Ancestry.com

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Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com boasts the biggest name recognitions in the family history field. This company, with headquarters in Utah and offices worldwide, has been the leader in delivering cutting-edge products to its subscribers since 1983. The early days of Ancestry were spent as a publishing company specializing in publishing family histories and magazines. In 1996, the digitization and online publishing of records began and Ancestry.com became a leader in digital records available for genealogical purposes.

The Good

  • Records
  • Mobile app
  • Publishing options

Ancestry.com is perhaps the biggest name in genealogy work and for good reason. Some highlights include:

    • Billions of records available to search from
    • Ability to upload images, documents and attach them to family trees
    • Mobile app works on all platforms
    • Relevant blog articles giving up-to-date information
    • Social Media presence with helpful tips and useful research information: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr
    • Instructional YouTube videos for beginners as well as more advanced research tips to more seasoned genealogists
    • Community message boards and opportunities to collaborate with others sharing common ancestors
    • Comprehensive learning center
    • Differing levels of membership based upon your individual needs
    • Customer service representatives available 7 days per week from 9AM-11PM Eastern Time
    • Publishing options for your findings
    • Software and books available
    • Industry-leading software which is easy to use
    • Ancestry.com DNA tests are cutting edge and link members to their ethnic backgrounds, but to relatives also taking the tests. Adopted individuals have flocked to take these tests and many have found their birth families through Ancestry.com DNA matching.

The Bad

  • Pricing
  • Load time

Ancestry.com is expensive and their pricing may be out of reach for some. The most comprehensive membership option has a hefty price tag of $199/annually.

Pages can be slow to load, depending on the traffic on the site. Additionally, there are regular late-night upgrades to the service which make the site inaccessible at those times. (The times and dates for updates are published on the site as a bar across the top of pages.)

The Bottom Line

For those able to afford an Ancestry.com membership, the quantity and quality of what is available surpasses the records by the for-profit competition in the field. Ancestry.com is a solid company with the resources to back up their claims and is constantly looking for new ways to innovate and stay on top of the competition. We recommend Ancestry.com and are confident they will help with your genealogy needs.

When purchasing a membership and setting up an account, setting privacy options can be tricky. One should explore the privacy policies very carefully and determine which settings are appropriate for their needs. Maintaining more private settings make collaboration more challenging (even impossible in some cases), so this information should be carefully considered.

99 Ancestry.com Reviews

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  • User Score

    0

    June 16th, 2017 Brewerton, NY

    The "Ethnicity Estimate" results were too generic and the cost of continuing this service are astronomical.

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  • User Score

    7

    June 8th, 2017

    Ancestry is a great resource to do my family history, but I find myself having a difficult time moving around the website. I think there just might be too many options and it is a little overwhelming. I am so happy there is a website so that I can connect to my ancestors.

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  • User Score

    4

    May 31st, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    The new version needs to be revised. It's too busy and difficult to work with. It makes it really hard to research.

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  • User Score

    10

    May 29th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    Their site is easy to use and the records they provide are impressive.

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  • User Score

    10

    May 29th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    Ancestry is a really cool business and I love what they do. It was very exciting to send in my DNA so that I could find out where my DNA comes from. It was fun to share with family and friends. It did take a while to get but they have gotten really busy recently and are pretty backed up so you can't expect them to be really quick.

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  • User Score

    8

    May 26th, 2017

    I have used Ancestry.com in my geneology searches and like their service. I don't like the price however. I just recently did a DNA test that my children gave me for Mother's day. I am anxiously/excitedly waiting for the results which could take up to 8 weeks. Ancestry.com is a nice option for those looking for their ancestors.

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  • User Score

    1

    April 1st, 2017

    Presently purchasing Worldwide Membership on a semi-annual basis. $330 a year. Have been purchasing and using Family Tree Maker for more than 10 years, spending $100's and thousand of hours. As of March 29, 2017 have been unable to sync FTM with Ancestry. Despite numerous inquiries no Software Mac Kiev fails to responds. Attempting to get resolution to this problem, I researched SM which claims to be headquartered in Boston, On Google maps they are locate in the middle of the Sumner Tunnel. This is in fact a Ukrainian company [Kiev]. And totally unresponsive to th promised release of FTM 2017 which supposedly would then allow me to sync again with online trees. Real dirty pool. 2nd problem. Have purchased 6 DNA kits over the past 4 years. But for the past week have been unable to access my DNA matches I think this is due to an update which created a new aspect of online DNA matches which I could access Wednesday and it was totally accurate. My problem was assigned to a technician Tuesday but this anonymous person has taken no action and is unreachable by telephone either to me or the customer service reps. Until the last year I would have rated the knowledge, professionalism, and understanding of Ancestry Customer Service as outstanding. The phone was immediately answered by a real person who quickly resolved my problem. Now after 5 minutes of electronic voice, and 4 to 6 minute waiting for live assistance on third of reps may not speak English fluently , have an attitude of superiority, and are not knowledgeable. Ancestry is a service business the data they distribute are free open public records already paid for by taxpayers an it is collected largely by volunteer mormons and other persons interested in amateur history and, or genetics. I am now very frustrated especiall at the fact such personal data is being freely given to the land of hackers and Putin.

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  • User Score

    0

    August 23rd, 2016 Arlington, TX

    I tried Ancestry.com during a 2- week free trial and cancelled during the time period. I received an email confirming my cancellation. Today I find out I am still being billed. I called and after their associate looking for awhile i was told they have a "sister" company. While you are on the ancestry website you are also unknowingly signing up for a free trial with their sister company..If you don't cancel that one too Ancestry continues to bill..Of course, you aren't made aware of this. When I asked the guy at Ancestry for the phone number to this sister go. I was told he handled both..I would NOT recommend Ancestry.

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  • User Score

    6

    July 19th, 2016 Bullhead City, AZ

    Ancestry has a lot of good information but they have a lot of mistakes and they do not like to be told they are wrong.

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  • User Score

    1

    May 16th, 2016 Buckeye, AZ

    I still have not received my review on my DNA. I sent it in the start of February.

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  • User Score

    0

    May 15th, 2016 Corsicana, TX

    Over the past three years since the investment firm Permira bought Ancestry, it has steadily gone downhill. It usesd to be the best place to go for genealogy. Now the website is broken more then it's fixed. They sold Family Tree Maker to Software Mackiev, but seem to be making the takeover as difficult as possible. For the past week, the website and Family Tree Maker just aren't working well together. And I'm sure it will be the same whenever RootsMagic also begins to sync with Ancestry. The customer service is non-existant and you are on hold upwards of an hour to speak to a live person. If you use email support, you get responses that are evident that no one actaully read or comprehended your words that it's ridiculous! I emailed about problems with the Ancestry version of Family Tree Maker and the support person, Bryan, emailed me with the response "I'm sorry you are experiencing problems with our website." No one in customer service or support seem to know how the website even functions. And the standard response are either clear your cache & cookies, use another browser, or "We are aware of the issue and are working on it but we have no idea when it will be fixed." And if you are too vocal about the problems you are having with Ancestry on their facebook page, they will ban you from it. But at the same time they allow certain "trolls" to continue to harass and disrespect those who are honestly just wanting to be able to use what they pay for.

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  • User Score

    3

    February 24th, 2016 Rohnert Park, CA

    Ancestry.com. They had a nice, easy to navigate set up, one that was handy to review and double check, didn't take up too much room/too much ink if you print. Now we have a truly ludicrus and plain goofey convoluted "Story Book" for every single person that seems to gather information and facts from Pluto or something - just doesn't make sense,: events repeated over and over but with a new date for each repeteition it seems. I can't depend on your presentation anymore. You have gone way too far A.C. And I was such a fan! I was your cheerleader. Get rid of Story Book because there is comical information you've added - God only knows who came up with that stuff. Please, get real with the plain old common sense method that made sense. No more color book with crazy dates, numerous repetitions and goofey stories. I do NOT want to pay for that. Please pay attention to loyal customers!

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  • User Score

    0

    January 8th, 2016 Champlin, MN

    A Family Tree Maker user when it was just a twig. The new online version that we're supposed to trust our hard earned information with is awful. It's probably still trying to load my first request. I have to move on. It looks like there are plenty of choices to shift to. So disappointing.

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  • User Score

    3

    January 4th, 2016 Forest, MS

    I have been using Ancestry.com since 2000. I have had a wonderful experience. I loved it and used it every day........UNTIL they changed to this new format. I hate it! It is too busy, hard on my eyes and too much information to look at all at one time. All this information in front of you on the screen makes it hard to stay focused on what you are actually trying to research. This new format has taken a lot of the joy out of researching for me. Ancestry.com is a wonderful tool and was a good investment for your money. And it really made researching your tree very exciting and rewarding! Please, please, give us a choice on which format we want to use, after all..............we are paying for it. Doesn't customer satisfaction count for anything?

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  • User Score

    3

    December 16th, 2015

    The new version is so buggy it will discourage users. I think I will put it aside for a few months so that they can fix it. However, my feedback during the trial period was not used so I may end up cancelling.

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  • User Score

    0

    September 19th, 2015 Ellicott City, MD

    Once upon a time, there were thousands of cubicle dwellers. Contentedly in their spare time, many worked for years personalizing their space with family photos, framed documents, tales of true adventures,...in short, they made a house a home. One day, each person entered his home to find complete chaos. Unfamiliar, mass-produced and plastic furniture was anchored where antiques had stood. Carefully tended bookshelves were in disarray. Ancestral photo frames had been torn off, leaving beloved bodies to appear beheaded. Generic pictures from children's encyclopedias hung like giant posters on the walls. The walls themselves were covered gray and black, and purple arrows pointing to maps that led to nowhere had been spray-painted throughout. Family treasures were later found crammed in closets. The bank that held the mortgages proclaimed, “the times, they are a'changing,” saying newcomers who had few furnishings, records, or history lessons needed more. Hundreds of people wrote and wailed for months, to no avail. Final reactions varied: Pack up and move. Lock up and leave. Stay and accept. A few liked the Instant Family feel. This is what the executives of Ancestry.com did to millions of Family Trees they'd been paid to preserve. Inexperienced and unintelligent computer programmers were allowed to turn a decent genealogical website into a disappointing, flaw-filled waste of time. What a travesty!

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  • User Score

    1

    August 16th, 2015 Myrtle Beach, SC

    Here are 3 examples of the offensive, juvenile, incorrect nonsense being added by Ancestry to MY carefully constructed historical display: My grandmother was born in India to American citizen missionaries. The way Ancestry tells it she “moved from India to the US at a time when immigrants were expected to quickly assimilate into American society,” This insightful gem is accompanied by a helpful photo of “huddled masses.” Uncle Henry went to “Bleeding Kansas” in 1855 because he was a Quaker and abolitionist. He rode with John Brown, was charged with treason, and eventually became a major in the Union Army. Ancestry implies, photo and all, that he was a homesteader in a covered wagon. They even added the now infamous HUGE shot of the #^$& grasshoppers! “James was one of many Irish living in NYC at a time when the Big Apple was experiencing a boom in Irish immigrants.” I suspect even many 12-year-olds would know that nobody called NYC the Big Apple in 1871. Who writes this crap? For Ancestry to respond that I may feel free to delete it is beyond the pale. Ancestry makes a mess and hands US a mop?

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  • User Score

    8

    July 28th, 2015 Kalamazoo, MI

    Great site with lots of helpful information!

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  • User Score

    0

    July 26th, 2015 Ingleside, TX

    this company has changed my family tree. I have used this company for many years and always took pride at how they seemed to take pride in preserving the integrity of online family trees They went in and changed the layout without permission and gave me no choice. Also they changed the terms of service without ever making this known to subscribers Very dissapointed

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  • User Score

    1

    July 24th, 2015 High Springs, FL

    I paid for this twice...no info found in either...my dad's family lived and died in n.y. state an conn....nothing was very upset to spend money on this program

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