08 June 2020

Survey Results: How useful are these INTERNATIONAL family history databases for your research?

There were 92 responses to this survey posted on the blog on Thursday 4 June.

Unsurprisingly, Ancestry stood out as the most useful. It has a huge data collection, online trees, hints, and autosomal DNA. 

FamilySearch and Findmypast were the only other services with the highly significant category dominant.
Ancestry has about 35 titles with more than 1 million Canadian records, excluding those where Canadian records are only part. FamilySearch has 16 and Findmypast 13 titles with more than 1 million Canadian records.

Not breaking into the top three was MyHeritage which has 15 titles with more than 1 million Canadian records.

The cost of access was mentioned in the comments. FamilySearch is free while Ancestry, routinely accessible at many public library branches, is available free from home through those same public libraries during the pandemic.

The category Not Significant or N/A is interesting as it combines those who didn't find it useful with those who have no experience. FamilySearch was the only resource where all responses found it at least somewhat significant. MyHeritage had more responses in this category than any other, likely due to cost and that many of its titles are also part of more popular collections.

The two dedicated newspaper sites, NewspaperArchive and Newspapers.com are about equally popular. Despite the value of newspapers for family history they likely suffer owing to the Canadian newspaper collections available through Findmypast and MyHeritage (and much less so Ancestry).

Find a Grave was significantly more popular than Billion Graves.

While Wikitree was more popular then Geni neither appeared to be well known or used.

FamilyTreeDNA was somewhat more popular than GEDMatch, both well ahead of 23andme.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised at 23andme's position in the very low category since it has the 2nd highest subscribers. My take is that there program isn;t easy for novice and average users. I've had some startling matches but response rate is under what I usually achieve at other companies. Maybe the population is more interested in health than genealogy?

Penny said...

Both of the surveys you have recently conducted are very informative and I hope the companies will find the results useful and reflect on the feedback. However is 4 days enough time to gather enough representative data?(I barely met the deadline.) Perhaps I may suggest another survey of usage of family history society databases? Such as Society of Genealogists, FIBIS, BIFHSGO, Ontario Ancestors, American Ancestors, Manitoba Genealogical Society (their MANI index), Northern Ireland to name a few. If anything, will certainly raise awareness of these fantastic resources. Thank you.