Ancestry.com Ancestry.com has the right idea: Put billions of family records in one easily accessible place, and genealogists won’t be able to stay away. Sure, other digital destinations such as Ancestry.com’s sibling Genealogy.com www.genealogy.com (MyFamily.com owns both sites) have tried the same strategy, but none can beat the breadth of this genealogical giant’s resources. At Ancestry.com, you can search censuses, vital records, passenger lists, city directories, family histories and much more from all over the United States, Europe and Canada.
All genealogists like the idea of simple one-stop searching, but Ancestry.com’s myriad search options can seem mind-boggling. And to some researchers, so can its prices: To access the site’s digitized records, you’ll need a subscription, which will cost you anywhere from $50 to $200 per year. When you consider the time and money you’d spend scouring libraries, archives and Web sites for the same information, the cost can be quite reasonable. But at the same time, you don’t want to pay for something you don’t need—or that you can find cheaper elsewhere.
Luckily, you can make sense of Ancestry.com’s various subscriptions, collections and search features without straining your brain. Just read this power-user’s guide: We’ll help you sort through Ancestry.com’s numerous subscription options so you can find the best deal for your research needs. Plus, our search tips will show you how to beef up your ancestor-sleuthing skills—and get the most bang for your buck.