Last Updated: October 22, 2016
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Finding out more about the past has become extra popular over the last few years as increasing numbers of people have become fascinated by learning about their ancestors. That's where comes in. As the top website for researching family history in the UK, has over ten years of experience in assisting people with finding out more about where they come from, as well as providing an extensive collection of records available for members to check. From censuses to phone books and from birth certificates to parish records, boasts over one million searchable records as well as the world's biggest collection of family trees. With 80% of people in the UK believing that a good understanding of their heritage is important, it is easy to see why is such a successful website, and since users can upload their own family trees, connecting with other family members has never been so easy.

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What a hobby I've found at

I'm a fan of Who Do You Think You Are? so it didn't take me long into the last series before I began wondering about my own family history. So I logged into Ancestry and signed up for the free trial. Within a few days I knew I'd become an annual premium member, and I have. I'm on this site nearly every day, tracking down new leads and tracing my family back to its roots in Italy and beyond. I also found family members I didn't know I had, and one great aunt had so much stored on Ancestry that I was able to pull from, so I have a really rich and vibrant family history recorded already. makes it so easy.

Time intensive, but worth the effort to discover the past

I was always curious about my family history, but never had the time or resources to sit down and dig into it. When my colleague told me about and all of the fantastic things she learned about her ancestors (one of them was at court with Queen Elizabeth I) I went home and signed up for a free trial straight away.

The site is fairly easy to use…you enter your family’s details into an interactive family tree graphic and if there’s a public record that matches your family member, you receive a “hint” in the form of a leaf next to their name. It was fascinating to view copies of the actual records mentioning my family, and I even found out that my great grandparents had three children who died before the age of five.

You really have to be patient in order to be successful using this site, as it takes hours and hours of digging through records and often can be quite frustrating. The end result is certainly worth it though, but you need a lot of time. The site charges a monthly fee after the free trial, so I’m hoping to complete my research quickly and not have to continue paying each month.

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Free Trial

If you’re not sure if signing up for a paid membership with Ancestry is the right thing to do, why not take a free trial and test run a membership for free? To use the Ancestry website for free, you’ll need to sign up for one of the three memberships and provide your payment info. When you’ve signed up, your 14-day free trial will begin straight away. If at any point you decide that Ancestry isn’t right for you and you don’t want to pay for a membership, make sure you cancel your account before the 14 days are up by visiting the ‘My Account’ section of the website or by calling customer services. If you’ve got no intention of paying for your membership after the free trial and you’re only after a freebie, it’s worth signing up for the most expensive package, ‘Worldwide’. This way you’ll have unlimited access to the entire library for the duration of your trial without having to pay a penny.

Free Family Tree

You can create your personal family tree on the Ancestry website without handing over any cash. To make your family tree, all you have to do is provide some basic info about yourself and your immediate family members. A popup will then appear on the page in which you have to type your email address if you want to see the family history that Ancestry has put together from the info you provided. If you give your email address, you’ll be signed up for a type of free membership, but as long as you don’t provide any payment info, you’ll never be charged a penny. You’ll also receive regular emails from Ancestry, but you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link found in each email.

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Sign Up for the Newsletter

Keep up with all the latest Ancestry membership special offers by signing up for the newsletter. When you subscribe, you’ll receive frequent emails from Ancestry with info about new record collections, site improvements, special offers and competitions. If you get tired of the frequent emails, you can cancel your subscription any time you like by clicking on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link found in each email or by changing your email preferences in the ‘My Account’ section of the website.


If you only need to view a few records as a one-off, forget about taking out a pricey membership plan and opt for the pay-as-you-go option instead. This option costs £6.95 and allows you to view 12 records over 14 days. If that’s enough info for you (you won’t see family trees, photos or records contributed by other users) this option works out much cheaper than any of the membership plans and you won’t have to worry about a recurring payment being taken, since you’re not signing up for a subscription.

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