Ancestry.com is a cool concept, especially when you first learn about it. A database of historical records you can use to learn more about your family history is a great concept. However, the question is: Is it worth the cost? Ancestry.com charges a monthly fee, which may or may not be worth it to you. Here’s what you need to consider when you’re asking whether Ancestry.com is worth it.
1. What Are You Hoping To Use Ancestry.com For?
First off, you need to think about how you’re planning to use Ancestry.com. Are you going to trace your entire family tree? Do you have estranged family members you’re hoping to rediscover? Are you an adoptee or the child of an adoptee without a lot of information on your biological history?
Answering these questions can help give you an idea of what information you’re searching for. Ancestry.com may or may not be able to help you with this information, but either way, you’ll at least know what you’re searching for before you sign up.
2. How Long Are You Planning To Use Ancestry.com?
Many people believe that unless you’re a professional genealogist, there’s not a great reason to use Ancestry.com long term. The cost of Ancestry.com is fairly significant, and while you might want to pay for a few months, you’re likely not going to use it for longer than that.
The good news is that because Ancestry.com charges month to month, you do have the option of putting down and picking up Ancestry.com whenever you need to. If you’re interested in learning more about your family’s background, you can pay for just a month of Ancestry.com, then keep the membership active for as long as necessary.
3. Where Is Your Family Right Now?
If your family is mostly situated in non-American locations, you might get less out of Ancestry.com than you would if your family mostly lives in the United States. Ancestry.com does have an international breadth of records, but many of its records are from the United States and it’s more expensive to get international records.
Additionally, you should think about whether or not your family is physically nearby. If not, it might be a bit more difficult to check and cross-check the information you’re getting through Ancestry.com. After all, that family history can help you learn more through your Ancestry.com endeavors.
4. Have You Already Exhausted Your Familial Connections?
Familial connections are a huge part of building a family tree or a genealogical lineage. Of course, it’s possible to build a family tree without any familial connections—that’s one of the things Ancestry.com specializes in—but if you do have those connections, you’d do well to use them before you move toward the Ancestry.com option.
Familial connections can not only help you create a familial tree but also help you fill in important gaps about elements of your family you may never have known before. This may include information about family stories, general experiences, and knowledge of world and local history you had never heard before. Talk to family members if at all possible before you go to Ancestry.com, as having an existing family tree can help you build your Ancestry.com family tree and it can give you more of a depth of familial understanding.
5. What Other Tools Can You Use With Your Ancestry.com Membership?
An Ancestry.com membership doesn’t have to work on its own. You can utilize other tools with Ancestry.com to make sure that you’re getting the best information possible. This is especially helpful when it comes to things like locating estranged family members, but it can be beneficial in a variety of situations. One tool to consider using is PeopleFinders.
With PeopleFinders, you can use Ancestry.com to find someone who may be related to you and still alive, use the people search to see if you can get contact information for them. At Ancestry.com, while you can add them to your family tree and you may even be able to contact them if they’re on the site, you typically can’t find general contact information for individuals. PeopleFinders helps you bypass that problem.
There are many good reasons to use Ancestry.com, but it’s probably not something you need an ongoing subscription to. Instead, many people choose to have an account at Ancestry.com where they can sign up for a month on and off. PeopleFinders can help you much more with contact information, which is something that can enhance your existing family tree.
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