Learn More About Genealogy Websites

You may have heard many people discuss genealogy websites, and have seen the ads for them on TV. But there’s a chance that you’ve never actually used one and aren’t sure exactly what they do. What are these websites all about?

Ancestry Records and Information

Many genealogy websites compile ancestry records and offer other ancestral information that can help you create a better understanding of your family history. This is, in fact, the basic premise for most genealogy websites. However, it’s also true that different websites may offer slightly different records and types of records, which is why different people prefer different sites.

The exact definition of “ancestry records” does vary from site to site. Some may offer more and some less, which often corresponds to whether you need to pay for a membership and how expensive that membership is. If you’re interested in registering with a genealogy website, it might be a good idea to shop around to make sure you get the information you want for a price you can afford.

Legal Records and Familial Records

Some genealogy websites include legal and familial records that can help you build your family tree. These legal records can sometimes include birth and death records, marriage records and even burial records, which can help you discover more about someone by finding that person’s gravestone.

Because genealogy websites are specifically targeted toward people looking to try and discover more about ancestral history, these legal records tend to commit only to vital records that will help build a family tree, not necessarily learn more about each individual person. That means you probably won’t find much in the way of information like criminal records on a genealogy website, which might make a difference for you.

User-Based Records and Family Trees

This is definitely a strength of genealogy websites. Many sites allow users to upload family records and family trees they’ve already compiled, thus adding to the number of documents on the site. These records and family trees may not be legal documents, which means they wouldn’t be present on an online people search. Pre-existing family trees can also help you discover more about extremely extended family if someone on one branch of your family tree happens to overlap with another person’s.

If you really want to flesh things out as much as possible, you might want to combine an online people search with a genealogy website account. That way, you can take advantage of the user-based records available on the genealogy website as well as the legal information from the online people search.

How Can a Genealogy Website Help Me With Research?

If you’re looking to create a family tree or learn more about your family, there are lots of reasons why a genealogy website might be able to help. That’s why they’re many people’s first choice.

Create a Better Picture of Your Family

With the information from a genealogy website, you might be able to more effectively discover what your family was truly like through the ages. Plus, if you’re able to see other users’ family trees, it’s definitely possible for you to create a truly monumental family tree that encompasses people you’re only extremely distantly related to, enough so that you wouldn’t even know if you’d never created this family tree.

Genealogy websites often allow users to upload pictures of individuals as well, making it easier for you to literally create a picture of your family. Especially because family trees tend to stretch back many years, it can be amazing to see how pictures grow and evolve throughout the years — it’s a truly astonishing feeling to see sepia-toned, centuries-old photos of people to whom you’re related.

Access More Records

If you’re just using general Google search results and information from your family members, you’re probably going to run into a dead end very quickly. It might be enough if you’re only interested in maintaining a family tree for the people in your very close family. But if you really want to create a great family tree, genealogy websites can help.

You can also partner the records from genealogy websites with the records from people search engines like PeopleFinders. This helps you really get the full picture, with a complete range of legal records from PeopleFinders paired with a huge range of user-submitted, non-legal records from your preferred genealogy site.

Discover Unknown Information About Your Ancestors

One of the coolest parts of creating a family tree is learning more about the people who preceded you. Lots of people simply don’t know a lot about their family, which can be frustrating if you’re someone who likes to know about your past. It can also make you feel pretty disconnected because you might not be in touch with communities that truly represent who you are.

With tools from genealogy websites, it’s easier for you to discover unknown information regarding the people from far up on your family tree. Maybe you never knew from where your family immigrated, the burial locations of your family members, or what type of occupation your family members traditionally held. That’s all fascinating information that a genealogy website may be able to help with.

What Can I Do to Get Information Outside of Genealogy Records?

Genealogy websites are great for lots of information, but they’re not perfect. What can you do if you’re looking for additional information that genealogy websites just don’t carry?

Courthouses and Records Archives

Many records throughout history qualify as public records. The public can access these records, which often include birth records, death records, criminal records, and various other pieces of information that you might find useful in your ancestral hunt. Technically, you can access this variety of records for free. But in practice, that’s not usually how it happens.

The problem usually arises when you go to actually request these documents. Requests can take days and even weeks to fill, and many courthouses and record-keeping archives charge hefty administrative fees for retrieving and printing the records. The cost can add up fast, especially if you’re pulling records for dozens of people through your ancestral tree.

Online People Search

If you’re not interested in trying to comb through courthouse records for this information, you could do well with an online people search instead. With an online people search like PeopleFinders, you can find information that you might find on a genealogy site and some other information that you won’t. Supplement your ancestral information with a criminal records search and get all the interesting and sordid details about an outlaw in your bloodline.

You can also use PeopleFinders to fact-check the genealogy site if you’re uncertain about some of its claims. Just perform a general people search for the person in question and read through the documents available. If they don’t match up, keep looking into it — the issues may be due to clerical errors on the part of the digitizer, discrepancies in records, or just different reports.

Combine Tools to Find All the Right Information

The best way for you to truly create the finest available family tree is to use all the tools at your disposal. That’s how you can build a family tree that has all the trimmings: a full record of birth dates and death dates, burial grounds, familial ties, criminal records, and much more. You can’t get that with just genealogy websites or just public records.

When you want to create the finest family tree out there, start with a PeopleFinders people search. Tie-in genealogy information, records from your friends and family, and whatever else you can find to create the family tree of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is peoplefinders.com considered a genealogy website?

Not specifically. However, we do offer a lot of public records information that can help with genealogical research.

Can I do genealogy research for free on peoplefinders.com?

You can start a genealogical search for free. However, the in-depth public records information you probably want requires payment to access.

How can I do research on genealogy websites online?

A general online search for genealogy will reveal a number of sites devoted to just that purpose.

What public records inform genealogy websites?

Public records go back many years, and so can help greatly in your understanding of an ancestor's life. They include things like birth records, death records, and marriage and divorce records.

Where else can I go to get information about genealogical research?

You might know someone who is a genealogy buff. Talk to them about their recommendations for effective research approaches.

What Are Genealogy Websites?