Find My Past is the best genealogy website (opens in new tab) for British and Irish heritage hunting with great support for current tree uploads, DNA testing and results uploads.
The many unique records that you won't find elsewhere make this a site that stands out from the competition. However, for those not hunting British and Irish origins, this isn't so useful. The ability to view your family tree in different ways is a nice touch and the YouTube instructional videos makes this a welcoming platform for anyone to try.
The family tree builder is smart and you can use DNA testing for even more in-depth results. The lack of app and fewer international records make this a more specific tool than some.
Find My Past review: What you need to know
- Over two billion records
- Spanning back over one thousand years
- In depth British and Irish records
Find My Past is not short of records with an impressive two billion historical documents from around the world. That's not as impressive as Ancestry.com or Archives, but it's the British and Irish records that make up the majority of this site's offering.
This site spans other entities including Mocavo, Genes Reunited and the British Newspaper Archive with over 18 million people registered on Find My Past. The records span the likes of the US census from 1790 to 1940, the Irish Roman Catholic parish records including over seven million baptisms, plus the 1881 census in England, Wales and Scotland - and many more. If you're more interested in tracing local history, check out MyHeritage.
Find My Past lets you build a family tree from your own details and allows you to pick, right from the start, if you want to make it public or private.
This isn't the most affordable of records sites but then it does have some very specific regional records that could be of great use to those of Irish or British descent.
With smart tips and excellent search functionality this is a good option for those new to family tree building as it makes everything nice and straight forward. While there is no app support you do get DNA sampling as an option to dive even deeper into your ancestry and ethnicity.
Find My Past review: Historical database
- Historical database not be as big as some
- Focus on Britain and Ireland
- Records span back some of the furthest too
The historical database of Find My Past might not be as big as some of the competition but at over two billion records with a focus on Britain and Ireland, where there are one billion results, that's a huge number of very detailed stats. As such you may find more results here than on a larger database of another site, presuming you have a descent from these areas. In fact there are twice as many Irish records as on any other database. These records span back some of the furthest too, over one thousand years to AD 850.
- Newspapers back to 1710
- US military records back to 1790
- British army records back to 1760
- 40 million English and Welsh parish records back to 1500s
- Passenger lists from UK to US, Canada and Australia
- Irish court records
- Apprenticeship records
- Workhouse registers
- School admissions
The key point here is that thousands and thousands of the records found on Find My Past are not found anywhere else. So if you've hit a dead end using other sites, and are in the UK and Ireland area in your search, this could be the place to dig deeper.
Find My Past review: Build your family tree
- Name and birthday all you need to get started
- Simple to find potential family members
- Can view family tree in different ways
Building your family tree with Find My Past is really simple. This is thanks to a system that allows you to start with the basics, you, inputting name and birthday to get going. From there you can add more relatives and this is where the site earns its fee, by offering suggestions.
When you see little orange circles appear it means the site has found a link to a family member which might be relevant to you. This is a great way to build a family tree if you're researching the lines for the first time. It really takes a lot of time out of trawling through records to find links.
Once you've built up your tree you can choose to view it in different ways including family group, pedigree or the traditional vertical tree. But there can be more than one tree with the option to build lots within that one account.
The downside, as is often the case with these sites, is a lack of ability to include stepchildren, addition spouses or to log when someone is no longer married or remarried.
Is Find My Past worth the cost?
- 14-day free trial
- Two package options
- Prices start at $14.95 per month
Find My Past offers a 14-day free trial so you can see if it works for you and just cancel if you're not interested. Or, of course, if you find what you're after and need it no longer.
There are two package options: Essential British & Irish or Ultimate British & Irish.
Essential gets you all the records you need and access to the family tree builder from $14.95 per month or, if you pay for 12 months at once, it's $129 ($10.75 per month equivalent) saving you 29 percent.
Ultimate gets you the above plus exclusive content like military records, newspapers, wills and institutional records, plus guidance from experts from $19.95 per month or, if you pay for 12 months at once, it's $179 ($14.92 a month equivalent) saving you 26 percent.
DNA testing is charged extra at $89 for the testing kit. If you have already taken a test you can upload that data to be used here too.
Should you use Find My Past?
- Perfect for those of British or Irish decent
- Can port your current family tree across to work on it here
- Expert genealogists is a useful feature
If you have any British or Irish decent then this is the site for you. There is no better way to trace that lineage back than using Find My Past. On the flip side of that, if you have no UK family, then this isn't the best way to spend your money as other sites are probably better equipped for you.
You can port your current family tree across to work on it here, making this site ideal for those that have already started. Or if you wish to dive deeper with a DNA test that's also an option using Find My Past. Again, you can port across any test you've already taken to dive deeper using this site.
The addition of expert genealogists is another feature that makes this an ideal way to family tree build for those that could use help, or anyone hitting a dead end, forgive the pun.