Discover and share your family history with these 6 apps

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A few decades ago, discovering your family history was a lot of work. This involved going to the library, looking through newspaper clippings and contacting relatives. Now, discovering your family history is as easy as downloading an app.

If you want to delve into your family’s past, consider downloading one of the great apps below. Who knows, maybe you’ll make the next big family discovery on your smartphone.

1. Ancestry

Ancestry.com is the gold standard for online genealogy research. Although there is a popular search website, there is also a popular app. In-app search makes it easy to explore your family history and get notified of new records on the go.

The Ancestry app has many of the same features as the website. With its Proprietary Records Search, you can search through millions of records to find your ancestors. Ancestry also searches newspaper clippings and state archives.

As you explore new clues, you can build your family tree.

The Ancestry app allows you to view records in detail, allowing you to easily view records on your mobile device. Once you’ve built your family tree or discovered something interesting, you can share it through the app.

The Ancestry app also has tons of free records to search for if you’re not serious about research yet.

To download: Ancestry for iOS | android (Free, subscription available)

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2. Ancestry DNA

Another offering from Ancestry, AncestryDNA is a way to explore your ethnicity through percentages. By taking a DNA test, you can find out more about your genetic heritage. This means that you can make discoveries about your past before you even begin your research.

Related: The best ancestry tracing sites

DNA testing is also a great way to explore your family history if you don’t know much to begin with. This is because you can connect with DNA relatives who might know more. Who knows, you might even find a relative you didn’t know you had.

If you’ve taken an AncestryDNA test or want to take one, consider downloading the AncestryDNA app. This will help you stay connected with your new DNA Matches on the go and keep easy access to your DNA results.


With the AncestryDNA app, you can also access your DNA history on your mobile device. This will show you how your ancestors migrated over the past 50,000 years or more.

To download: AncestryDNA for iOS | android (Free in-app purchases available)

3. FamilySearch Tree

FamilySearch is the most popular alternative to Ancestry. The reason is that FamilySearch has many of the same records, including some records that Ancestry doesn’t, for free.

FamilySearch also offers many free international records. This means that you can still investigate your family history if they are from a country where records are scarce. Although translations are not available, you can translate them yourself.

Related: The best online translators you can use in the real world

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that provides free genealogy records to everyone. The FamilySearch app makes it easy to access many of these free records on the go.

With the FamilySearch app, you can create a family tree, share your findings with loved ones, and learn about your family name history.

To download: FamilySearch Tree for iOS | android (To free)

4. MyHeritage

Another great genealogy company, MyHeritage offers DNA testing as well as document searches. There is access to millions of records, like most family tracing websites. With the MyHeritage app, you can explore these records, message DNA relatives, and build your family tree.

The MyHeritage app also has several features that set it apart from other Ancestry apps.

The first feature is the ability to restore old family photos or portraits. With its app, you can colorize photos and bring them to life to see what your ancestors really looked like. You can do this with photos you find from your recording search or upload your own photos.

The MyHeritage app can also animate family photos. Once the photos are restored, you can upload your photos to the app and MyHeritage will animate them and bring your ancestor’s facial expressions to life.

Being able to see our ancestors moving, blinking and turning their heads can be fascinating. It makes us feel like we are looking at real people and not just an old photo.

To download: MyHeritage for iOS | android (Free, subscription available)

5. Find a grave

One of the most popular websites for obituaries, Find a Grave has tens of millions of burial records and obituaries available for research. Here you can learn family stories, see your ancestors’ graves, and connect with other distant relatives who may share a common ancestor.

Related: The best free ancestry sites to trace your genealogy

The Find a Grave app is easy to use. You can search for memorials by typing in a person’s first name, last name, and city of burial. This will bring up their serious information along with information about them. Because members can add their own information, you can see photos and obituaries that aren’t available anywhere else.

If you do not know the names of your relatives, but know their surnames and the city where they are from, you can also search. Researching our family name and hometown can yield fascinating results and help us discover new distant relatives.

Although owned by Ancestry.com, Find a Grave is free to use without paying a subscription.

To download: Find a grave for iOS | android (To free)

6. Family History Memory Book

Discovering new details about our ancestors is fascinating and it’s great fun to share this information with other family members. Luckily, all of the mentioned apps make it easy using the corresponding share buttons.

However, if you are looking for a unique way to share your discoveries, consider downloading the Memories Book Family History app. Whether you want to share photos or recordings, you can add them to a document that will be turned into a physical book and shipped straight to your door.

With the Memories Book Family History app, you can customize the look of the book and make it personal before it ships. Everything is done in the app. It’s a great keepsake to pass on to your kids and grandkids, and it’s also a great gift.

The Android app is owned and operated by FamilySearch and is digital only. Meanwhile, the iOS app is powered by CodePro Studios, but syncs with Family Search. Either option helps you generate a memory book of all your discoveries. The Android version of FamilySearch.

To download: Family History Memory Book for iOS (Free in-app purchases available)

To download: FamilySearch Memories for android (To free)

Find out who you are

While we may know our parents and grandparents, the stories can get lost as you go back. Fortunately, access to archives can help us piece together missing details and discover our roots. With great apps available, we can access these recordings on the go.

By learning about the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors, we can see how their experiences shaped who we have become. After all, we wouldn’t be here without them.


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