Best Free Websites Like Ancestry.com

If you're having a tough time tracing your lineage on Ancestry.com, or just want to try some other websites to see how they compare (or because they're free!), have a look at these ones.  The first two are totally free, while the second two have some free features, but others must be unlocked through a paid subscription (like on Ancestry.com).

FamilySearch

(www.familysearch.org)

While Ancestry.com is the largest private for-profit genealogical organization in the world, FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world, period.  You can create an account for free, and use it to search through over 1 billion historical records, including photos, videos, sound clips, stories, letters, and more.  It 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.com takes.  FamilySearch also offers other support services similar to how Ancestry.com does, 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).

WeRelate

(www.werelate.org)

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 it, and anybody can help anyone else's research by adding more information or editing out incorrect information... all without paying any money, of course.  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 and other documents, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates.  Like FamilySearch, WeRelate focuses much more on a single, unified database of family history with minimal duplicate information, and like Ancestry.com, WeRelate has privacy protections for people who are still alive.

Mocavo

(www.mocavo.com)

An American derivative of the British company FindMyPast, Mocavo allows you to search billions of historical records, including records from England and Wales, historical American city directories, and even school yearbooks... all for free!  Like Ancestry.com, Mocavo has a "learning center" section where you can get tutorials, advice, and extra resources for performing genealogical research.  You can also consult other Mocavo users for help if you have any questions.  An upgraded paid account allows you to use advanced search tools and search multiple record databases at once, view digital copies of records, participate in live question-and-answer sessions with professional genealogists, and more!

MyHeritage

(www.myheritage.com)

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.

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