If you are interested in your ancestry, you’re not alone. Genealogy is only surpassed in popularity by gardening in the United States. In fact, genealogy websites are the second most popular sites on the internet too.
You’ve always wanted to learn about your genealogy? Well, start now. Read on to learn about the top 12 websites for building your family tree and start discovering your roots today.
Interest in Genealogy
There’s been a surge in interest in genealogy and the demand for DNA ancestry tests is a strong indicator of this. With over 26 million people having purchased DNA tests to discover their ancestry there’s now a massive resource of data available.
DNA testing can be revealing about your genetic signature, revealing where in the world your ancestors came from. Even your risk of various diseases can be indicated.
For many Americans heritage is bound up with the immigrant experience. The resources you need to achieve this are just a click away.
Whether your interest in genealogy has been stimulated by the technology of DNA sequencing, concerns about medical conditions or your family heritage, there are amazing website resources available to you.
Not all genealogy website resources charge a subscription but those that do, generally give added value. Ancestry.com is in that category. The key benefit is a huge database with over 20 billion records.
Ancestry.com is also a DNA testing service. It’s the largest player in this rapidly growing market. This high technology approach to genealogical research can provide you with an ancestral history spanning 250 ethnic regions.
If your roots are African-American then AfriGeneas may be a useful website for you. As well as providing information about names, marriages, and deaths this website has databases of slavery records.
AfriGeneas enables users to communicate with others. These forums can enable family reunions, mutual learning and even socializing.
Databases are at the heart of much of your research when you are into genealogy. Archives.com is a massive database with more than 11 billion records.
Unlike other databases that are limited to basic demographic information such as births, deaths, and marriages, the Archives website is wider-ranging. The site allows you to access images, maps, and drawings too.
The subscription service offers you a free trial period before you have to pay for their service.
This free website is surprisingly feature-rich. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon church runs this website. You can access their 5 billion records without paying a penny and there’s no need to get involved in the religious aspects of the Mormon church either.
Births, deaths, and marriages are included in the records. Additional information includes military records and census data. You can access other family trees and several directories.
Many people’s go-to resource to search for anything from shopping to entertainment is Google. It’s a powerful tool and not least in the field of genealogy. Use it to search for names, places, and other records.
Google can connect you to online libraries and the work of other genealogists. Sometimes a virtual visit to a location using Google maps can bring your text-based research to life.
For many students of genealogy, visiting a cemetery is a fascinating activity.
FindAGrave.com offers you the opportunity to visit the graves of millions of people, virtually. There are even images of tombstones. You can research specific cemeteries or named individuals.
7. Find My Past
Some websites are better suited to some researchers than others. If your heritage is Irish or from the United Kingdom, then Findmypast is the website for you.
This is a niche player in the ancestry market with only around 2 billion records but there’s an upside to this. Findmypast is focused. The narrow field of research means that they can go into a great deal of depth.
There’s a subscription to pay but only after a free trial period. You can use their DNA testing service for an additional fee.
A twist on many of the global ancestry websites is MyHeritage’s local focus. You can conduct research in your local area. Perhaps you have neighbors who you have connections with.
If you’re interested in the macro scale of 10 billion global records that’s fine too. MyHeritage can handle that.
This is a subscription service but you can start using some features for free. DNA testing is available.
If your interest in genealogy is still at an introductory level, check out ThoughtCo.com. It’s well worthwhile learning about the subject of genealogical research before starting to do your own research.
ThoughtCo.com has free articles than explain how to get into this fascinating hobby. They will explain how to research online, do offline research and how to use the network of other enthusiasts.
10. USGenWeb Project
Free resources are a great way into the hobby of genealogy and the USGenWeb project seeks to support your interest. It’s run by volunteers and it emphasizes the fun aspects of genealogy.
The site gathers information and engages in projects driven by the interests of its volunteers and users. It’s free and fun so what’s not to like about it.
Researchers looking for Jewish ancestors will find the JewishGen.org website a helpful source. They provide research tools and databases. The site is run by volunteers and invites donations rather than charging a subscription.
For some students of genealogy, research is driven by an interest in the health of their ancestors. Health records can be helpful in understanding the illnesses today.
23andMe is one of the largest DNA testing services. The health reports provide a more genetically based approach to the study of your ancestors. Buy a kit and learn about your health and ancestry.
No matter how your interest in genealogy has arisen, there are web resources you can access. Other people share your interest and you can engage with them too. Build your family tree and discover your roots.
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