1. GenealogyBank.com

GenealogyBank.com offers a comprehensive collection of records to assist genealogists in their research. The website claims that 95% of the records available in their databases are exclusive. Initially, this seems like an unrealistic statement, but upon further examination, one discovers that the vast percentage of the records available online with GenealogyBank.com is from newspapers around the country. Indeed, they have archives dating back to the 17th Century (1690).

GenealogyBank.com has been recognized by Family Tree Magazine as being one of the top websites for family research. The site has also been featured on MSNBC and in the Huffington Post. 

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The Good

  • Resources

GenealogyBank.com has many resources for genealogists and amateur historians alike. Some of the benefits of signing up for a membership include:

  • Over 300 years of newspaper articles
  • Vast archive of books and government documents
  • Extensive YouTube Channel with hours of training materials
  • Blog with the latest information relevant for genealogists
  • First month trial for $9.95 allowing researchers to try out the service risk free:Trial is a full-access trial, giving the researcher access to all records
  • Website is user friendly and easy to navigate
  • Comprehensive Genealogist Q & A
  • Helpful and professional customer service staff
  • Social media presences which are active communities: Facebook, Twitter
  • Ability to buy gift memberships (even selecting the very day that the membership term begins) in advance

The Bad

  • Bait and switch
  • Cancellation

Most of the complaints center around billing and recurring charges. These fall under two categories:

Bait and switch

  • When first accessing GenealogyBank.com, you can search for an ancestor's name. The results page loads with the results and what they are without showing the actual documents. To see the actual documents, one must sign up for a trial. Nowhere on the site does it give the cost of the trial until entering billing and payment information.
  • The trial is stated to be "no risk," but there are strict terms to cancel the trial (and prevent being billed the annual price of $69.95) which are on the site, but not easily accessible

Cancellation

  • After 30 days have passed in the trial membership, the credit card used for the trial period is automatically
  • Some members have reported difficulty getting their memberships canceled
  • Members must speak to a customer service representative to cancel

Other problems our review team sees with GenealogyBank.com is that the records are for the United States only and there are holes in the number of newspaper archives for which information is available - mainly in the New England States and across the Southern US.

The Bottom Line

GenealogyBank.com has many unique records which allow researchers to put more of their family history together and to put stories to their ancestor's lives. For those interested in obtaining more information (obituaries, etc.), this service can be invaluable. Our experience with customer service did not match the complaints online of ineffective and representatives who are not helpful.

GenealogyBank.com offers many records which are not as easily found with their competitors and as such is a good option. The website is intuitive and user friendly. As such, we can recommend GenealogyBank.com if the researcher needs information from newspaper or government sources.

User Reviews

Star Rating

1.5
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9 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
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4 star
11%
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2 star
11%
1 star
78%

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angela

April 30th, 2018 Defiance, MO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. I tried using this website to learn more about my family's background. It was completely useless, no matter who i put in I didn't find anything useful. The only information is in the United States and even searching for simple people in my family that have always lived here I have found not one thing. I have been using Ancestry.com since 2014 and love the website, it is very helpful and easy to use. Also cancelling the membership is practically impossible. You have to call in order to cancel your account and the representatives do not answer. First time I called I gave up after waiting 15 minutes. then I called again and they constantly tried to convince me to stay.

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Kristi Bailey

March 16th, 2018 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I paid the start up fee and then decided not to use their services and I requested a refund. Two collegues from Genealogy.com contacted me and told me the refund would arrive in about 30-45 days. I wrote a follow up email after 30 days and they said that the refund would arrive in 7-10 days, and it did! I am very pleased that the refund arrived as promised, in a timely manner. From what I understand they have new managment as of a few months ago. Based on my experience the new management is doing a good job.

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Lulu

February 21st, 2018 Acworth, GA

I found a mysterious online purchase charge on my bank account, and looked them up - I've never heard of this company before and certainly have never done business with them. I phoned my bank, and was given the phone number associated with the charge - 866-641-3297. This is the number on their website, but when I phoned it, it was a dead number. I canceled my bank card and started visiting review sites to see how many others they have ripped off. Trust pilot has 51 negative reviews for them and one positive - a glowing review from a man with the same name as the owner of the company. I have no idea where the company got my banking information but it certainly wasn't through legal means. 100% fraudulent. Beware.

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JRC

September 4th, 2017 Evanston, IL

No success finding records that I know exist and have seen online from other sources. Have tested, tested and tested but not once have I found a record. The search results are not relevant to my searches.

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Robert Elder

August 2nd, 2017

After many attempts to find specific family members, I received little or no information. Even when I had all the pertinent information and put that in the search it did not find the person. I think I found two out of about twenty. Mostly I had to put in little information to get anything and then I got 22,000 responses to go through...and maybe my relative MIGHT have been in there. It could take LIGHT YEARS to find your relatives in with this source.

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Michael Bramblett

July 12th, 2017

I didn't find much value relating to my family research. After 2 days, I decided to cancel. I contacted the provided number and was quickly answered by a nice lady. She said my refund would be processed through my credit union. She gave me a confirmation number and as soon as we hung up I had an email showing the pending credit (the full amount I paid). That was Monday, this is Wednesday and the credit has shown up on my card. So, though not that impressed with the product, I am very impressed with the customer service I received. It seems that in many of the reviews I have read, the writers waited longer than the allowed 30 days to request cancellation.

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Pat Slice

April 24th, 2017 Mountain Home, AR

I have been a long time subscriber to ancestry.com and today I received a cold call from Genealogybank.com. I must have triggered the call by "bumping" into their website. I never gave them my name, my phone number, anything, yet they called from my area code (Arkansas) and after chatting with the sales person and hung up I looked up their phone numbers and addresses. One address is in Florida and the other is up northeast US. So, I think, how did they find me? IP addresses pinging their website? Why the "Out of Area" call using my area code? I looked up the reviews and I see some really weird write ups. I am glad I didn't fall for the cold call as it seems it is a potential financial disaster waiting to happen. They don't get very good scores on this website. Ancestry.com has gotten better and better, especially with their mobile apps. It all syncs up really nice. I would recommend not using genealogybank.com with the situation as is.

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Patricia Flynn Becker

March 13th, 2016 Lexington, KY

I have not found one thing that I was looking for, even though they should be available. very disappointing and an waist of my money

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Laura

February 7th, 2016 Londonderry, NH

I only had luck with one search result out of many and that was to an obituary that I was able to find free online because it was less that a decade old. When I signed up for the trial I wasn't aware that I would need to call to cancel. I sent an email and they called and left a message stating that I need to call to cancel. I do not own a phone so I am not able to call them. I only have a google voice account. I just discovered they have complaints with BBB and a lot of negative reviews. I have a feeling I had better have my credit card company change my card number because they do not appear to be an honest business.

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