Search Existing Family Trees Online

When you’re tracing your family roots and stories, why re-plow a field that has already been plowed?

You are most likely not the only – or the first – person searching for and building your family tree. So see if someone has already found information on your ancestors. You can save yourself hours of work, verify information that you already know, make connections between generations, and help you determine which ancestors to search for. Most web sites allow free searches, but some may require a fee or just registration.

There are many wonderful web sites with existing family tree databases to help you determine if someone has already found information on your ancestor. Here’s the best of the Internet; they may also serve as web links to the entire Internet to help you find other family history web sites. See also Best of the Internet Family History Web Sites, for more details.

One of the comprehensive, preeminent family history web sites on the Internet. It provides access to the Family History Library and the largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world. The International Genealogical Index contains more than 285 million people researched and extracted from original records. T

he Pedigree Resource File contains over 220 million names in family trees with about 1.2 million new names submitted to this database every month. Ancestral File contains about 37 million lineage-linked names of people throughout the world. FamilySearch provides easy access for the gathering and sharing of family history information. Free.

Ancestry World Tree and Rootsweb WorldConnect

Ancestry World Tree (and Rootsweb WorldConnect) is a free collection of user-submitted GEDCOMs (family trees). You can access World Tree and World Connect from two different websites, but either way, it is the same program and the same set of trees. The database contains more than 467 million names in family trees submitted by users.

If you wish to search only World Trees or WorldConnect alone use the URL addresses above. However, an general tree search also includes other family trees not in World Tree. A general search may also include World Tree but only when you click the “Exact matches only” button. Free.

Ancestry Private Member Trees $

database contains family trees submitted to Ancestry by users who indicated that their tree can only be viewed by Ancestry members to whom they have granted permission to see. It contains about 162 million individuals, and you must be a subscriber to access this database.

Ancestry Public Member Trees $

database contains family trees submitted to Ancestry by users who indicated that their tree can be viewed by all Ancestry members to whom they have granted permission to see. It contains over 585 million names, and you must be a member to access this database. $

a pedigree-linked database with over 370 million names, share your family tree worldwide, build your own family tree on-line, and store family history pictures online for display with your family tree. You can search through millions of names in a family pedigree linked format.

You can preview the site before becoming a member by searching their Ancestry Archive Index to determine if you have potential names of interest. You can also connect with researchers and other resources through this site. $7/10-days, $15/month, $35/quarter, $100/year with an one-time free month when you submit a GEDCOM of your family history with at least 15 families and 60 individuals.

One Great $

A family history program that allows everyone to combine their knowledge and data to build one huge, shared database. Using sophisticated, patented technology, they are linking all of the family trees together into one shared, worldwide database with shared multimedia, notes, research, biographies and citations. The idea is to leverage the effort and research of all users rather than duplicating research that others have already done. Contains about 200 million submitted pedigree-linked names in their family tree database.

A significant, groundbreaking new enhancement to its unique, powerful automated searching system allows users to precisely merge entire branches of a common family tree, yet preserve a unique version of the family history and highlight any differing information as a “Conflict” so submitters can collaborate and resolve the conflicting information together. 7-Day free trial, $9.95/month, $19.95/quarter, $59.95/year.

GenCircles Global Tree

Global Tree contains over 90 million names which you can search for free. If you are a submitter to GT you can use their technology (called SmartMatch) to pair names in your pedigree with those in GT. Free.

Family Tree

Enter your ancestor information just once to search existing family trees at nine online family tree databases. This free service creates the best family tree searches based on your ancestry. They also include hints for searching your family tree.


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