At a certain point in life, many people get curious about their ancestry. Suddenly, after years of relating to your immediate family, we wonder about our larger context. In pursuit of insight, we embark on a journey to understand our history.
If you’re looking for the best genealogy services for exploring your ancestry, we’ve handpicked the top 7 ones, just for you.
If you’re just getting started on genealogy, you’ll love the price: it’s free.
This free genealogy site helps you go exploring, without committing to a purchase. It is totally free, yet comes with over 5 billion records, a free mobile app, and physical genealogy centers. Among the records are census data, military records, birth, marriage and death certificates. They also have other directories, yearbooks, and family trees.
Unlike many of the ancestry sites, this one does not offer DNA testing. One thing to note is that this service is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their stated belief is that sharing these records is part of their duty. You can explore the records without any pressure to get involved in the religious side of the genealogy service.
This is a great site, especially for local searching.
This site puts 10+ billion historical records at your fingertips. One of the unique features about My Heritage is its ability to help you search locally. You can find family around the block, or around the globe.
Users say they find this site simple to use. It is linked with a good smartphone app.
If you’re looking to explore DNA records, this service also offers an option that can be informative about your family history and health.
Unlike many of the services, you can start for free on limited features. As you use more advanced features, pricing runs $99/year.
This is considered one of the best genealogy websites, with a vast database and DNA testing. It has over 20+ billion historical records such as court records, newspapers, birth, marriage and death certificates.
You can also take advantage of their DNA testing, but this is optional. If you use the DNA testing, it can show your family history over 350 ethnic regions around the world.
In spite of having a huge database and a free mobile app, Ancestry is relatively inexpensive. Pricing starts at $19.99 per month or $99 annually. You can start building your family tree for free, and unlock options as you dive deeper.
This service offers access to a huge amount of data: 11 billion records. You’ll discover maps, photos, and architectural drawings–in addition to the usual documents.
Genealogoy experts turn to Archives when they are stumped, or can’t find what they’re looking for in other services. You may want to do the same, if you want to do a deep dive while exploring your family tree.
In terms of pricing, this service offers a free 14-day trial, and a monthly flat fee of $9.99.
This service is geared for people with ancestry in Ireland or Great Britain. Records link back as far as AD 850. The historical records number 2 billion, and are focused specifically on the British Isles.
Wondering about the cost? There is a free 14-day trial, followed with $14.95/month or $129 per year. DNA testing is available, for an additional $89 for the kit.
Looking for professional help with your family tree? This is the service to check out.
My Trees is focused on family ancestry in US and Canada. It offers access to a professional genealogist via forums. You can use this site to start your search, or dive deeper.
This site offers a 10-day trial membership. Full membership runs $120/year.
For many Americans, the family tree includes exploring ancestors who arrived in the United States via Ellis Island. If this applies to you, visit the genealogy records offered at Ellis Island. It offers detailed records about passengers from every ship that entered the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924.
You can search by passenger name and ship arrival. The organization has prepared a genealogy primer that will help you get going in finding out more about your family tree.
You’ll be able to discover layers of insight as you retrace your family’s journey into the United States.
Mapping, exploring, discovering, sharing and visualizing your family tree is incredibly rewarding. You may find new branches of your tree, as well as meet people with whom you’re related.
When tackling the task of exploring your ancestry, using professional services can save effort, time, and frustration. With these services, you’ll be well on your way to sharing new insights with your entire family.