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

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

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.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

X close
X close

92 Ancestry.com Reviews

1. Select Your Rating:

7
9
5
12
6
5
4
4
10
7
23
0=WORST 10=BEST

2. Subject For This Review*(Select all that apply)

0 characters

3. Review Validation*

or

    Sort By:

  1. 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.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?

  2. 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.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    1

  3. 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.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    1

  4. 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.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    1

  5. 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!

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    1

  6. 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.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    1

  7. 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?

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    2

  8. 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.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    3

  9. 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!

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    2

  10. 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?

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    5 1

  11. User Score

    8

    July 28th, 2015 Kalamazoo, MI

    Great site with lots of helpful information!

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?

  12. 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

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    6

  13. 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

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    4

  14. User Score

    0

    July 24th, 2015 Pottstown, PA

    I signed up for it on a trial basis….found NOTHINg and then they kept taking money out of my account even after I said cancel…you offer a trial but then you keep taking out money when you had no right. A trial is a trial which means the ONLY way you should ever collect another cent is after that person said to go ahead.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    3

  15. User Score

    10

    July 22nd, 2015 Bridgeport, CT

    I began using Ancestry first around 20 years ago and have found more information about my family than I ever expected to. I’ve connected with family members I never knew from as far away as England.

    Ancestry is well worth the money!

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?

  16. User Score

    10

    July 21st, 2015 Salt Lake City, UT

    I love Ancestry.com. I use it all the time and really love the hints, resources and the set up. Thanks for all you do for us. It makes research easier.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    1

  17. User Score

    8

    July 21st, 2015 Kansas City, KS

    I have been a subscriber to Ancestry since the very beginning and have generally found it to be excellent. However, the recent changes to the search function appear to have been implemented for the sole purpose of “looks” not for ease of use. Were any end users involved in this change????? Also, the print function is ridiculous. I have not seen printing like this (small picture in the middle of a full sized page) since the late 1980s when vendor software was in the early development stages. Is this printing problem because the new Ancestry is not compatible with Family Tree Maker (the software I use)? Sometimes changing for the sake of change (or appearing to change) is not as helpful as you might imagine.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    9

  18. User Score

    0

    July 17th, 2015 Palm Harbor, FL

    Recently Ancestry unveiled and “new” version of their web service. I has been a pure disaster. There are new challenges every day. These include problems with searches and results; changes in background colors and screens to make it modern looking, while damaging people’s eyesight (it will be nice to read about the first law suit regarding damaged vision); lost data; a ridiculous new Lifestory page; Ancestry’s manipulation of data, photos, and reports you have uploaded to Ancestry; truncated photographs, extra functions added to accomplish tasks that used to require one function… a very lengthy list of issues that they will not address (maybe 20+ out of hundreds reported), The lack of customer support as been astounding. Thousands of complaints have been posted on their Facebook pages and on their blogs, all to no avail. There has been absolutely NO apology issued by their upper management for all the problems they are causing their customers. They have become a monopoly, snapping up other companies that offered genealogical services, leaving us to deal with one big, faceless conglomerate. Their team of beta testers have become Facebook hyenas, attacking every dissenter who posts and unfavorable comment. My goal is to complete the project I started and get out of Dodge, and i am not alone in this sentiment. This has become a greedy business, with one goal in mind, more and more money And, ignoring customer demand, requests, suggestions, they are forging ahead with this loser application. Customer service be dammed.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    11

  19. User Score

    6

    July 17th, 2015 Melrose, MA

    I loved Ancestry when I had it for years. But it is getting too expensive & I can’t subscribe because of financial issues. I really miss using it especially when I want to look something up. So I have stopped genealogy for now & doing photography instead.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?
    2

  20. User Score

    10

    July 17th, 2015 Houston, TX

    I’ve spent many pleasurable, fascinated hours on ancestry.com. I traced my ancestors back to English royalty, assuming the links that I borrowed from other people’s trees are accurate. And that’s the only gotcha on ancestry.com: you have to be careful whose links you adopt in your tree. Otherwise I have nothing but good things to say about ancestry, and they seem to be getting better with age.

    Read More

    Was this review helpful?