Best Genealogy Websites of 2018 (Live from FGS): Episode 123

By Family Tree Editors

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best genealogy websites podcast

Recorded live at the FGS conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, it’s our annual Best Genealogy Websites episode. We’re discussing our 101 best sites list, interviewing Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage, chatting with Rick Voight from Vivid-Pix and much more. Don’t miss this episode!

Ep. 123: August 2018

Back to the episode list

In this episode:

This Month in Family History

Online content direct Ashlee Peck joins us to discuss the building of the Berlin Wall and its impact on genealogy research.


Two possible impacts to your research:

Many families were separated by the wall, some of them for the full 28 years that the wall was in place. There are cases of expectant mothers and fathers being divided by the wall, leading to children not meeting their father until the wall fell. In some cases, it was too late and difficult for the children to develop relationships with their fathers at this point. In addition to children not being with their parents, many couples relationships did not survive the division, with many eventually moving on and finding a new partner or starting another family.

The wall is that many people began to lie about what part of Berlin they were initially from, out of fear of being separated from family and friends. This can lead to misleading information in your research of records from the time period.

Social Media Minute

Why you should follow your DNA testing company on social media:


Blog updates

Most DNA testing companies post social updates sharing their newest blog articles. This is an excellent way to get thorough explanations of updates to DNA results as well as new additions to the websites.

Along with their own blogs, they also often share great stories and case studies.

Take advantage of groups and communities

Many DNA testing companies take advantage of the community and group features of their social sites, offering followers a place to interact with each other and ask questions.

Discover sales and genealogy record offers

Companies will use their social media pages to promote their services and products, but this can give genealogists a way to stay on top of new record releases, special sales and discounts. Fold3, the military records site Ancestry runs, is particularly good about blogging when they are offer

“Like” the Family Tree Magazine Facebook page

Feature: Catching Up With Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz, Head Genealogist at provides a run-down of the latest advances at the popular genealogy website:

Updated records

New Filtering System for DNA Matches

New family reunions

Daniel Horowitz is the genealogy expert at MyHeritage. He provides key contributions, liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and media, as well as lecturing and attending conferences around the world. Dedicated to the study of genealogy since 1986, Daniel was the study guide editor and instructor for the project “Searching for My Roots” in his native Venezuela. He holds board level positions at the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA).

DNA Deconstructed

Family Tree University instructor Shannon Combs-Bennett discusses websites for furthering your DNA analysis.

DNA Painter

DNA Painter was released this past spring to much fan-fare in the genetic genealogy community. This website allows you to color or “paint” segments of a chromosome to identify a specific ancestor or sets of ancestors. If you are a visual person like I am this is a great to see how segments of DNA show up across chromosomes. It is very easy to use. There are tutorials on the page and a Facebook group if you get stuck.

Even better the website has a feature which utilizes Blaine Bettinger’ s Shared Chromosome chart. On this section of the website you can type in the amount of shared centimorgans you and a DNA match have in common. The program will highlight on the chart all possible relationships the two of you have.

Pedigree Thief (Google Chrome plugin)

This application collects family tree data from websites such as Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, Genie, and MyHeritage that I know of. However, there could be more. It then reads the data and creates an ahentafel chart for you. Even better, if you navigate to your DNA matches page the application will gather that information together for you and create a CSV file of them. Ready-made spreadsheet.

Go to the Google Play store on your desktop and install the application. An icon of a tree wearing a mask will appear on your toolbar. If the icon is greyed out, the application will not work on the website you are viewing. If it is in color, you are good to go. Simply click the icon and Pedigree Thief will do the rest.

Best Genealogy Websites

Join Ashlee and me as we discuss the 2018 Best Genealogy Websites list!

If you’d like to access the full 2018 list from our website, you can head to our Best Genealogy Websites page, which you can easily link to from our header from any page on our site. You can then use the drop down to select “101 Best Websites 2018” to see the full list, which includes links, descriptions, and a peek of what their homepage looks like.

We hope you love this years list as much as we do!

Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems and Genealogy: Family History Made Easy podcasts in iTunes and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!