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 is from newspapers around the country. Indeed, they have archives dating back to the 17th Century (1690). 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.


Rank Chart
Our Score
Over 17 billion
Over 6.9 billion
Over 4 billion
genealogy bank logo
Over 2 billion

The Good

  • Resources 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, 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 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 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. 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 if the researcher needs information from newspaper or government sources.

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

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3 Reviews

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    April 24th, 2017 Mountain Home, AR

    I have been a long time subscriber to and today I received a cold call from 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. has gotten better and better, especially with their mobile apps. It all syncs up really nice. I would recommend not using with the situation as is.

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    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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    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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