Genealogy in Time Magazine has released its top one hundred Genealogy Websites for 2013, and not surprisingly, Ancestry.com is number one again for the second year in a row. Another pay-to-access site, MyHeritage.com, came in second. Free sites are also popular. Find a Grave and FamilySearch came in third and fourth respectively.
Scanning the list, I see familiar places I’ve visited many times in the past, but I also see a few new-to-me sites. Arkivverket Digitalarkivet, a site dedicated to Norwegian ancestry, is number twelve, moving up from the twenty-sixth slot it held in 2012. It offers “online access to digital archive material” and is a place where visitors “can search databases/tables, read transcripts and browse digital images as well as listen to digitised sound from the archives”. The Norwegian government service is free for all to use.
Ancient Faces, a USA-based forum, holds the fifteenth spot and is reported to be free. After a quick search however, it appears to be a portal to Ancestry.com, which is a pay-for-viewing site. The photographs on Ancient Faces are free to see, but if you click to view a record—birth, marriage, death—a notice states: “You Must Be a Member to View These Records! Membership is FREE for 7 days.”
Visitors must provide a credit card number to gain access to the free trial period. Often times the card is then charged if a cancellation of membership notice is NOT given. That’s one way Ancestry ‘gathers’ unsuspecting customers. Ancient Faces is filled with ads and portals into Ancestry.com, so it’s far from free. It wants you to pay.
FreeBMD is a site based in the United Kingdom that strives to “transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales” and provide these records free of charge on the Internet. The records span from 1837 to 1983. The last update took place on January 4, 2013, bringing the total number of records to 283,601,398.
Anyone researching veterans in the United Kingdom may find answers on the site ranked number seventy-two, Forces War Records & Military Genealogy. Visitors can search for an individual who served in wars between 1700 and 1945. This is a paid for access site ($8.95 a month), but basic information for a search result is provided to help you decide if you’d like to have full access.
For example, searching for Tibert veterans, I found a record dated 1945 for Acting Leading Seaman Ray Johnson Tibert. Clicking on the name revealed he served aboard HMCS Suduroy IV, but nothing else unless I pay for further access. Armed with these tidbits, I searched the Internet with the ship name and “Ray Tibert” and discovered the veteran was from Central Grove, NS and was lost at sea when the K.C. Irving vessel sank in 1957.
If you’re researching ancestors overseas in locations other than the UK, there are several websites available in the language of that particular country. France (Geneawiki), Poland (MyHeritage.pl), Italy (MyHeritage.it) and Netherlands (Genealogie Online) are just a few of the sites on the list.
To find the links to these sites and the rest of the one hundred top genealogy websites for 2013, visit the “What’s New” section on the Genealogy in Time Magazine website.