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Online Genealogy Research Database

Published 05/25/2012 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by Shel Gatto
What can you use the app for? is a genealogy tool that provides users with an economical way to research their family history online. Users can explore an extensive collection of vital records, newspaper clippings, images and other resources. The service currently boasts more than 2.1 billion records, including the recently added 1940 U.S. Census documents. Users can begin by searching for ancestors or building a digital family tree. The website also contains a number of informational resources that provide tips and advice for users researching their family history. Each article is displayed with the author’s image and a short bio. Categories are available that let users explore articles by subject, including historical events, photographs, state research, tracing ethnicity, military records and technology. screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app? was launched in July of 2009. The application was acquired by Ancestry for $100 million in April of 2012. So far has impressed some and just satisfied others. The service is attractive to newcomers because it offers a huge collection of records as well as numerous options, including options to purchase hardcopies for a fee. Seasoned family history researchers found that met expectations, but didn’t exceed them.

What are the differences to other apps? includes many of the same features that other genealogy applications provide. There isn’t much to write home about, beyond the enormous collection of vital records, newspapers and images. Of course any genealogy research application worth the price of its subscription fee will have to offer up a large quantity of digital documents to entice users to pay. is slightly different in cost. Users can play a flat yearly fee that is a fraction of what other similar applications charge.

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How does the web app look and feel to use? utilizes a low key design that is modern and professional but borders on nondescript. The application uses a tidy layout and a handful of stylish icons along with smooth, dark buttons. The design works well to allow users to navigate easily as they search through large quantities of online documents. may not leave a lasting impression, but the user interface gets the job done with minimal hassle.

How does the registration process work?

A new user can create an account by clicking the orange “Start 7 Day Free Trial” button in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The user must provide their credit card billing information, email address and billing zip code. A Paypal checkout button is also available. A note above the form advises the user that they will be charged after the seven day free trial has ended.

What does it cost to use the application?

All new users can sign up for one week of free access to Access includes the ability to browse all genealogy records, unlimited searches and family tree features. Users who purchase a subscription must pay $39.95 for one year of access. This includes the same features as the seven day free trial. There is no other subscription option available at this time. Payments can be made through Paypal.

Who would you recommend the application to? is a helpful tool for anyone interested in researching family history. New researchers can use as an economical starting point. The service costs far less than some of its competitors and offers access to billions of documents. Seasoned researchers can use as a helpful supplementary genealogy tool. The application is easy to use and gives all users access to unlimited searches.

  • Search for documents by name
  • Build an online family tree
  • Explore the recently added 1940 U.S. census
  • Read informative articles with tips and research advice
  • Shop for access to different types of records and research services

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