Still the premiere genealogy subscription site ($155.40 annually for US databases, $299.40 for all world data), Ancestry.com keeps getting bigger and better. Its search was recently overhauled, and Swedish researchers can now tap 26 million pages of church records added as part of Ancestry.coms acquisition of Genline.
This growing site recently added more than 40 million vital records and 110 million scanned newspaper pages dating to 1753. But you already know that if youre a subscriber ($39.95 a year), because Archives.com monitors additions to its collection and emails you an ancestor alert if it finds matches to your kin. Besides data, Archives.com offers easy-to-use online family trees you can build from scratch or upload a GEDCOM to, and will hook you up with local researchers who will do county-record legwork for a flat fee.
The promise of this genealogy giants pilot site experiment has at last been fulfilled in the new FamilySearch, which has a streamlined interface and oodles of new records from around the world. The Family History Library catalog has a new look, too, with auto-suggestions as you begin to type search terms.
Thanks in part to its partnership with the National Archives and the Library of Congress, this subscription site ($79.95 per year) has burgeoned to more than 72 million records, all searchable and linked to images of the originals. Its strongest on military records, especially from the Civil War.
The go-to site for historical newspapers, GenealogyBank now offers more than 5,000 periodicals totaling 793 million articles, including a collection of African-American newspapers from 1827 to 1999. Your $69.95 annual subscription also buys access to a variety of historical books and documents, military pension records and land grants.
Images of all US federal censuses, 28,000 family and local histories, the PERSI index to genealogical publications, Revolutionary War pension and bounty applications, Freedmans Bank records, and the US Serial Set make this institutional site well worth a trip to the library (or ask if your library offers remote access).
This pioneering volunteer site is showing its age, but still makes the list for its WorldConnect pedigree files, records transcriptions, mailing lists, message boards and help files.
World Vital Records $
Much more than just vital records, this site from FamilyLink now offers much of what you might subscribe to Ancestry.com forincluding the complete US census collection and lots of historical newspapersat just $39.96 per year for US data and $99.96 for all world data. Its also pioneering Web 2.0 technologies such as geocoding, allowing you to see information about an ancestors neighbors once youve found somebody in the Social Security Death Index.
Browse Family Tree Magazine‘s 2011 Best Websites for genealogy research:
- 101 Best Websites for 2011 Home
- Born in the USA
- State-of-the-Art Archives
- Local Heroes
- Ethnic Interests
- Putting Genealogy on the Map
- Share and Store Alike
- Tech Tools
- Canadian Cousins
- Genealogy CSI: Death and DNA
- Crossing the Pond