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Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2016

This is GenealogyInTime Magazine’s fifth annual ranking of the top 100 most popular genealogy websites from around the world. Use the 2016 list to help you discover new and interesting ancestral websites. You can also use it to learn more about some of the major trends affecting genealogy today.

Since we began this list five years, it has become the gold standard for genealogy lists. Part of the reason is the care and attention we put into the process to create an independent, objective list. We start by compiling an extensive list of genealogy websites from around the world. We then used the services of Alexa (the internet traffic people) to help us rank actual internet traffic to each website.

Internet traffic can be a tricky thing to measure. It is more than just the number of visitors to a website. Other important considerations include the amount of content consumed by a typical visitor to the website and the amount of time spent at the website. Thus, our rankings are based on a combination of three factors: visitors, content and time. The result is an objective and independent ranking of the top 100 genealogy websites.

top 10 genealogy website 2016
top 25 genealogy website 2016
top 50 genealogy website 2016
top 100 genealogy website 2016

These are the icons for the 2016 Top 100 List. Please see the end of the article for further details if you would like to use them.

When we first started publishing our annual list five years ago, it was almost by accident. We noticed at the time huge biases in most of the other so-called top genealogy lists. Many were skewed towards one country, were designed to promote/favor certain websites (while sometimes deliberately ignoring others) or were based on personal preferences. Sadly, we still see that happening today. At GenealogyInTime Magazine, we feel it is important the genealogy community have a list that is free of such obvious biases. An informed genealogist is a better genealogist.

What We Talk About this Year

This year, we focus on the following:

• Information and links to the top 100 most popular genealogy websites from around the world for 2016. For each website on the list, we provide the rank, website name, category, country of origin, type of website (free or pay), the 2015 rank for comparison and the address of the website.

• A separate listing of the ten most popular genealogy websites. We provide estimates of the number of daily visitors to these websites. This gives our readers an idea of how much traffic the largest genealogy websites actually receive.

• We also provide an independent list of the top ten free genealogy websites. Everybody likes free. This year’s top ten free genealogy websites (as measured by internet traffic) provide a diverse range of resources to help people find their ancestors at no cost.

Every year, we receive inquiries about so-called freemium websites. A freemium website is normally a pay website with some free content. We have a simple standard to judge these types of websites. If a typical user can access the website for an entire year (including substantially all of the features of the website) without having to pay then we will consider it a free website. Otherwise, it is a pay website.

• We then talk about the new additions to the top 100 list for 2016. Many of these names will be new to our readers but all have become popular for a reason. Find out why.

genealogy hierarchy of interest
There are different levels of genealogy interest, as shown in the diagram above. Most of the traffic to genealogy websites comes from the core group of people actively conducting ancestral research. See Why Genealogy is Important.

• Concurrent with the new additions to the top 100 list, we also talk about the rising genealogy stars of 2016. These are the websites that have made the largest gains in audience traffic in the last year. This year, our rising genealogy star list contains some very interesting (and somewhat unexpected) names. See which of these websites can help you find your ancestors.

• Something new this year, we also talk about genealogy websites worth knowing. These are websites that are just beyond the Top 100 List. Some of these websites have been in the top 100 in the past, but have slipped just slightly relative to their peers. Other websites we have noticed always seem to be just beyond the top 100 year after year. This includes several blogs and a couple of genealogy societies. This year, we thought we should give a shout-out to all these worthwhile websites.

Below is our top 100 list for 2016.

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