In a Nutshell
- 27 billion records
- User-friendly system and helpful tools & tips
- 2-week free trial
- Monthly membership plans can get expensive over time
- Can’t merge family trees
Tremendous database of records and user-friendly system
Why Go With Ancestry
Ancestry is synonymous with genealogy, so it’s a given that this would be among the top picks. But there are a few features that really make this company stand out from the crowd. Here are a few reasons why you would want to choose Ancestry to do your genealogical research and family tree building:
- Massive records library
Ancestry might be the largest genealogy service in the world to date. With 27 billion records and 100 million active family trees, we don’t know of another company that can match the breadth and depth of Ancestry’s public records library. Even more, Ancestry has records from all over the world (unlike some sites that focus primarily on one region). What’s more, Ancestry says that it adds 2 million new records every day. If that’s true, we’re talking about the colosseum of genealogy research here, folks.
- Good collaboration tools
Ancestry makes it easy to get everyone in on the fun with simple collaboration tools. You can upload your family tree and share it with various family members. This is a really helpful feature because it means more people can collaborate on the project, making less work for you overall. Ancestry also lets you grant various levels of access to the family tree. So you can give some members limited access to view the tree and others more access to edit and add to the tree.
Ancestry is also really easy to use, making it a good choice for most people (who might be intimidated by the tremendous task of genealogical research in the first place).
What’s on Offer
Ancestry offers both genealogical research assistance and an intuitive family tree builder tool. Entries on each tree include basic details about each person (name, dates, and locations), LifeStories, which is basically a timeline about each person on the family tree, and historical insights about the current events that were occurring during their lifetime and in their area of the world. This is definitely interesting for people doing genealogical research, because global events have had an enormous impact on the direction of history as well as personal lives.
What is particularly nice about using Ancestry is how helpful the service is with your genealogical research. For one thing, the hints format does a lot of the work for you so that you don’t have to go digging through millions of records on your own to find matches. Ancestry also offers free charts and forms, along with tips on how to get better search results and how to get the most out of your research.
Here’s just one example of what we found to be very helpful: Ancestry provides blank census forms for free. If you’re having trouble finding someone in a census you are researching, you can print out one of these blank forms, fill in the information about a neighbor of your relative’s, and then use that information to manually look up the missing record from the right census. Sometimes names get entered incorrectly, so they won’t show up on a technical search. But using the neighbor census data, you can find it easily on your own. That’s a great tool that Ancestry provides.
Ease of Use
Ancestry has made the whole genealogical research and family tree building process very simple and intuitive to use. You’ll start out by signing up for an account and launching your own family tree. You can enter your own information, as well as parents, and grandparents’ names, dates, and locations.
Then Ancestry gets busy. It searches through its enormous library of public records. If there is a record related to one of your entries, Ancestry will flag that family member with a little green leaf at the corner of the profile entry. This is an indication for you to explore the public records and see if it is relevant to your family tree. We like this detail about Ancestry’s genealogy services because it offers a lot of additional detail that you might not have been aware of. By linking you to the public record, you can examine it and draw more information than you have at present.
The Ancestry flagging system also makes it really simple to use. You don’t have to do a lot of research to kickstart your family tree because Ancestry provides a lot of the information off the bat. And the more information you put in, the more results you’ll get back.
Ancestry also lets you add photos, files, and records to your family tree for a richer overall storyboard. When you’re finished researching, you can share your Ancestry family tree, download it to your device, or save it to continue research later on.
- Names, dates, and locations of individual entries
- LifeStory timelines
- Photos, records, and other linked items
- Pedigree and family view
- Tree overview, facts, and divisions
Ancestry also offers free charts and forms for printing or downloading, including ancestral charts, research calendars, research extracting, correspondence records, family group sheets, source summaries, and blank US, UK, and Canadian census forms.
Ancestry has customer support available 7 days a week from 9am to 11pm ET. You can reach out to them via email, phone, or by using online virtual assistance. Ancestry also has a solid help center, which we found to be incredibly helpful. It has almost any question you might ask, along with useful answers and links to relevant subjects.
Ancestry has 3 membership options that you can pay for by the month or subscribe for a 6-month plan at a discounted rate. It’s nice that you have both options to choose from, especially since some genealogical research can take longer than other projects. The 3 plans are US Discovery, World Explorer, and All Access. All plans come with basic services, and you’ll get more access to a wider range of records and resources as you upgrade.
Ancestry also has a 2-week free trial for any of its plans. The pricing is a little steep for the monthly membership if you’re planning on doing long-term research. So if this is your goal, stick with the 6-month memberships instead.
Ancestry is a reputable brand that is making genealogic research easier and more streamlined. The online family tree builder gives you instant access to 27+ billion public records. And the Hint system quickly tags relevant records for your perusal. Ancestry also has helpful resources like blank census forms along with tips for how to make the most of your research.
Ancestry also lets you share your family tree with others and collaborate for better research and results. The system is easy to use, offers extensive lineage research, and provides interesting background details that add depth to your trees. What’s more, Ancestry has a 2-week trial, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
Ancestry is one of the most well-reputed genealogy services online today. It has been featured on the Today show, ABC News, WIRED, and many other publications for its comprehensive work on the subjects of DNA testing, ancestry discovery, and family mapping. In addition to the research-friendly genealogy reports, Ancestry offers other products. These include AncestryDNA, a DNA test that gives you fascinating particulars about your ancestry, including historical details and geographic snapshots from the regions your ancestors lived, and AncestryHealth, an insightful panoramic view of your family’s health patterns that provides valuable information about genetic tendencies towards diseases for prevention and health awareness, and an online family tree builder.