Tracing family history shouldn’t be too difficult or too expensive. Fortunately, Archives.com offers simple and affordable genealogy resources. Where people used to have to travel to libraries across the country and dig through microfiche to learn about their ancestors, online resources have made family history information quickly and easily accessible—which is great news, whether you’re a hobbyist or an advanced genealogist. There are records available in the United States and in the United Kingdom. It’s also one of the most affordable family history sites, which is helpful if you’re just getting started.
The community features of Archives.com are extremely helpful, especially if you’re new to genealogy. You can stay up to date on new features as well as tips and how-tos through the blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The company also features an “Expert Series,” where they bring in a research expert every two weeks to write an article that has lessons and tips, such as how to find local resources in your state, or basic genealogy forms you need to get started. There’s even an option to set up “ancestor alerts,” which notify you by email every time a record matches one of your searches. Overall, this is a well-designed site with access to an abundance of records.
Archives.com offers a straightforward and easy-to-use interface. While this site isn’t the biggest genealogy site on the internet, this company is partnered with very good genealogy databases. The site has 1.1 billion digital records and is adding approximately 50,000 new records to its collection everyday.
Searching for information is, arguably, the most important aspect of genealogy research. It’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed with all the records, certificates and archives available online. When searching a particular name, for example, there may be hundreds of results that have nothing to do with your lineage. So, the search features on a site become increasingly important. Archives.com offers a fairly simple search engine, but you have the option to narrow your search by U.S. state, birth year, death year, or type of record.
Another option for finding the information you’re looking for is to browse the collections. Collections are historical groups of data gathered for study, comparison, or exhibition. A single record, such as a marriage or death record, can often be found as part of a state or government collection. Collections may be organized by state, county or city, for example.
The best search tool we found was the "Search all Records" form since as the name suggests it will search all Collections at once for information on your ancestors. On the basic form, first and last name, estimated birth year and a location is required. Unless your ancestor had a fairly unique name the search results returned will probably be large. To narrow these results down you can add one or more life events to the search that you may know about the person. Life events of the person includes their birth, death, marriage, etc. and require the year it happened along with the location. You may also add known family members to the search request to help narrow the search results. This includes the first and last name of their mother, father, children, spouse and siblings. The advanced search form goes into more details allowing you to specify ranges on names (i.e. Soundex and Phonetic matching) to adding a year range for events. Gender and race can also be specified along with a list of keywords.
This site offers a user-friendly, attractive web interface and access to an abundance of records. The features of the site include:
- Simple, easy-to-use web interface
- Create, save and edit as many family trees as you’d like
- Easy to share your family tree history with relatives
- Compatible with Family Tree Maker software (not required)
- Digital scrapbook allows you to save old photographs and images
- Set up “ancestor alerts” to be notified when new records match our search and become available
- Find birth, death, marriage, divorce and burial archives
- Search for female ancestors by maiden or married name in one search
- Save records as you find them, add notes, review past searches, and browse your personal collection any time
- View and print actual scans and images of records
- Trace military roots with enlistment records collections and veteran archives
- UK Birth, Marriage, and Death indexes (UKBMD) and UK census records are searchable
Archives.com offers plenty of ways for beginners to learn how to trace their family history, while also providing robust enough features to satisfy more advanced genealogists. Following are the available how-to and community features:
- Community forum – ask questions, share stories, and collaborate to solve problems with other genealogists and users
- Blog – regular blog posts that highlight recent news in ancestry research as well as articles geared toward helping you succeed in your family history search
- Expert Series – biweekly articles by experts that teach you how to gain more information in your searches and methods
- Social media – connect with Archives on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. The Facebook page is especially useful, as you can connect with other people researching their family trees there
Costs listed in US dollars.
- 7 day free trial
- Tools to build and grow your online family tree
- Access to the Archives collections and records
- Upload photos and documents for your online family tree
- Share your family tree with family members
- Paid membership
- After the free trial, Archives.com charges $9.99 per month
- Other Details:
- Payment options include PayPal or credit card
- Billing auto-renews every month
- You can cancel at any time by contacting Archives.com customer service
Disclaimer: While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our information at Review Chatter we shall not be held responsible for any discrepancy. There is a possibility that the information provided here is outdated or wrong, please check with the companies website directly for the most recent information. As always you should read your terms of service before purchasing any product online or signing up to any online service.