our collective human past is interesting and informative, but our own pasts can be even more so. It’s highly likely that you, just like me, wondered at least once where you come from. I know I often find myself thinking who were my predecessors when I have free time. I also wonder what did they do 200 years ago when bored like me. Did they drink coffee and thought about what the future might bring us?
Fortunately, there are ways to find out about you and your family’s past easily with apps. I searched around for the best ancestry apps and found some, like the ones on this list.
Along with those, I wrote about three of my own favorites I believe are most helpful.
Ancestry – Rating: 4.1 – Downloads: 5 Million
Ancestry is among the most popular apps for finding out about your genealogy and family lineage. I even think, at this moment, is the biggest genealogy company. The gigantic database of historical records is simply amazing. I like the simple yet advanced search engine which makes it easy to find out about your family’s past once you get the results. Besides the facts and data, you can also find preserved newspaper photos if there are any directly related to your relatives. This makes it possible for you to really see into the past. I’d say it’s an overall great service.
The 20$ per month subscription is a little bit pricey in my opinion, but if you are serious about creating your family tree, then it just might be worth it to you. I also found the app can be slow at times, probably because of high traffic. It is quite popular, after all.
Pros: Great search engine, a huge library of documents, articles & photos
Cons: Monthly subscription, slow at times
Overall: A somewhat pricey app with lots of value if you’re interested in your family history
23 and Me – Rating: 4.7 – Downloads: 100 Thousand
Besides providing genealogical data about your ancestors, 23 and Me specializes in tracking your family’s medical history, so that you can find out where certain diseases started. This way you not only find out where you come from, but what ailments run in your family. You just have to order a kit, send them some of your precious DNA via saliva and then you wait. The price is around $100 and goes up depending on what you want. This might look pricey, but keep in mind you get the unique service of taking a peek into your ancestry.
On the downside, the app is very simplistic compared to the website. If you want to get the most out of 23 and Me, you need to order the package as the app by itself is of little use.
Pros: Tracks medical history, track genetically history, a deep dive into personal ancestry
Cons: Only available for the US and a small part of Europe
Overall: A great, one-time service where you get fantastic information all at once. There’s a little use of it once you get the results.
Find a Grave – Rating: 3.8 – Downloads: 100 Thousand
Find a Grave is a unique app that allows you to do as the name implies: Find a Grave. You can track down your ancestors’ graves by name or date of death and find where they were buried easily. Once you find them, you can create a virtual grave site for them with photos and videos. All in all, this might sound a bit weird at first, but I found using the app to be quite fulfilling, even relaxing. Finding out where your ancestors you never met might be buried gives you a unique chance to maybe go and visit one day. Finally, there’s an even interactive part to the app. You can request a photo of a loved one’s grave if they are buried far away, and another app user might see your request and fulfill it.
Unfortunately, the photo and video upload program does not always work the best. It kind of just works when it feels like it, so if you come across trouble while trying to do that, do not be surprised. But, it’s not the worst, the app is perfectly usable. You just might have to turn it on and off sometimes.
Pros: Free, user-friendly search feature, interesting information
Cons: The software can be buggy from time to time
Overall: A novelty app that does just about everything it claims
I made sure that each of these apps was a little different, so you didn’t have to just read about the same one three times. Ancestry is great for deep diving into your ancestry overall history. 23 and Me is great for finding out more about yourself and finally, Find a Grave if you want to… well, find a grave. I hope you find some use out of one of them like I did. I think my grand, grandfather from 200 years ago would have love them as well.