Best Large Database Genealogy Websites of 2015

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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These websites deliver access to large databases of records sure to further your research.

American Ancestors $

This website from the New England Historic Genealogical Society recently partnered with FamilySearch to add more than 2 billion records. Combined with the resources already here and a recent site makeover, that should make the $89.95 annual membership fee seem even more a bargain for researchers with ancestors in New England and neighboring states.

You’ll have to visit your library to access this institutional site, but it’s worth the trip. If your library subscribes, you can search US censuses (with record images), family and local histories, the PERSI index to genealogy articles, Revolutionary War pension and bounty applications, Freedmen’s Bank records and the US Serial Set. The service now uses’s search technology and includes expanded census coverage.
No longer just a genealogy search engine (though it still does that), Mocavo now offers the complete US census  thanks to its acquisition by Findmypast. It also has beefed up its collections of yearbooks and directories. It’s free to search the site’s databases individually, as well as to search the entire US census, 1790 to 1940. But getting the most out of Mocavo, including the ability to download records, requires an $80 annual Gold membership.
Celebrating 20 years of volunteer genealogy next year, USGenWeb continues to offer essential jumping-off points for state and county research from coast to coast, plus a wealth of user-contributed data. Explore the sites for your ancestral states and counties, as well as national projects.
Although now more of a subsidiary to corporate parent MyHeritage, this data-rich site still serves up more than 4.2 billion historical names. Besides the vital records promised by its name, World Vital Records has US and UK censuses, newspapers, military records and more. An annual subscription is $89.99.