Ancestry.com Review

article by Hector A. author April 30, 2017
our score
Ancestry is one of the most well known home DNA test kit companies in the world. They have access to billions of data points about genealogy including civic records, newspaper articles, and their member database. There are few, if any other companies who can boast such a thorough network.
pros
  • Full privacy protection
  • Huge database of records
  • Live chat support available
  • Lots of pricing options
  • Visual family tree builder
cons
  • Two months to get results
  • Law enforcement access
  • Costs for advanced features
You have full control over your privacy settings, and can choose to share as much or as little as you want with whomever you want
Hector A., author
User Interface Intuitive User Interface
Multiple Logins Match DNA Results to Other Members in Database
File Sharing Messaging System for Contacting DNA Matches
80X80_DNA4 Staggeringly Large DNA and Historical Record Database
Combination of DNA Combination of DNA Testing & Family History Database
U.S. Discovery Order Now >>
$19.99 /mo
  • Explore all our U.S. record collections
  • Connect with millions of other members
  • Organize, preserve and share your family tree
  • Learn from our exclusive Ancestry Hints
Order Now >>
DNA Test Order Now >>
$99
  • Uncover your ethnic mix
  • Connect with relatives you never knew you had.
  • Includes database of more than 3 million people
  • Results in 6-8 weeks
Order Now >>
World Explorer Order Now >>
$34.99 /mo
  • Access all U.S. & international records
  • Connect with millions of other members
  • Organize, preserve and share your family tree
  • Learn from our exclusive Ancestry Hints
Order Now >>
All Access Order Now >>
$44.99 /mo
  • Ancestry, Newspapers.com & Fold3 Full Aceess
  • Connect with millions of other members
  • Organize, preserve and share your family tree
  • Learn from our exclusive Ancestry Hints
Order Now >>

Ease of Use Ease of Use

Ancestry makes it extremely simple to get your DNA analyzed. For starters, you can banish all thoughts of painful needle pricks from your mind. After ordering a kit from them, you’ll receive a box in the mail complete with everything you need as well as instructions. You simply need to swab the inside of your cheek enough to get some saliva, enclose it as instructed, and then send the whole thing back. The results will be available to you online in as little as 6-8 weeks.

When it comes to doing research after you have your results, Ancestry does a great job of turning a very complicated process into something completely accessible. One of their most popular features is the online family tree builder, which will generate a clean visual depiction of your family lineage. After inputting the information you have, you will find “leafs” added to individuals that have interesting potential connections. It’s a fun, intuitive, and very simple way to start making serious inroads into sketching out your family history.

In addition to research, Ancestry has a very active community that you can interact with on easy-to-use message board forums. Enthusiastic members are known for their willingness to help others. If you are new, you’ll have no problem learning the ropes easily so you can get the most out of all the tools and resources Ancestry offers.

Privacy Privacy

Many people are rightfully concerned about the possibilities opened up by sharing their DNA. However, when it comes to Ancestry there is nothing at all to worry about. The company explicitly states in its policies that no “common identifying information linked to your genetic or health data with third parties unless we obtain your explicit consent”. It doesn’t get more iron clad than that. There is only one caveat to this policy – Ancestry does honor legitimate requests from law enforcement. But they will never do so without informing you first and giving you the opportunity to challenge the request in court.

On the other hand, if you are looking to share your results with as many people as possible in order to find previously unknown relatives, this is also possible. You have full control over your privacy settings, and can choose to share as much or as little as you want with whomever you want.

Limitations

Ancestry is one of the few genealogy websites out there where the only thing holding you back is the amount of work you want to put into your search. For starters, they have accumulated a gigantic database of searchable records from their users that you can cross-reference for matches with nothing more than a last name. To go more in-depth, can add additional information you know about ancestors such as birthdates, gender, or birth country. Beyond its own database, Ancestry also offers the ability to search through a plethora of government and other documentation resources such as voter lists, draft cards, and school records.

Pricing Pricing

Ancestry has a range of price options that offer different levels of access to their database of records for differing lengths of time. Their US Discovery option gives you access to all US records on ancestry for $19.99/mo or $99 for 6 months. If you want to do a global search, you need to join their World Explorer service for full access to their US and international records for $34.99/mo or $149 for 6 months. Finally, there is their All Access full membership which opens up Ancestry, Newspapers.com Basic, and Fold3.com for $44.99/mo or $199 for 6 months.

Support

If you are having trouble using Ancestry, there is a very robust FAQ section that answers commonly asked questions about DNA, research trees, records and searching, accounts and billing, or their mobile application. If you aren’t able to get the answer you need there, there are live chat and phone options available as well.

Bottom Line Bottom Line

There is a reason Ancestry is one of the best known ancestry DNA test sites out there. They take your privacy seriously, and have a huge database of records that is made manageable by tons of easy to use features. Overall, you won’t find a better place to dive into exploring your heritage.

 

Best Online Reviews as well as any person and/or corporate entity associated or affiliated with it does not collect, store, analyze, distribute, transfer or present any information or data relating to or derived from DNA tests, DNA kits or any other DNA product presented herein. Best Online Reviews as well as any person and/or corporate entity associated or affiliated with it merely provides links to websites of DNA test companies, and it is your decision whether to access such websites or not, and whether to contract with such companies and/or provide any DNA materials. Please make sure to review the applicable terms and conditions and privacy policy before contracting with such companies and/or providing any DNA materials. Best Online Reviews as well as any person and/or corporate entity associated or affiliated with it will not be responsible or liable for anything related and/or associated with such DNA test companies, including, but not limited to, any use of data collected by the DNA test companies and/or their affiliates.