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.comAncestry.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
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2. My HeritageMyHeritage.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
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3. Find A GraveWhile 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
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- 1,413 Historical Record Collections online
- 70,171 Research Wiki articles
- 432 Research Courses
- 91 Community Trees
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5. FindMyPastThe 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
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