Archives.com is a genealogy and family history website which has been in operation since 2009. The site is affiliated with Ancestry.com and FindmyPast.com and lets you search genealogy records, trace your ancestors and build your family tree through its easy-to-use, intuitive interface and search function. Archives has access to billions of digitized records worldwide as well as an extensive database of newspapers, family trees, photographs and more.
Archives.com is more affordable than some of the alternative genealogy sites and offers a 14-day free trial membership which is great if you want to try out their services before committing. The site offers searches on some information for free so it’s possible to do some basic research without paying anything. Archives also has links to Ancestry.com and to Findmypast.com and you will be alerted when the other websites have potential information about your relatives.
Unlike some other genealogy websites, subscribers to Archives.com need to search individually for each person they want to research. There are no hint functions or alerts to help you make links to potential relatives. Search results can be overwhelming and return too much information. In addition, you may need to leave the Archives website and go to another site in order to view the results. Additional charges are applied if you want to download and print birth, death or marriage certificates and the site’s family tree function is not as attractive or intuitive as those offered on some other genealogy sites.
Archives Bottom Line
Archives is a good option for experienced genealogists who are already familiar with family research. The large number of records available means that users can do extensive and detailed searches and return more results than on competitor sites. In addition, Archives services are competitively priced. However, in comparison to other genealogy sites, Archives is not the easiest or most efficient service out there and it is more suitable as a supplementary information source than a primary tool.
Archives Additional Info
Archives.com focuses on newspaper records that searchers can use to find information about their family trees. This is a specialty service, not a comprehensive site for genealogy searches. The specific focus provides searchers with articles and pictures that can help round out their knowledge of their ancestry.
This site provides one more view of a family history. By using some Archives.com along with other research sites, a researcher can get a fuller picture of the genealogy of family line.
It is not truly international, in that it does not search beyond U.S. and U.K. sources, so many Americans will find it useful for ancestry that comes from England, or for finding ancestors from other countries who came through England. Of course, U.K. residents in the U.S. can trace their English ancestors through this site.
With so many genealogy sites to choose from, let’s look at the features and benefits of Archives.com to see how it fits into the scope of free genealogy sites and paid genealogy sites.
Archives Services Available
- Archives.com searches newspaper records as far back as the 1700s. However, it also searches vital records, immigration documents, yearbooks and adoption records. It accesses birth and death records, marriage records, immigration documentation, cemetery archives, the U.S. census data, Social Security, property transfers, obituaries, and biographies.
- Photographs play a large part on this site. Any documents with pictures rank at the top of searches.
- A searcher can adjust the resolution of pictures, and can rotate them. These are scans of the originals. The images can be saved and printed if necessary.
- The site also connects to outside locations that have photographs. These are state and federal repositories.
- As ancestors are found, the user can build a family tree on the site. Entries with further information available will have a “plus” sign next to them. In this way, the tree grows through interconnected relatives.
Additional Archives.com Pros & Cons
This family history search has a wide range of document types, including newspapers dating back to the 1700s.
Pricing is lower than for many other genealogy sites.
Help and support are available.
The site offers both an Android and an iOS app.
Users can communicate through Twitter and Facebook.
Archives.com uses 4.6 billion resources. This is somewhat lower than other sites, but is still fairly robust.
Ancestry.com only covers U.S. and U.K. sources. Anyone whose ancestry goes back through U.S. history to England will find the site useful, but those who have a broader ancestry will not.
Despite a focus on the U.S., Archives.com does not search Native American sources.
The site does not offer a DNA ancestry test, but it does provide a link to an external source for DNA testing.
There is no user forum.
The advantage of Archives is that it has many photographs that accompany its records. These visuals can bring a genealogy search to life.
The focus on U.S. and U.K. sources is troublesome. In fact, English-speaking countries such as Australia and Canada are not even included.
This site works as a supplement to searches elsewhere. It is likely to have some sources that other sites overlook, especially as related to photographs. Some records are also included as scans, so it is important to look at attached images for information beyond photographs.
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