Tracing your family ancestry and genealogy has never been easier or more convenient. If you’re just starting out and hoping to trace your family history, here are a number of sites that provide the most comprehensive records searches and give you the best value for your money.
You’ve probably seen the ads for Ancestry all over TV for years. With over 15 billion searchable records from 200 countries, they consistently rate as the best source to find and explore your roots. You can start with a 14 day free trial and after that it starts $19.99 per month for the U.S. Records Discovery. If you want access to the international records, that plan is $34.99 after a free trial. Ancestry lets you collaborate with other family members online in building your tree which is a unique and fun feature, but some people don’t like the monthly fee and it can get expensive fast.
If you’re looking to do a free ancestry search, it is possible to search billions of records and resources at FamilySearch. This site searches archives that go back to the 1600s and has documents from over 134 different countries. They also have 4,745 of physical locations around the world where you can get free help finding the history of your family tree. FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organization whose primary benefactor is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Alternatives to Ancestry include sites like Archives.com which let you search over 7.4 billion genealogy records, trace your family tree and find ancestors and see the original documents like newspapers, immigration documents and census records. However, the service only caters to those with ancestors in the U.S. or U.K. Archives charges a $9.99 monthly fee as long as you use the service after a 14 day trial. One thing to note is in order to start your free trial, you have to enter your credit card information so you’ll need to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to be charges.