Family Tree Websites (Individual)
There are many sites where you can build a family tree. We have chosen the most prominent for this list. In general, on sites where there are individual trees, you own the tree, you are the only person who can make changes unless you authorize someone else, you can make the tree public or private, and living people are always private.
Ancestry.com 14-day free trial but long term expensive. Also AARP discount for first-timers. Free options are 1) use Ancestrylibrary.com for research. This free subscription is only available at the library and does have trees. 2) Use Ancestry.com to build a tree but no searching or special features. 3) Get a monthly subscription when you have time to research heavily. Ancestry has DNA testing service.
Ancestry Subscriptions: Three main subscriptions are: US Discovery, World Explorer and All Access. Features are here: http://www.ancestry.com/cs/offers/subscribe
Guest Registration: List of Free account features https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/ka215000000MW0XAAW/Ancestry-Guest-Registration-1460088565392-2206?r=1
DNA Subscription here: Tells what DNA features you receive with and without a subscription. I have heard there is a special DNA subscription for $49 but you may have to call for it.
MyHeritage.com: There are free and premium versions. Based in Israel so there are many more international users. They are known for sophisticated searching techniques. Recently added a DNA testing service. Can add DNA results from other sites for free currently.
Findmypast.com: A subscription site from the UK expanding rapidly to Australia, Canada and the US. Best Value is the US starter package is $36/year.
Family Tree Websites (Collaborative, Universal or “Big” Trees)
These sites have one big tree with the intention that each person appears only once. You have to be careful not to add duplicates.
Familysearch.org: Always Free, LDS, anyone can change any entry. You can mark a person’s record to be emailed whenever a change is made. Family Search has one of the largest collections of genealogical records. You can get help at the Family History Center on James Street.
Wikitree.com: Everything free! Each entry has an owner/manager which may be you or a distant relative so people can’t change the entries without consulting the owner. Emphasis on sourcing records, collaboration, and recording DNA info so people can contact you.
Family Tree Software Also see separate page on blog.
Many genealogists use software at home as their protected family tree. All these are well-respected for use on a PC. Mac’s have different software available
Family Tree Maker: Most expensive (around $80). Works with Ancestry.com. Purchase from MacKiev.com. They purchased software from Ancestry and will maintain.
RootsMagic: Has free and premium versions ($30-40)
Legacy: Has free and premium versions ($30-40)
Family Tree Builder: From MyHeritage.com for use with their trees.
Great video comparing the Big 4
Sunny Morton (affiliated with Genealogy Gems) delivered a talk about the Big 4 at the 2017 RootsTech. All her research was current as of December 2016. The Big 4 in her opinion are Ancestry, My Heritage, Find My Past, and Family Search and many people agree with her. She compares them in depth in this hour-long video.