Best Big Genealogy Websites of 2016

By David A. Fryxell Premium

Sign up for the Family Tree Newsletter Plus, you’ll receive our 10 Essential Genealogy Research Forms PDF as a special thank you!

Get Your Free Genealogy Forms

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. $

Still among the brightest stars in the genealogical galaxy, this subscription site continues to integrate its zillions of databases with user family trees, and those trees with members’ autosomal DNA results. Even if you don’t want oodles of leafy “hints,”’s collections of census records and its globe-spanning reach (especially strong for British Isles and Scandinavian research) make it hard to live without. Six months of full access costs $149.


New ways to view your family tree, family story booklets, updated mobile apps, record hints for your ancestor profiles, an upgraded wiki and a new search box to help find specific historical records collections add to the appeal of an ever-longer roster of online records at this essential—and free—site.

Findmypast $

This not-just-for-English-research-anymore subscription site ($19.95 a month for world access) has integrated the popular Mocavo genealogy search site that it purchased. In addition to Mocavo databases (like yearbooks), look for the newly digitized 1939 Register, a listing of the civilian population of England and Wales taken at the end of September 1939 (access not included with a subscription), and a new searchable database of 10 million Irish parish registers.

MyHeritage $

Growing far beyond its humble roots as only a tree-building site, MyHeritage continues with acquisitions, record additions and fresh technical tricks. The latest include a free Compilation of Published Sources collection, containing 450,000 digitized, keyword-searchable genealogy and history books, and a Global Name Translation tool that lets you search for records in one language and receive relevant results from other languages (with the indexed information translated into the language of your search). Coming soon: the ability to add DNA results to your family tree. Family tree plans range from free to $119.40 a year, with a separate Data subscription for accessing records.