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4 great genealogy & family tree websites you can use to trace your family roots

Published by Finn Hayden

Often the best way to find out more about yourself is to find out about your ancestors. At one point in time, the only way to have found out more about your ancestors would have been to climb up to the attic and start flicking through old photographs.
 
But things are a lot more sophisticated now, and you can now access genealogy and ancestry websites will which give you detailed information about your ancestors at the click of a button, helping you to map out your family tree accurately.
 
There are lots of websites like this out there, so we thought it would be useful to round up the best genealogy websites you can use in the UK. Let's get into it:

FindMyPast

We think that if you're looking for an excellent UK-based ancestry site, then FindMyPast is probably the best service out there. FindMyPast allows you to trace your ancestors genealogy as far back as the 18th century, helping you to look really far back into your family history. The search function is very easy to use and you can look up the huge census from 1921 which could include detailed information about your family. It's really easy to get started with too - you start by filling in a bit of information about yourself and about your relatives such as your grandparents, and FIndMyPast will immediately start searching records to find out more about your family. Once FMP has found some members of your family, it'll start building your family tree.

FindMyPast

If you subscribe to FindMyPast for 12 months it'll cost you £199.99, and this will give you access to everything Findmypast has to offer including the 1921 Census. Once you find a person in the census that you want to learn more about, you can find out names, birth year & birthplace, as well as the names of other members of the same household. If you want to get started for free with FindMyPast then you can start building your own family tree for free via the platform, and you can also search Findmypast’s family records for free (although the information you get will be limited). FindMyPast is currently sitting with a 'Great' rating on Trustpilot from more than 12,000 reviews, which is actually really impressive. Overall, reviewers on Trustpilot seem very happy with the service, especially the attentive customer service. Learn more and get started with a 7-day free trial here - findmypast.co.uk

Ancestry UK

Ancestry is an American company and is probably the biggest ancestry/genealogy company in the world. Through Ancestry's extensive collection of historical records, users can trace their family lineage, discover long-lost relatives, and gain fascinating insights into their past. You start by adding what you know already about your family, and this is your chance to add as much as possible to help Ancestry find out more about your famiy. So you start with your details, and then add as many details as possible about your parents and their parents etc. This can be anything from their names to where they were born, the more the better. Once you've added the information to the website, Ancestry will start searching billions of records to try and uncover more information about your family. This is a very hands-off service which doesn't really require you to do anything. Ancestry's database includes census records, birth, marriage, and death certificates, military records, immigration records, and much more, spanning various countries and time periods. This diverse range of historical data enables users to dig deep into their family's past and gain a more comprehensive understanding of their heritage.

Ancestry

For those of you who want to go really deep into your family history, AncestryDNA is a powerful and fascinating feature that offers users the chance to unlock even more information about their family via DNA matching. You start by requesting a kit and then sending a saliva sample to the team at Ancestry to do their work. It then takes about 6-8 weeks for the team to test it, after which you'll be able to access your information online via your account. It only costs £79 which seems very reasonable to us. If you want to use the standard Ancestry service then you can get started with a 14-day trial which gives you full access for 2 weeks. After the trail, prices start at £10.99 per month for access to UK records only. Learn more and get started here - ancestry.co.uk

MyHeritage

MyHeritage might not be as popular as some of the other ancestry websites we've included in this guide, but this service is quickly growing in popularity. Currently, the platform has helped to create more than 50 million family trees, and that number is growing. The service starts very similarly to the others - you start by creating your account and filling it your own family tree to the best of your knowledge. MyHeritage will then automatically search billions of records to help fill in the gaps.

MyHeritage

And just like with Ancestry, MyHeritage has an impressive DNA matching service, but the main difference is that the MyHeritage DNA service is much cheaper at around half the price. Once you've sent your DNA to MyHeritage, the service will let you know how closely related you are to your matches as a percentage. You might be surprised at who you uncover! You can get a free 14-day trial of MyHeritage, after which the service costs about £10 per month. Learn more and get started here - myheritage.com

We hope this guide helps you to find an excellent ancestry genealogy website so you can start to build your family tree. Let us know if you've tried any of these or if you have any other suggestions for us!

Free UK Genealogy

Free UK Genealogy is a totally free service which is powered by donations. You're able to access family records for free via this website, but because the service is free nothing is done automatically for you. If you like detective work and you have the time then this can be quite a lot of fun, but it'll definitely take a bit of time to find anything. The records you can search are limited but also quite useful - for example, the service gives you access to census data of 44,500,000 individuals from 1841 to 1891. So although there is no guarantee your family will be in there, it's certainly worth a look. The website also gives you access to 288,000,000 births, marriages and deaths, which is also very useful.

Free UK Genealogy

Sadly there is no family tree function, so if you're wanting to build your own family tree then you'll have to create your own document (either online or offline). The website runs on donations and we highly recommend giving some money to help keep this free ancestry website alive for people who don't have the money for other paid services. Learn more here - freeukgenealogy.org.uk

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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