Your family made American history.

Findmypast is a UK-based genealogy website that counts among its archive’s contents a selection of census, directory and historical document collections--some of which are from over a thousand years ago. It was the first in the world to facilitate online access to complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England and Wales.

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  • Huge Archive of Records - Findmypast gives you access to over eight billion records, some of which are very rare and very exclusive.
  • Research Tips and Guides - The site’s commitment to assist you in your research is evident in their robust help section, which includes video and text guides and how-to’s; they have a very active social media presence, as well.
  • Comprehensive Family Tree Builder - Findmypast boasts of an intuitive family tree builder with a hints feature and even a kinship calculator.
  • Free Trial - A 14-day free trial gives you a chance to assess Findmypast and its service’s usefulness to your research goals, without having to fork over a subscription fee.
  • Affordable Pricing - In addition to competitive subscription fees, Findmypast offers what they call Pay-As-You-Go pricing in the form of prepaid credits sold in packs of 60, 300 and 900; it costs anywhere from 5 to 60 credits to permanently access a record for viewing.

Signing up and Starting the Search

It’s easy to start using Findmypast, especially with a 14-day free trial. When you sign up, you’ll be asked to enter the usual details: full name, country of residence, email, password, and billing information. Take note that the trial allows you access to only two billion out of over eight billion historical records that make up Findmypast’s archive; although you will be able to look through a wide variety of content nonetheless, from military records to newspaper clippings and more. After 14 days, the subscription will auto renew, though you can avoid that by canceling the trial before the two-week period is up.

If after the trial you find that Findyourpast is your cup of tea, you might want to consider upgrading to their premium plan; especially if you’re serious about chasing down family history leads. Not only is Findyourpast a great resource in terms of the contents of its archive, but it’s also known for its very helpful research guides and intuitive search tools. With a Premium plan, you get access to the entire Findmypast archive, and you’ll be delighted to find that a sizable number of their records are scans of original and sometimes even handwritten documents–considered to be the gold standard to genealogy research. Worth noting, though, that Findmypast deals with records from mostly English-speaking territories; if you’re from anywhere outside the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, this may not be the best service for you.



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Trace your ancestry and build a family tree by researching extensive birth records, census data, obituaries and more with Findmypast

Your family made American history.

Building Family Trees with Findmypast

What Findmypast lacks in extra features–like DNA testing or strong community building–it makes up for with its family tree builder. While family tree builders are standard fare for most genealogy websites, what makes Findmypast stand out is the level of ease at which you can use theirs, in conjunction with its robustness. All the bells and whistles are present: you can upload and work from your own GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communication) file, you can add your own documents and media, and there is even a hint system in place.

To start your own family tree–and you can do this even if you’re on a free trial–you’ll work with your full name, as well as your birth date and location. You’ll also be asked if you want your tree to be public or private; while the latter seems more prudent, especially considering the amount of personal information you’ll be divulging, setting your family tree to public will make it possible for you to connect with other users on Findmypast who may share your ancestry. After this initial step, it’s on to fleshing out your family tree.

It’s easy to add new individuals to your family tree, and on top of your own profile, you can even build separate profiles for each family member. These profiles are used to track relationships and to calculate kinship; and you can create a virtual timeline of a person’s life using this feature and have it come out looking like a social media feed. Events, milestones, photos, documents–you can put it all there.

Display Options

Another great feature that Findmypast incorporates into their family tree builder is the ability to view your data from multiple perspectives. Family View gives you a vertical tree, and is probably the most familiar family tree configuration; Family Group isn’t much different. Pedigree displays a horizontal tree; while People is simply a vertical listing of all the people you’ve added to your family tree so far, complete with birth and death dates and any Findmypast hint notifications pertaining to each relative.

Record Matches and Hints

Apart from appearing directly on your family tree, hints are also collected into one specific section, which you can access at the top of your Findmypast dashboard under ‘My Hints’. Hints are basically records that Findmypast thinks match someone in your family tree. When you check this section out, you’ll be shown a preview of each hint, and you have the ability to review the whole record as a document transcription–of a scan of the original, if it’s available–before sorting each via these options: New, Maybe, Accepted and Rejected.

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