A List Of Top Genealogy Websites To Help You Discover Your Ancestry

Looking back into the past can be enlightening. It is fulfilling to know where one is from. To know your roots can be to know yourself better. In today’s post, we are looking at top genealogy websites that can let you trace your family tree back over time.

Ancestry.com

This is probably one of the most well-known genealogy websites. In fact, I am quite sure that I have seen adverts for it on television. It is a paid service, but they offer you a 14-day trial, so you can test out if it is any good before committing to payment.

Firstly, you begin by entering in what you know about your family tree. Add yourself, and a few family members and they search for them in their collections.

Then, if you see the “leaf” appear over any of your family members, it is a hint. It means that they have found something intriguing that may match a family member of yours or your “ancestor”.

You can then save this “hint” to the family tree you have constructed. This hint may reveal a new name that you can search, or even an ancestor to add to your tree.

Over time, with some gentle work, you can see your family tree begin to emerge, and the story of your ancestry becomes clearer.

Ancestory.com have recently launched a new service called AncestoryDNA. They say with this you can unlock your ethnic mix and find out about ancestors you never knew you had. It can reveal places and people from the deep past that records cannot always reveal. This is an interesting addition to this genealogy website. The service costs around $100 depending on where you live in the world. Ancestry sends you a kit by the post and using this you send away a small sample of saliva to have your DNA analysed. In 6 -8 weeks you will get an email about your results. They claim to offer a more comprehensive DNA test that some competitors.

FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch is another well-regarded resource and respected as one of the top genealogy websites.  You can create a free account here to preserve and share your family tree. They also have free records for you to discover all about your ancestors.

This website allows collaboration between its members. The online community here helps each other out. You can go further with your research when you can work together with people.

They also have a nice facility to bring your family history to life with photos and stories.

Fold3.com

Previously known as footnote, fold3 was purchased by ancestry.com quite recently. If you are a member of ancestry.com, then you will have their records by default. This website is strong on historical records, particularly those concerned with the military and naturalisation.  If your family has a military history past, this website could be very intriguing for you.

They are currently offering a 7-day free trial. You can get an annual membership for $47.95 right now – which is a 40% saving on their usual offer. The site is having it’s ten year anniversary.

The military records they have will mostly be of interest to an American audience. You can browse records from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican American and Early Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and more recent wars. They also have records for other countries including Britain and Canada.

This is one of the top genealogy websites for military history. You can also honour veterans on the website. There is a place here to commemorate your relatives who served in the military.

The information on this website is nicely illuminated with photos, stories and personal documents.

Genealogybank.com

Newspapers, especially local newspapers, can be a great resource in tracing ancestry and looking over family history. I know that our local paper continues to print pictures of people from around the area at events, dances and prize givings. Often archives of these papers are great to find hidden pictures and stories about ancestors or friends of the family in times past.

Genealogy Bank is one of the top genealogy sites for investigating newspapers.  You can use this website to search through over 2 Billion records online, and for newspapers dating back to 1690. They claim that 95% of their records cannot be found on other sites. Undoubtedly then it will be useful to have this on your list of top genealogy websites.

Again, this website seems to be primarily geared towards an American audience.

You will find the obituaries section of these newspapers can be very useful to ancestry research.

APGen.org

If you have used the main ancestry websites, but are coming to a dead end, then perhaps it is time to enlist the professional services of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Allowing a professional to do the work can save you time and effort and also perhaps uncover things that you could not. That is why I have included APG in this list of top genealogy websites.

findagrave.com

This rather morbid sounding website is a lesser known gem and certainly, includes a mention in this list of top genealogy sites. Using this site, you can search through over 157 million grave records to uncover the burial place of your long gone ancestors.

They also have archives and galleries to view the grave sites of famous people from around the world. You can find out where your favourite celebrity or historical figure from the past has been buried.

Verdict

Today’s list of the top genealogy sites should get you started in your research.

People have always been fascinated by their heritage. Now, with popular TV shows like “Who do you think you are?” airing in the UK and USA, I feel that there has been a resurgence in this interest.

I wish you luck, all of you who are trying to find out about your ancestry.

Let us know what you think. Can you recommend any other top genealogy sites?

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