The Best Portable Family Tree Builders of 2024

  Last updated June 21, 2024

Because it's never to late to discover your roots!

These comprehensive family tree building sites can help you discover your family history or even long-lost relatives

The Best Portable Family Tree Builders of 2024

These comprehensive family tree building sites can help you discover your family history or even long-lost relatives

Advertising Disclosure | How We Rate

  Last updated June 21, 2024

STAFF PICK
MyHeritage

Full Featured Tree Builder

  Works well on tablet, phone, and desktop
  Deep Nostalgia™ photo animation is pretty cool
  DNA matching available
  14-day free trial
  Billions of searchable records

9.8 Outstanding
Read Review »
 Free trial + 50% off
VISIT SITE  
 233 people have chosen MyHeritage today

Full Featured Tree Builder

 Works well on tablet, phone, and desktop      Deep Nostalgia™ photo animation is pretty cool       DNA matching available      14-day free trial      Billions of searchable records    

STAFF PICK
 Free trial + 50% off
VISIT SITE  
 194 people have chosen MyHeritage today

  Works well on tablet, phone, and desktop
  Deep Nostalgia™ photo animation is pretty cool
  DNA matching available
  14-day free trial
  Billions of searchable records

Findmypast

Flexible platform for expanding you family history

  Extensive UK, US, and Ireland data
  Import data and DNA results from other platforms
  UK headquarters means great privacy features
  Connect with people who have common ancestors

9.4 Outstanding
Read Review »

Flexible platform for expanding you family history

 Extensive UK, US, and Ireland data      Import data and DNA results from other platforms      UK headquarters means great privacy features      Connect with people who have common ancestors    


  Extensive UK, US, and Ireland data
  Import data and DNA results from other platforms
  UK headquarters means great privacy features
  Connect with people who have common ancestors

STAFF PICK
LivingDNA

DNA-based Ancestry & Lifestyle Results

  2+ billion historical records
  Competitive pricing for DNA testing
  Excellent privacy score
  Personalized results

9.3 Outstanding
Read Review »

DNA-based Ancestry & Lifestyle Results

 2+ billion historical records      Competitive pricing for DNA testing      Excellent privacy score      Personalized results    

STAFF PICK

  2+ billion historical records
  Competitive pricing for DNA testing
  Excellent privacy score
  Personalized results

FamilyTreeDNA

DNA-based Family Tree Builder

  2+ million DNA profiles
  Advanced DNA testing
  Health Screening available (additional charge)
  One-time fee, nu subscription required

8.9 Great
Read Review »

DNA-based Family Tree Builder

 2+ million DNA profiles      Advanced DNA testing      Health Screening available (additional charge)      One-time fee, nu subscription required    


  2+ million DNA profiles
  Advanced DNA testing
  Health Screening available (additional charge)
  One-time fee, nu subscription required

Genes Reunited

Most Comprehensive UK/Ireland Database

  Census, birth/death, marriage, and military records
  550+ million historical records
  Flexible pay-as-you-go membership option
  Get started for free

9.1 Great
Read Review »

Most Comprehensive UK/Ireland Database

 Census, birth/death, marriage, and military records      550+ million historical records      Flexible pay-as-you-go membership option      Get started for free    


  Census, birth/death, marriage, and military records
  550+ million historical records
  Flexible pay-as-you-go membership option
  Get started for free

Ancestry

The Largest Genealogy Site Around

  27 Billion records and 100 Million family trees
  Ancestry Hints auto-search capability
  Advanced DNA testing available
  Free trial for 14 days
  Coverage in over 80 countries

8.6 Outstanding
Read Review »

The Largest Genealogy Site Around

 27 Billion records and 100 Million family trees      Ancestry Hints auto-search capability      Advanced DNA testing available      Free trial for 14 days      Coverage in over 80 countries    


  27 Billion records and 100 Million family trees
  Ancestry Hints auto-search capability
  Advanced DNA testing available
  Free trial for 14 days
  Coverage in over 80 countries


Why These Companies?

Below are some of the things we consider when rating companies. Read more about how we rate.

What To Consider When Choosing a Family Tree Builder / Genealogy App

Learning your family history is a hobby that is well worth the time and effort. For some people, the search for long-lost relatives is rather simple and easy. For others, it can be a major undertaking that is full of challenges and obstacles. Family tree builders and genealogy sites can help a lot, but they may not be a one-stop shop, as many building your family tree going back generations can be quite the puzzle! Fortunately, the large and popular genealogy sites we've reviewed contain a wealth of information that can help you find as many pieces of the puzzle as possible.

How to Choose a Family Tree / Genealogy Site

There are numerous family tree builder/genealogy sites to choose from that provide quality information and guidance to those looking to fill in their family trees. There are several things to consider before choosing one site over another, with pricing being one of the biggest factors. Some sites have hidden fees, while others charge a flat fee for a specific period of time.

That said, we find most plans are affordable, and the convenience of using a third-party platform is worth the expense. One thing to ask yourself is: how often do you plan on using the site's services? If you don't plan on using it very much, you may not want to choose a site that charges a periodic fee in lieu of a monthly subscription. It will be worth your while to look over several sites before you make your final decisions.

What Are the Different Types of Family Tree Apps Available?

There are many different types of family tree builder/genealogy sites to choose from. Most sites offer basic tree functionality, but some also offer DNA testing for quickly filling in your family tree and finding those long-lost relatives. As such, some sites are more comprehensive than others, offer unique ways of sharing or publishing your family tree, or have unique social features for members/subscribers. In our research, we have found free genealogy sites or membership options, but the feature set can be quite limited - this may be ok if you're just looking around, but if you're motivated then paid plans at one or more sites are worth it. It's also worth noting that some sites may have information that others do not.

How Does a Family Tree Builder Work?

Family tree builders contain information that has been submitted by individuals from all over the world. When you are ready to start filling in your family tree, there are certain steps you can follow to move the process forward.

  • Gather names, dates, and locations for each family member
  • Search through the website to find matches
  • Take detailed notes
  • Visit local government buildings and cemeteries to connect the dots and build your family tree
  • Visit local cemeteries and churches to gain religious documents

Once you start connecting the dots, the fun part begins. If you live near any of the locations where your family members are located, visit the churches and cemeteries. Explore the history of the area, you may find out that members of your family were integral within their community. Some may have held public office or had businesses that were popular with the residents.

What Features Make the Best Family Tree Builder?

A good family tree builder will allow you to create a family tree that you can continue to build on. You want a site that will allow you to make notes about each ancestor that includes important dates, public records, and historical information. It's also important that you be allowed to store photographs and public documents that may be associated with members of your family. Another benefit of a quality family tree maker site is that it gives you an opportunity to back up all of your information in a secure online location.

How Much Do They Typically Cost?

While most family tree builders have a “free” option, you normally won't gain much ground unless you subscribe to their services. While Ancestry.com offers a discounted rate if you pay for six months, it will cost you close to $40 per month. Myheritage.com offers a yearly rate with the complete package being available for just short of $300 per year. Sites that offer DNA testing will normally charge extra for the DNA test to be performed.

Are They Worth It?

Only you can place a value on the services of a family tree builder. If you are working on your family tree as a hobby or for your own personal reasons, you may not want to spend a large amount of money to gain the same information you can find at your local courthouse. Others who are working on a book or other publication for other members of the family may look at it a little differently and be willing to spend the extra money.

Factors You May Want to Consider

Before you embark on a journey to uncover your past, you need to be prepared for what you might find - we've heard stories of people uncovering scandalous events! That's probably pretty rare, though, and you're likely to uncover a family history that is both exciting and intriguing. Performing a DNA test may also uncover family members that you may not have known about prior to starting your family tree, so it may be worthwhile to sign up with a family tree maker that has DNA testing as an option.

Why Choose a Family Tree Builder

Discovering your family's past history and distant relatives is a fun and exciting activity for the whole family. You could ask relatives what they know about your ancestors, but that will only get you so far! A membership to an ancestry site or a family tree builder app will help you tie everything together. They help you make connections with other family members who can help you fill in the gaps. Family tree builders are a wealth of information that is gained from all areas of the world. You no longer have to travel to access the information. All you have to do is go online.

Your family history is the foundation you are built from. Why not learn your history and share it with other members of your family?!