How far back can you trace your family tree? Have you ever wanted to find the truth about your family’s history?
With a recent boom in people’s interest in their family history, people are now turning to genealogy sites like Ancestry.com to trace back their lineage. This is not to say that the process is exactly cheap. Using those resources can sometimes cost a pretty penny.
So how much does Ancestry cost? Using the site’s services requires a monthly subscription. Depending on the membership plan you select, these monthly payments can range between US$24.99 – US$44.99. You can also opt for a six-month membership plan to enjoy cheaper rates. These usually start fromUS$16.50 – US$33.16 per month.
- What is the Purpose of Ancestry.com
- How Does Ancestry.com Work?
- Ancestry.com Membership Plans
- How Much Does an Ancestry.com DNA Test Cost?
- Privacy of Your Ancestry.com Data
- How long do Ancestry results take?
- How accurate are Ancestry DNA tests?
- How far back does the Ancestry DNA test go?
- Why is Ancestry so expensive?
- Ancestry.com Alternatives
What is the Purpose of Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com is a family history resource that works as an online genealogy database. The site provides users with knowledge about their roots in three primary ways;
- DNA testing.
- Access to historical records.
- Creation of family trees.
Users can harness the AncestryDNA® test to connect with biological relatives and learn more about their ethnicity. This feature can be especially valuable for adoptees or those who know only one parent.
Access to Historical Records.
A membership plan also gives users access to historical records. This can assist in tracking their family history back through the centuries.Ancestry.com boasts a pretty impressive database of records from over 80 countries. Some of these records even go as far back as the 13th century.
Creation of Family Trees.
Lastly is the creation of family trees. Users can create family trees from already sourced family history information. This one is actually available for free; you don’t need a membership to use its base mode. Subscription to a membership plan only becomes required to use Ancestry Hints®, which offers suggestions about possible family members or related records.
How Does Ancestry.com Work?
After payment, users would have to provide personal information. Completion of the initial process allows access to an extensive database of records to use in their research. These records are digital scans of documents: census records, birth records, and death records –any document that could identify a person.
While building your family tree, if you include the same person with another user, you can link yours to theirs.
On the other hand, finding out your ethnicity or heritage is slightly more complex. With the AncestryDNA® test, one can discover their family’s past and even connect with unknown relatives. Ancestry estimates individuals’ ethnicity by comparing their DNA to other living (or recently living) people.
Purchasing an AncestryDNA® kit would get you started on this process, and you can expect results within 6 to 8 weeks of submitting your saliva sample.
How the AncestryDNA® test works are similar to other DNA tests with just a couple of spins. According to the site, the test uses advanced autosomal DNA testing that checks over 700,000 markers in a person’s genome, all with a simple saliva sample.
Ancestry’s autosomal DNA testing differs from the standard Y-DNA (paternal) and mitochondrial (maternal) DNA tests in its comprehensiveness. Basically, the test considers both parents, unlike the other tests that reflect only the direct father-to-son link or the direct mother-to-child link.
The autosomal test also provides more relevant results since it references history within a few hundred to a thousand years ago, compared to other DNA tests with a way older time focus.
Ancestry.com Membership Plans
To get access to its services, Ancestry.com offers three membership plans to potential customers. There’s the basic plan, an intermediate plan, and an advanced plan; each package provides slightly more services than the one before. Customers can also opt for the six-month plan versions of the subscription to save money.
An overview of the Ancestry subscription prices is given in the table below.
|Monthly Membership Cost (USD)||6-month membership paid monthly or pay upfront (USD)||Accessible service|
|U.S. Discovery||$24.99||$16.50/mo. (saves $50)||Provides access to all U.S. records on Ancestry|
|World Explorer||$39.99||$24.83/mo (saves $90)||Provides access to all U.S. & international records on Ancestry|
|All Access||$49.99||$33.16/mo (saves $100)||Get full membership to: AncestryNewspapers.com Basic‡Fold3.com|
How Much Does an Ancestry.com DNA Test Cost?
Unfortunately, a subscription to any of the membership plans does not cover the cost of Ancestry DNA testing.
Currently, the price of an AncestryDNA test in the U.S. is $99, including shipping costs and applicable taxes. This price covers the purchase of an Ancestry DNA test kit and the lab processing fee. an article by Business Insider ranked it as the best home DNA test kit, so it’s worth the price tag if you ask us.
The testing kit is available for sale in over 30 countries worldwide and can be purchased online in the USA, The United Kingdom and Ireland, Canada, and Australia.
Privacy of Your Ancestry.com Data
As DNA testing is always a touchy subject, Ancestry is faithfully committed to protecting its users’ data. Every user’s data is stored in the database and secured from unauthorized access both from outside the company and within.
After submitting your DNA test sample, it is assigned a unique code, meaning neither your name nor any of your information is associated with your results. If you wish, you can even request to either delete your results or have your DNA sample destroyed at any time.
Even when you make your family tree results public, you still have control over your data. You can regulate how it is used, shared, and retained – all of which can be done via your Ancestry profile.
How long do Ancestry results take?
It takes six to eight weeks to process your Ancestry DNA results after submitting your DNA sample.
It is also essential to activate your DNA kit online before processing can begin. You can track the status of your sample on your Ancestry DNA homepage after activating your kit.
How accurate are Ancestry DNA tests?
AncestryDNA boasts an average accuracy rate of over 99% when reading each of the 700,000 markers on your genetic code.
Each DNA sample is also held to a quality standard of at least a 98% call rate during the testing process – the typical average is 95%.
How far back does the Ancestry DNA test go?
According to the site, their tests go back at least 200 to 1000 years ago.
Why is Ancestry so expensive?
Several factors contribute to the high Ancestry subscription cost. The cost of maintaining and updating records, running their DNA services (pretty expensive), implementing new features, and the cost of servicing a vast customer base, to name a few.
Add to the fact that they are a successful company and can set prices to meet demand.
For a fact, Ancestry.com is a dominating presence in the world of genealogical and family tree sites. It still doesn’t mean it is the only good one. There are also several quality alternatives, some of them even cheaper than Ancestry.
Below are a few of them (in no particular order).
23andMe is one effective alternative to Ancestry. Like Ancestry, 23andMe also offers DNA testing to discover your origins with its basic package.
Getting the advanced package would provide the basic service and include reports about your health traits and disposition to certain diseases.
All you have to do is purchase the kit, return the sample, and you’d get results in a couple of weeks.
23andMe’s DNA testing kit can be ordered from their website’s online store. The basic kit costs US$99, and the advanced package costs US$199.
FamilySearch.org focuses more on the family tree building and history part and less on DNA testing. Unlike Ancestry and 23andMe, it does not offer DNA testing services. Instead, it provides access to its massive database of records for people researching their family history and lineage.
FamilySearch also offers a “Family Tree” function, although slightly different from other genealogical sites. It is a single, public tree linked together in families, rather than the personal approach other sites take. Everyone works together on the same tree, filling the gaps and allowing for the potential to connect every member of the human family.
FamilySearch is a non-profit organization, and its services are accessible to everyone for free.
FindMyPast is another similar site to Ancestry. Although it initially started focusing on the U.K. and Ireland, it added U.S. and Canada records after acquiringMocavo (another genealogical site) in 2014.
Like Ancestry, FindMyPast also offers a family tree builder and DNA testing. The basic package costs US$14.95 monthly and US$129 yearly, while the other advanced option costs US$19.95 monthly and US$179 annually. The DNA test kit can be ordered online for US$105, but for additional features, you need an extra US$25.
FindMyPast also offers a 14-day free trial.
MyHeritage is another excellent option in the genealogy market. Unlike Ancestry, its user base is mainly located in Europe. Through a partnership with FamilySearch, MyHeritage also provides access to more historical archives in North America.
MyHeritage originally started as a family tree service and only added the DNA testing feature in 2016. The company helps its users to build their family websites. You can create and upload family trees, upload historical records with access to their extensive database, and share results with others.
The site offers five various annual subscription plans, with the basic one free. The cheapest subscription plan costs US$79/ year, while the complete and most expensive package is available at US$189/year (you pay cheaper on your first year). Their prices are more affordable, considering the lowest ancestry cost per year is US$198.
A MyHeritageDNA kit can also be purchased online for US$79.
Formerly, tracking family history was a thing for society’s upper class, but the emergence of sites like Ancestry.com has made it more accessible for more to discover their roots.
The accessibility doesn’t necessarily mean it is cheap, though, and the price of these services can burn several hundreds of dollars-sized holes in your pocket over time.
This article has focused on Ancestry.com, briefly explaining how it works, its purpose, and answering the question: how much does Ancestry cost.
Don’t let the price discourage you, though; unearthing and chronicling your ancestral history can be a satisfying experience and makes for a valuable legacy for descendants after you.