Why is Ancestry com so expensive

Free genealogy research: the top three websites

By doing genealogical research, you can find family members believed to be lost and fill in your family tree further. The Internet provides you with some helpful archives for this purpose, which you can use to search for relatives. We'll show you the three best (free) genealogy websites.

The fascination with genealogy

With genealogical research it is possible to find family members who are supposed to be lost and to make new contacts with them and maybe even plan a visit. Who knows what you will find out doing your genealogy.

There are several websites on the Internet that specialize in genealogy. In the following, we will introduce you to three recommended providers.

FamilySearch: The free genealogy

Run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the FamilySearch site might seem a bit strange at first. But as a free provider, the site is well worth a look. Here you will find documents from 1700 and earlier, so that you can possibly trace your family quite a long way back. The site mainly features records from the United States, as that is where it originated. But Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe are also represented, so you can really search all over the world and, with a little luck, track down relatives. Although the names of many documents are in English, a simple dictionary or tool like DeepL will help you translate the title and you will know what to look for. Population censuses, marriage papers, real estate contracts and birth and death certificates are particularly well represented.

After registering your free user account, the website will guide you through the search for ancestors. Everything is explained to you and the instructions are easy to understand. You can first provide some information about your close relatives; This includes your parents, grandparents, siblings, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. The more information you provide, the sooner you will find what you are looking for. Sometimes you have to use alternative spellings, otherwise the name will not be recognized in some documents.

Easy genealogy with Ancestry

With the online tool Ancestry you can not only create a family tree, but also access a huge database that contains more than 500 million German documents and images. Historical papers include censuses and electoral rolls, military records, and birth, marriage, and death records.

With an easy-to-use search engine, you can locate family members and save the results of your genealogy research right into your online family tree.

The user-friendliness is already underlined on the start page: Here you will find a small step-by-step guide on how to use the website.

Cost: Ancestry is not free, it works on a subscription model. For one month you first pay 4.99 euros and then 12.99 euros and have access to the German recordings. If you want to see the worldwide records, then you pay 9.99 euros for one month and 22.99 euros thereafter. The subscriptions can be canceled at any time. To save some money, the website also offers you the option of subscribing directly for six months.

Tip: If you are looking for a software solution for creating family trees, we can recommend the free program Gramps. This also offers plugins from third-party providers, so you can see the distribution of your ancestors on a map, for example.

Volksbund: Lists of casualties and war victims

Especially if you are looking for family members who disappeared or died in the war, the grave search at Volksbund is a good place to go. Here you will find over 4.5 million entries on missing and fallen persons from WWI and WWII. The site is free, but the operators ask for a donation. Since the site is supported by the Federal Foreign Office, it is serious. So you can be sure that you will find good, fact-based information.

After registering, the search is very easy here too. A plus point of this website is definitely that you can search here in German and do not have to translate anything.

Hand in hand with this page is the German Office, which can give you information about the whereabouts of prisoners of war. Official documents still arrive here today, which are then processed and categorized and can provide new information about prisoners of war and their whereabouts. Please note, however, that for the search you have to submit an application, or rather an inquiry, which takes several months to process and is not free of charge. Depending on the difficulty of researching your order, fees of up to 25 euros may await you. A more detailed overview of the costs can be found on the page itself. You can then enter the results of your research in a program for creating a family tree.

Web app: Volksbund Gravesearch

More articles from this area

The most popular CHIP news