Unlock the Past: How to Find the Best Genealogy Websites for You
Explore the branches of your own family tree with the best genealogy websites. Discover why knowing your family history is more important than ever.
Were you close with your grandparents while you were growing up? Have you ever wondered what your great-great-grandparents were up to 100 years ago, or even the family members before them?
There is much to discover when you dive into your family history. You may realize you have more cultural backgrounds than you thought, or learn about an important part in history someone in your family played.
Regardless of whatever you discover, though, the coolest part about genealogy is that it's available at your fingertips. You don't need to hire some sort of specialist or do all the digging for family history on your own.
These days, the best genealogy websites offer a close-up look at family ancestry with the touch of a button! But, not every genealogy site is built the same.
Keep reading to discover why family history is so valuable and how to find the information you need.
Understanding Why Genealogy Is Important
What's the big deal about family history, anyway? It's not like you're ever going to meet your grandparents' grandparents or the uncle who fought in the civil war.
But, you can carry the legacy of these people - of who they were and what they did - with you in your life. Family history is not something to take lightly.
If you're not convinced, consider the following.
It's a Part of You
You can't pick your family. Whether you're talking about the siblings you bickered with as a child or the great-grandparent who turns out has a not-so-nice past, family is family.
Everything that the people on your mother's and father's side of the family did in their life lead you to where you are in your life now. Sure, maybe your grandparents lived in Eastern Europe and you've never even been there before. There's a chance you don't care much for science or business or fashion even if someone in your family was a pioneer of one of these things.
That's fine - you're entitled to your own experiences and opinions. But the thing is, what you believe, do, and see around you in some way, shape, or form is somehow connected to your ancestors.
Maybe you don't realize that now, and that's okay. You will when you start researching your family history, though.
It's Worth Passing on to Your Children
Even if you still don't care much about your ancestors once you've figured out how to research family history, you owe it to your children to pass down certain information.
Has your son ever asked you about where his great-grandparents are from? Did your daughter ever bring up how cool it is that you and your spouse have such separate backgrounds?
Children are naturally curious. This goes for little kids, teenagers, and young adults alike. As they work to understand themselves, they encounter a growing desire to find out more about the world around them. Such discovery starts at home.
It Offers a Deeper Understanding of the World Around You
Speaking of understanding the world, maybe a little bit of family history is what you need. In this day and age, it's easy to see conflict between cultures and within certain governments and groups. If it's not one thing, it's another.
We need more compassion, and often times, compassion begins with understanding. Learning about the actions and behaviors of the people who lived years before you can help you make better sense of the people around you today. This goes for your next door neighbor as well as those on the other side of the world.
Choosing Among All the Best Genealogy Websites
Now that the thought of your family history has gotten your attention, it's time to work on separating the best genealogy websites from the less-than-average ones.
Here's everything you need to do to end up on the right site.
1. Read Reviews
Just like most other niche services, there's no better way to understand how good a site is than to read its reviews. Find a couple options to choose from then see what previous users have to say.
Pay attention to any highlights, common things that are mentioned, and negative experiences, too. This helps you create the most reasonable expectations possible.
2. Ask Around
It's one thing to trust what random people online are saying and another to sit down and talk to your close friends about genealogy websites. Chances are, you know a handful of people who've already searched things like "my family history" and "what's the best genealogy website."
Ask them about their experience! See what kind of results they've been able to gather and the value such insights have added to their life. Ask about any challenges they encountered when using genealogy sites, too.
3. See What Kind of Tests You Need to Take
One of the most common challenges people experience when searching family history is that they don't have the proper information ready. You can't just input your site access code and legal name and find everything you're looking for.
To get accurate, in-depth details you may need some sort of medical exam or genealogy test, like a DNA exam. Research such tests and preparations beforehand so you can dive right into your family details when ready.
4. Gather All the Family Information You Can
While you're taking tests and getting information together, reach out to your close family members. Ask your siblings to do the genealogy test with you or call your parents to get as much family history from them as possible.
This helps you put your tree together. It gives you a little bit of information to input into a site, which can lead to much more data about your family than you may have thought!
5. Figure Out What You Can Do for Free
Before you go all-in on a genealogy website, see what kind of free services they offer. More so, research the different packages available and the kind of ancestry coupons you can use.
A little bit of extra time to compare prices and overall value can save you a significant amount of money. Although connecting with your family history is priceless, you shouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg for it if you can avoid it!
Unlocking Family History and Exploring Your Heritage
Once you find the best genealogy websites, a whole new world opens up. It's truly incredible to realize you have a handful of scientists in the family or a few war heroes from battles all around the world.
Whatever your family has said, done, discovered, or resolved, their life did something to affect yours. Aren't you curious to find out how?
If you are, click here to start your genealogy journey.