Best Big Genealogy Websites in 2013

By David A. Fryxell Premium
This mammoth subscription site ($155.40 per year for US collections; $299.40 per year for worldwide collections) added 30 new collections just last year, including the 1940 US census (free through 2013), border-crossing records, Marine Corps muster rolls and War of 1812 pension application indexes. Plus its AncestryDNA project ($99) is now available to the general public, with 100,000 DNA samples and 7.7 million linked ancestors.
The latest addition to this subscription site ($39.95 per year) is a collection of 4.6 million digitized Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) birth, marriage and death records. The expanded US Vital Records Collection now includes 58 million records from 21 states. You also can search the 1940 US census here for free. Overall, totals more than 2.5 billion digital records, including censuses, newspapers and obituaries.
Where do we even begin to cover all that’s new at the pioneering free website from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? New online records seem to pop up every day. FamilySearch Family Tree, a decade in the making, has now been unveiled, along with pedigree views for the venerable Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource. A new photo feature aims to make it easy to incorporate pictures as well as scanned documents, and millions of searchable records are added each year.

Find A Grave
Though strongest on US cemeteries, this free, easy-to-use database of more than 99 million grave records spans the globe, with 211 cemeteries in Ireland and even one in Yemen.

No longer just an online tree site, MyHeritage has partnered with sites from all over to match its 24 million trees and 1.3 billion individuals with historical records. Email alerts bring a steady stream of new records matches right to your inbox. Trees up to 250 people and 250MB are free. Larger trees start at $6.25 per month. Viewing most record matches requires a data subscription ($76.20 per year) or pay-per-view credits ($39.95 for 5,600, valid for 180 days).

World Vital Records
Through new partnerships with findmypast, owner (since November 2012) MyHeritage has broadened an already impressive collection of vital records, US and UK censuses (including the 1940 US enumeration), military records, school yearbooks, tombstone photos and more ($89.99 a year).