Recently somebody asked me which are my favorite paid genealogy sites aside from the biggie, Ancestry.

The answer is – that depends, which is why I have subscriptions to so many. I have tried “them all” so to speak so here’s my opinions.

These are paid ones only: is a French website that early on, kicked Family Search’s butt (I have been doing genealogy for a long time…) If you have French ancestry, it’s worth every penny which I believe is $80/year. I do, but I have ceased working on my European history to focus on the US so it’s not as good for me. It has other types too, but much of the site is free so it’s worth making an account and doing some free searches. Also, it can send you weekly hits on certain names and you can go directly to them from the emails.

GenealogyBank is a great resource for obituaries. The trick to it though is you can’t just put in the names in the boxes – the best way to search is to use the keyword and put the names in quotes. You’ll find a lot more that way. is only $30/year with a full ancestry subscription. It isn’t as good as GB because it seems to have less, but here’s the trick – go “browse” at what papers they have in the areas of the country you are interested in. If they don’t have papers in say, Allegheny Pennsylvania and that’s all you care about, pass on this subscription. If they do have papers, it’s good because it does have more than Ancestry does, although there is some overlap. Let’s be honest, it’s not that easy to search Ancestry’s papers, either. is actually better than these other two. They seem to have more, but they are also more expensive. Again, check to see what areas it has newspapers. I have access to this through my local library, which is of course the cheapest way to go! is for me the most frustrating one. It focusses on military, but is limited in what they give you. If  you have a relative who was lost in a war, it may be a goldmine for you as it has so many declassified reports. What’s even better are the naturalization records – those are amazing and often have photos. But I am severely disappointed in the civil war records.  I cannot believe how  much they brag about them when they don’t have anything more than the folder the papers come in, and you have to go through the hassle of ordering everything else from the government anyway. Heck, I could do that with government sites. My recommendation is, do the searches on it free, and if you see something you want, get a subscription for a month or whatever and get your documents. to me is really frustrating, but it’s cheap. $30/year, but it has a lot of crossover with ancestry. The only reason I’d get it aside from that is if you have Lutheran ancestry, which is has amazing records on which are otherwise not available anywhere. is a weird one. It’s better for looking for living people, but occasionally I use it to local people born in the last 100 years (because it usually doesn’t update for deaths). This is another one with a lot of free searches, so make use of them.

I think I got them all, if I forgot any please email me at because the comments are pretty much spam city.