Archived on 6/5/2022

Family tree websites

31 Mar '22

Does anyone have advice on which websites I should try to work on my family tree . I’ve lost both parents a while ago and am on medication for depression, and I think it may help to work back through my family history . Not sure where to start , but have both my parents birth certificates, but grandparents were born in Northern Ireland at turn of last century, so not sure how available those records are.
Any recommendations for websites, free or paid would be great .

1 Apr '22

I’ve used , mainly the free version which if you’ve got birth and death certificates you can piece together a fair bit of information.
Then you can decide if you want to pay for more options.

1 Apr '22

Do try the free sites before you spend any money signing up to websites.

Having your parents’ birth certificates is a great start, because you’ll have your grandfathers’ occupations (or at least what they say they were; you’ll find people werent always truthful!)

You could try:

Apologies, this was a much more detailed post, but it timed out in loading and I lost it. So I’ll try to post more later as time permits.

1 Apr '22

You’ll also find lots of people willing to help you - sometimes with look ups or local knowledge.

I’ve found people on the Roots Chat forum site helpful and welcoming when I’ve got stuck.

1 Apr '22

Thank you

1 Apr '22

Thank you Mary

1 Apr '22

You’re very welcome @PJ

When you feel ready, there are lots of events that you might like to think about going to, which are full of free tutorials and talks designed for people at all levels of experience.

You can get discounts on various software packages and memberships. You just have to he careful not to sign up (unless you’re sure by then you want to) but the various website people will be eager give you a free demo and look stuff up for you then and there.

Sometimes too it’s just really nice to bump into people at the picnic tables and hear what they’re doing.

I think some of the tutorials from past events will be online too.

One of the last shows I went to was Roots Tech at Excel in 2019 and I think it looks as though some of the talks from that event are still online.

I know it looks like you’re being bombarded with lots of stuff, but just take it easy and dip in and out and have fun. If there’s anything specific you want please feel free to ask, either here by private message.

1 Apr '22

My son really wanted to do the ancestry dna one. He loves history and it has told him what percentage dna he has around the world. It also gives info if links to others within the family that have done them. i.e 1- 6th cousins over the world too. Quite interesting.

1 Apr '22 Was definitely interesting. No family tree of course but they keep updating your profile with new data and analytics all for one upfront fee. Even going from broad regions to counties over time as they get better at categorising. It’s very cool.

1 Apr '22

Sure. If you want a private company working in an unlicensed industry have your DNA, something likely to vecome a form of identification in the future.

1 Apr '22

It doesnt really appeal to me personally. But each to their own. I think it’s a reflection of population today, not necessarily in the past.

But I’m also not convinced because I got chatting to a lady at the Roots Tech event who had hers done twice and got two very different results. She had the second test done because she and her sister had gotten such different results the first time around that it had caused a lot of anxiety in the family. So they went to a different company, where the results proved that they were full sisters after all. Phew.

But if DNA testing gets young people interested in learning more about history - and they have the support if there are worrying or unwanted results - then I’d not want to put them off.

1 Apr '22

Hi John

I’ve been studying my family history for almost 15 years. I started with my Great Grandparents details and it grew from there. My main go to site is Ancestry, which is where I have my family tree saved; I switch from free to the paid version depending on where I am with my research. Usually go over to a paid subscription when they have a deal on. Ancestry also do weekends when they give everyone free access to all their records. Sign up for their newsletter so you know when they’re doing this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did this during the Jubilee weekend.

I also use Family Search FamilySearch • Free Family Trees and Genealogy Archives who use to be entirely free but not so much now. Like Ancestry you have to pay to see the records. However, Family Search give you more information about what is detailed in the document.

From there I use other government based information sites like General Registry Office for copies of marriage and birth certificates. The National Archives can also be useful The National Archives . My father’s side of the family are Scottish so I use Scotlands People. Even spent a weekend in the Priaulx Library in Guernsey after discovering that my maternal grandmother’s family is from there.

My Great Grandmother’s father is from Northern Ireland and I must say I am struggling to find information on this side of the family. Apparently a lot of Irish records were destroyed in the early 1900s. There are some still available.

Good luck. It is good project while you’re dealing with your depression. Definitely occupy your mind. I am so sorry to hear about your lost. I hope you’re doing okay x