Genes Reunited and The British Newspaper Archive. 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. Try out with a free 14-day Trial.



  • Free 14-day trial
  • 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
  • Active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • Customer support is via email only with up to 2-day waiting time
  • No weekend customer support
  • Not as community centered as other top sites we reviewed
  • World Plan is pricey
  • No mobile app

Key Features

  • 1,000 exclusive collections that can’t be found 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 geneology research
  • Partnered with some of the most well-respected genealogy societies, including, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Society of Genealogists, and the UK National Archives


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

U.S. & Canada Plan

  • $9.95 per month
  • $114.50 for 12-month subscription

World Plan

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

Coupon Code

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

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 US/Canada
$19.95 World
Price Per Year$198 US plan
$298 World
$398 All Access
$82.50 Premium
$131.34 Premium Plus
$175.77 Complete
$114.50 US/Canada
$239.50 World
Free Trial14 DaysFree Plan14 Days14 DaysNone31 Days7 Days
Research AssistanceHire a professionalThrough Partnership with LegacyTree (users get a discount)Search Results for Professional GenealogistsOne hour consult (extra fee)
US CensusCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
International CensusCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkOnly UK & PanamaCheckmark
Social Security Death IndexCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Native AmericanCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Court & LandCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
School RecordsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Family Tree BuilderCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Family HintsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Integrate with Other Family TreesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Upload GEDCOMCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Upload ImagesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
DNA TestingCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile AppsCheckmarkCheckmark
Social MediaCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
User ForumsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Member DirectoryCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Read ReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReview


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 surname.

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 specific genealogy website, click on the link in the list below: | GenealogyBank | Mocavo | MyTrees | OneGreatFamily Review

Visit logo

Acquired by in 2012, 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 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 make a family tree, you might want to give them a try with their 14-day Free Trial.



  • Free trial of for 14 days
  • 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
  • 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. 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
  • Customer service options are lacking
  • A number of customer complaints about still being billed after cancellation


  • $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 is, they offer good search options and resources to help you with your discoveries. Note: their collection dates back to 1690.



  • 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
  • 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


  • $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 geneology 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 a number of search options, it’s lacking in 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. is fun to use once you figure out the cluttered homepage.



  • 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


  • Free trial for 31 days: 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 best described as a genealogy co-op. Unlike other sites, 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 most of One Great Family’s records are submitted by other members, 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.



  • 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
  • Free 7-day trial available
  • They recommend using Windows so if you have a Mac you may miss out on some features
  • 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


  • Free 7-day 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
  • 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 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.

A Hobby That Pays It Forward

Online genealogy research grew in popularity by 20% in 2012 alone, according to a study by GenealogyInTime Magazine. 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 to be had.

We Want to Know Your Past

… with family tree websites, that is. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your family tree, tell us which genealogy sites you like and why?

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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13 Comments on "Best Genealogy Software Online: MyHeritage vs Ancestry vs FindMyPast"

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Peter Suter
Peter Suter

My experience with
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.

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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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 . Specific record groups are listed here:


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).


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
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
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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