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.
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
- Bait and switch
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
- 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.