Best Genealogy Sites 2018

How far back does your knowledge of your own heritage go? Most people are familiar with their parents and grandparents, and sometimes even their great-grandparents; but unless your family has celebrated or otherwise noteworthy ancestors from over 100 years ago, chances are that’s where the stories you hear during reunions and gatherings stop. Here’s where genealogy and family tree websites come in. Following leads and doing research can take you to some surprising and unexpected places; you may be surprised to find out that your heritage is not quite what you thought it was! Interested in piecing together the stories of your family’s past? Check out these websites below and try out their services to see which one could be a good fit for you and your family’s history.

CompanyRankingRatingPriceRecordsTree BuilderDescription

Ancestry

1st9.8 out of 10$19.99 Per MonthApprox. 16 billionYes

Ancestry Review

With a massive database and a range of useful features, no one does genealogical research as well as Ancestry--but efficiency demands a steep price.Full Ancestry Review »

MyHeritage

2nd9.4 out of 10$60.00 Per Year7.1 billionYes

MyHeritage Review

MyHeritage is perfect for beginners wanting to take it slow, but hoping to level up in the future without having to switch services.Full MyHeritage Review »

FamilySearch

3rd9.1 out of 10FreeApprox. 16 billionYes

FamilySearch Review

For people who want to learn more about their ancestry at virtually no cost, there is no better place to start.Full FamilySearch Review »

Findmypast

4th7.8 out of 10$9.95 Per MonthOver 8 billionYes

Findmypast Review

Findmypast is one the best genealogy resources for the beginner hobbyist’s pocket, as it offers both cheap subscriptions and Pay-As-You-Go options.Full Findmypast Review »

Geni

5th6.8 out of 10$119.40 Per YearOver 170 millionYes

Geni Review

Geni offers affordable, user-friendly, and community-based family tree building; but some surprising flaws keep it from being highly recommended.Full Geni Review »

MyTrees

6th6.5 out of 10$20.00 Per MonthOver 1 billionYes

MyTrees Review

MyTrees offers a robust free account and some unique features, but without tools that should be basic, the service’s offerings remain lackluster.Full MyTrees Review »

Geneanet

7th6 out of 10$50.00 Per YearUnder 4 billionYes

Geneanet Review

Geneanet is a good starting point for budding family historians with deep European roots, but there are better options for more discerning researchers.Full Geneanet Review »

OneGreatFamily

8th5.5 out of 10$14.95 Per Month250 millionYes

OneGreatFamily Review

OneGreatFamily doesn’t have a records archive, but it provides context to research, and is a way to connect with historians and possible relatives.Full OneGreatFamily Review »

Archives

9th5.5 out of 10$9.99 Per MonthOver 4.8 billionYes

Archives Review

US-centric Archives is affordable but limited and simple to a fault, though it offers a unique and useful service to its local consumer base.Full Archives Review »

GenealogyBank

10th3.8 out of 10$19.95 Per MonthOver 2 billionNo

GenealogyBank Review

Not a good all-around resource, but when it comes to access to rare collections of US newspapers, GenealogyBank is the service to beat.Full GenealogyBank Review »
Also, here are some important things we looked at for our rankings.

Which Genealogy & Family Tree Site Is Right for You?

First and foremost, any genealogy research service you are thinking of sinking time and money into should fit your needs like a glove. How do you determine this? Think of your family history and its characteristics. Where are your ancestors from? Do you have many family members involved in military service? How about religious orders or newsworthy events? These questions and similar queries will be able to guide you.

To illustrate: only the best and most comprehensive services give you access to historical records and documents from all over the world. Sometimes, a genealogy website's archive leans toward a particular territory--like North America or Europe. If your ancestors' movements are mostly contained within Asia, for example, a site like Archives.com will be useless even though its unique features are helpful to US-based families.

What Makes a Great Genealogy & Family Tree Website?

A great genealogy research service is not necessarily the same as one that's right for you--based on your family history, as discussed above--but there are certain standards that you do need to look out for. Of course a huge archive of records is always a plus, but again, make sure that these records potentially contain information that's relevant to you. If you're a beginner hobbyist, you'll also want research tips and guides; and possibly even a strong community built around the service. The latter may even help you connect with distant relatives who are doing the same thing: filling in the gaps between the family stories they already know.

Family Tree Builders & GEDCOM Support

In terms of website features, it goes without saying that an intuitive interface and excellent search tools can improve your experience immeasurably. A user-friendly family tree builder is a must, as this is the basis of your research; it's the best way to contextualize and make sense of the varied information that you will likely uncover when you begin looking for historical records naming your relatives. If you're no stranger to genealogy research, you may also want to look for a service that provides full GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communication) file support--both importing and exporting.

Quality-of-Experience

Finally, the bonuses and quality-of-experience upgrades: a free trial is always nice, as is affordable subscription pricing. Great customer support is great to have, no matter what kind of service you're using. And last, but not the least: a mobile app! Many genealogy and family tree websites offer apps these days, which means you can take your family history and research with you everywhere you go.

No Comments... Yet!