Having a tough time tracing your lineage on Ancestry.com? Want to try some other websites like Ancestry to see how they compare (or because they’re free!)? Here’s a list of 5 of the most popular Ancestry alternatives.
FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world. You can create an account for free and use it to search through over 4 billion historical records, including photos, videos, sound clips, stories, letters, and more. FamilySearch also includes a “Family Tree” function, though it is much more geared towards facilitating connections with other users than the more personal, private approach that Ancestry takes. FamilySearch also offers other support services, including tutorials for performing genealogical research, forums in which you can ask other people questions, and a “wiki” (i.e. an online, free-to-edit encyclopedia about the website). It’s one of the best free sites like Ancestry.
Another of the best free websites like Ancestry, WeRelate is like the Wikipedia version of genealogy websites. It is the largest genealogy website with a free license, meaning that anybody can contribute to and help anyone else’s research by adding more information or editing out incorrect information. It allows people to upload genealogy records and then match them against people already in WeRelate’s databases. It also allows people to upload other pieces of information as primary sources, such as photos, birth/marriage/death certificates, and more. Oh, and this can all be done free of charge! Like FamilySearch, WeRelate focuses much more on a single, unified database of family history with minimal duplicate information. And like Ancestry, WeRelate has privacy protections for people who are still alive.
FindMyPast is a popular Ancestry alternative from the United Kingdom. Started in 2003, it now houses over 4 billion historical records (including 11 million newspaper articles), with thousands more – particularly from the U.S. and Canada – being released every week. Some of these records can’t be found anywhere else, including some Irish records, British military records, and the 1939 British Register. Like on Ancestry, using the “Family Tree Builder” application on FindMyPast doesn’t cost any money, but viewing most of the records requires purchasing a paid subscription. You can get a two-week free trial, though.
23AndMe takes the journey of tracing your ancestry even deeper… right down to the genetic material that makes you who you are! Start by ordering a D.N.A. testing kit from the website’s online store. Once you receive the kit, use the bar code on it to register it on 23AndMe.com (so they know it’s from you), and follow the instructions to collect a saliva sample. Then, simply mail your sample back to 23AndMe, and in a few weeks, your report will be ready. You can see where your genetic ancestors likely came from, as well as who else on 23AndMe you might be related to. Advanced kits can even tell you what your gene patterns predict about your health and wellness!
Want to create your own genealogy website? MyHeritage can help you do it, in a sense; it helps you build a personal website that is genealogy-focused. Build family trees, upload historical records as evidence of your lineage, and share your creations with family and friends for free! You can also search a few of MyHeritage’s databases of historical records, including the world’s largest historical newspaper collection. Upgrading to a paid account allows you to include more family members and records on your website’s family trees, compare your information with similar information from other MyHeritage users’ family trees, and access to all records in MyHeritage’s databases.
Those are 5 other sites like Ancestry that we recommend for trying to trace your lineage. If you’ve tried one of them before – or try one after we suggested it – let us know how your experience went. Also, if you know any other genealogy research websites that we should add to this list, be sure to tell us that, too!