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Most Popular Genealogy Websites 2013

Largest Genealogy Sites for Historical Records & Family Trees

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These popular genealogy websites are the largest and most popular in terms of traffic and content, making them worth a look for anyone researching their family tree. Learn how many records and family trees each site provides, along with useful advice on what to look for, and what to avoid, when making your choice.

1. Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is the most popular global genealogy website in terms of Alexa traffic, ranked in January 2013 as the 161st most popular website of any type in the U.S., and with a global rank of 658. An annual World Explorer subscription, a top-level subscription offering you access to all collections, will set you back almost $300, but most genealogists who spend a lot of time researching multiple family lines in a variety of locations will tell you it is money well spent.
  • More than 11 million historical records
  • 31,325+ Collections
  • About 2 million paying subscribers
  • More than 40 million family trees, containing over 4 billion profiles
  • More than 151 million photographs, family stories, and scanned documents have been uploaded by members
More:
Digging Into Ancestry's Card Catalog
Power Searching in Ancestry.com Databases

2. My Heritage

MyHeritage.com has a large global reach, with an Alexa rating of 4,119, which reflects the sites multinational users. Globally that puts it higher than FamilySearch, but within the United States, FamilySearch enjoys a much larger market share. MyHeritage primarily focuses on connecting families, through family tree website building, photo storage, and tools for discovering and connecting with distant relatives. Their recent purchase of WorldVitalRecords expands their offerings with a large collection of historical records, but for now the two websites are considered here separately.
  • Over 72 million Members
  • 27 million Family Trees, containing 1.5 billion individuals
More:
Social Networking Sites for Genealogists
10 Places to Put Your Family Tree Online

3. Find A Grave

While FamilySearch far outpaces Find A Grave in terms of the sheer volume of available genealogical records, the free, all-volunteer cemetery website FindaGrave is giving FamilySearch a run in the popularity category. I think we all have an innate need to know where our ancestors are buried. Not to mention, Find A Grave's individual pages are indexed by both Google and Ancestry.com.
  • More than 93 million individual grave records from countries around the world
  • 50,000+ individuals in the Famous Grave Search, with biographies
More:
Free Cemetery Databases & Transcriptions Online
Researching Famous (or Infamous) Ancestors
Tiptoeing Through the Cemetery: A Guide to Discovering Your Ancestors in the Cemetery

4. FamilySearch.org

This free genealogy website (the only free one on the list) is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and offers not only a vast collection of historical records and family trees, but also a Research Wiki and Learning Center packed with informative articles and instructional videos helpful for anyone researching their family tree. Alexa ranks FamilySearch 4,894 globally in terms of internet traffic (as of January 2013), and at 1,500 in the United States.
  • 1,413 Historical Record Collections online
  • 70,171 Research Wiki articles
  • 432 Research Courses
  • 91 Community Trees
More:
Tips for Research Success in FamilySearch Historical Records
Batch Number Searching on FamilySearch
FamilySearch Indexing - How You Can Help Get More Genealogy Records Online for Free

5. FindMyPast

The 2012 introduction of the new World Collection (either pay-per-view or about $250 for an annual subscription), gives subscribing members access to records across the various FindMyPast websites, including FindMyPast.co.uk, FindMyPast.com, FindMyPast.ie, and FindMyPast.com.au. The largest collections are still from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but collections from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States are quickly growing.
  • More than 1.5 billion records (world collection)
  • 1,000+ Historical Record Collections, some of which contain up to 30 million records per collection
More:
Top Websites for Researching Irish Ancestors
25 Essential British Genealogy Websites
10 Resources for Researching British Military Ancestors

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