Step 2 – How to Choose the Right Geneaology for You

This is the step only you can decide which to use.  I have provided you with a list below of the top 3 genealogy sites.  I could have collected more info about other sites but to me, after these 3 sites the rest fall off the ledge very quickly.

The 3 sites listed below are numbered 1 thru 3 with #1 being the best.  They were selected based on; types of records, volume of records, ease of use, how many services are offered and whether or not customer service support is readily available.  Here are the Top 3 Genealogy sites:

  1. Ancestry – Is the leader of the pack.
    1. PROs: Provides access to 16 billion records dating as far back as 1000 years ago and has more immigration records than any other site, allowing you to build a family tree and connect with other genealogists and provides an email system to be able to connect with other tree builders.  com also offers a mobile app for iPone, iPad, Android and Amazon and are user-friendly.  Able to choose how you wish to subscribe: Monthly or Annual payment plans.  Able to download a copy in excel format of your GEDCOM file.
    2. CONs: Subscription based
    3. CONCLUSION: Ancestry’s extensive database, family tree builder, DNA testing, wide range of services and helpful, responsive customer service truly sets them apart as an industry standard.  They currently have 31 million user-submitted family trees.
    4. My comment: After having joined several other sites (non-paying) and not being able to get anywhere with my searches I decided to do some research to determine which would return the most for my investment.  This was the site and it has proved to be worth its weight in gold for me.

If you were to create a full map of your family’s ancestors from beginning all the way up to you?  It would cost you an astonishing amount of money not to mention paperwork and investment of time and travel.  Ancestry works in the same way search engines do.  It seeks out and returns your search request for items such as; census reports, documents pertinent to the era such as WWI & WWII draft cards, marriage licenses, birth records and much more.

  1. MyHeritage – Considered # 2 in the industry
    • PROs: MyHeritage encourages the whole family to get involved. Let’s you search through 7 billion records and connect with other genealogists.
    • CONs: Subscription based – does not allow a monthly payment plan and doesn’t have many records available making your search difficult and time-consuming.
    • CONCLUSION: com’s database, family tree builder, DNA testing, sense of community means you will likely learn something new about your family.
    • My Comment: I was not willing to pay up front for a year to begin my tree therefore I do not have a personal experience wiht htis site and am going by research of wht others have said.
  1. FamilSearch
    • PROs: This site is free to anyone to use.
    • CONs: Does not provide DNA testing. Limited database records.
    • CONCLUSION: org is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been actively gathering, preserving and sharing genealogical data around the world for more than 100 years.  If this is makes you uncomfortable you may want to continue to search for a free geneaology site. It is said to be ‘the biggest geneaology website in the world, hosting billions of resources online and hundreds of physical locations with volunteers to help you search.” It is free and connects you to other online geneaology searches, though limited, such as Ancestry.com, therefore increasing the amount of information.
    • My Comment: I joined thi siste and can honestly say it was not my experience. org didn’t have any family records except what I was willing to provide which was not much at the time. Keep in mind they are collectors of vital records.  Not sure why they began collecting this data such a long time ago but hopefully it has panned out to be a good thing for someone.

RE: GEDCOM file

For those of you readers who do not know what it is? It is the file contianing the information of the family tree you have created.  Note: it does not arrive looking like a little tree you planted. J It arrives a gobbled mess!  But with a little work and ingenuity, you can format to be readable for your own use or upload it to another geneaology site once you decide you need to grow.  I will provide a lesson somewhere down the road on GEDCOM files. So check back again.

Thoughts:  Keep in mind when choosing your genealogy site: 1, you are helping them build a better database by providing your information, 2, you get what you pay for so “free” is not always better. Whichever you choose to begin your journey there is no doubt it will be adventurous and excting.

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