GenealogyBank.com is a website that calls themselves the "leading online genealogical resource" which says they give their users the ability to trace their ancestors back to 1690.
GenealogyBank.com accumulates information from public records, especially from their large newspaper resources which total more than 6,500 in all 50 states. They say that 95% of their records are exclusive to them and not available on other websites.
How Does It Work?
Like most other genealogical and ancestry websites, GenealogyBank.com gets all of their records from public information sources: modern obituaries, historical newspapers, books, pamphlets, military records, government documents and more.
All you have to do is submit the name of the ancestor you are interested in finding information about, and then when you receive your results you can select the specific types of records or information you are interested in.
They do offer a 30 day trial of their services, at the end of which time you will be automatically signed up for either an Annual Membership, which costs $69.95, or a monthly membership, at $19.95 per month.
The only refunds they will offer is for customers who cancel within the 30 day trial of their membership, and then only if members originally paid for their membership with a credit card. Other payment methods will not be refunded.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who need to speak to Customer Service for any reason can call them at 866-641-3297 or mail them at their corporate headquarters at 5801 Pelican Bay Boulevard, Suite 600, Naples, Florida 34108.
Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of complaints filed about GenealogyBank.com regarding a few issues. First, many people do not realize that the 30 day trial period is not free - you will be charged but you are eligible for a refund if you cancel during that period.
Customers are also unhappy that the resources of the website seem to be a lot more limited in scope and quality than the website leads their customers to believe.
Is It Safe?
There do not seem to be any complaints about safety associated with this company.
Competitors and Alternatives?
Genealogy is a popular topic, with many different websites like Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and RecordsBase.com.
If you have any experience with this company or their products, please leave your GenealogyBank.com reviews below.
5 ‘GenealogyBank.com’ Reviews
Signed up for a free 7 day trial and my credit card was charged on the 6th day. I want my $ back!
Poor search function, difficult to move through issues, extremely slow and false advertising
I've been using genealogybank.com for about 2 years.
Opening and clicking between newspaper pages is extremely slow, no matter what time of day/week I use it. As I sit here now I've verified my connection speed using speedtest.net (about 33 Mbps), and have checked my speed perusing other websites (very fast). On genealogybank.com, I have a newspaper page open. Looking at my watch while clicking between pages it's taking me between 20 and 30 seconds for each newspaper page to fully load. Looking at isitdownrightnow.com/genealogybank.com.html, it's showing pings between 29.06 and 34.6ms for the website, every day listed, for the last three weeks. Check that against other websites, and you'll see it is much slower that other websites.
The search feature, which you'd think would be pretty good considering that's the whole point of subscribing to a website like this, is not good at all. If the newspaper scan is poor and/or pixely - and many are - it often won't pick up words, so you're just not going to find your results on those pages. Not just miss a word here or there -- it sometimes won't find anything on the page, including larger, more legible titles. So if you think, "Hey, I'll just search for the word 'Classifieds', it still might not find it at all.
Want to know how to search through various pages/issues?
1. search for a specific date(s) and/or a word (and don't forget to add a city
2. click on a page in the results
3. click through the pages using the arrow keys or this incredibly useless window that pops up with links saying only "Page 1", "Page 2", etc. If it's a big paper, it won't have links named for the various sections, it's just numbered sequentially. Lord knows I always know the obituaries start on page 231 on Sundays. Kidding; it's just not a helpful feature.
4. Want to go to the next issue of that newspaper? You have to click the last page in the issue you're looking at, then click the forward arrow one more time to get to Page 1 of the next issue, THEN type in or click the next page in that issue you want to look at.
To hop to next week's paper, you need to keep doing that a billion more times, or through the search option, type in that specific date of the paper and start over. Remember I said with my fast connection it's taking 20-30 seconds to open each page.
When I contacted customer service through their Chat feature today, I asked if there was a better way to search between issues / pages. I was told:
- "Search for a specific paper, then adding in a work like "and" then doing the search."
- "There are no other ways to search between papers at this time"
When I asked if there were plans to improve the website speed:
- "It can also be your internet provider and speed as well."
- "Sometimes peak hours can be slow"
Then I was told:
"Would you be interested in sharing ideas or asking questions to the product team ( decision makers about site)?"
In their "Collections" the boast a special Obituary search option. For older obituaries, it appears to work almost identically to the regular newspaper search, even picking up newspaper pages where literally not one obituary appears. For newer obituaries, apparently they just have typed text - not the newspaper pages at all - of the obit.
Just for fun, I did a search in the Colorado Sun Recent Newspaper Obituaries. It says they have all newspaper obituaries from Aug 24 2018 – Current, which would be Feb 2019. I typed the word "and" into the keywords, and nothing else. I get a whopping SIX results.
One more search - for Washington state's Quincy Valley Post-Register, it states they have all obituaries from Nov 6 2014 to Current, which is Feb 2019. The word "the" brings up 338 results. "And" also brings up 338 results. The last name "Smith" brings up one result. So, I suspect they've only added 338 obituaries for the last 4 years for that paper.
The new "Census" section has pages of US Federal Censuses. Which I believe they're indexing in house or through some other place. These are already indexed and searchable, FOR FREE for anyone on familysearch.org. They're also indexed and searchable on other pay sites like Ancestry, MyHeritage and others. Why they would try to add this, when they should be focusing on improving their speeds, search abilities and adding additional more newspaper pages, is beyond me.
The number of newspapers and titles they have listed is misleading. It's possible that itself is one of the reasons they make it so difficult to search between issues -- you'll quickly find out how much they're lacking. There are currently "over 9,000 US Newspapers" in the collection. If you go to genealogybank.com/newspapers/sourcelist/full, you'll see for many of the newspapers there are only 1 or 2 issues available. They may say they cover a title from 1902-1943, but might only have a handful of newspapers for that timeframe.
Currently it's $20/month or $70/year to use this website. I recommend against it unless it's your only option for accessing certain newspapers.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. I tried using this website to learn more about my family's background. It was completely useless, no matter who i put in I didn't find anything useful. The only information is in the United States and even searching for simple people in my family that have always lived here I have found not one thing. I have been using Ancestry.com since 2014 and love the website, it is very helpful and easy to use. Also cancelling the membership is practically impossible. You have to call in order to cancel your account and the representatives do not answer. First time I called I gave up after waiting 15 minutes. then I called again and they constantly tried to convince me to stay.
I have been pleased except for one problem,there are some obituaries that you are not given according to the year and the Newspaper! I was not happy with that!
Customer service is excellent, had no problem at all! I did forget my password I called and customer service fixed that right away! I'm still trying to see if I can get that particular newspaper to allow me to see my ancestors obituary! For the price, I think it is worth it! Just don't renew if you're not pleased! But you should call Customer Service if there is any problem! They are very polite and couteous!
Just joined and the 1st name I searched brought up two documents - both 1200-page Federal government appropriation documents.
The only "match" in the documents was the letter "a" in my grandfather's first name, Lawrence.
No obit, no nothing! What the heck kind of system is this! [GeanologyBank.com]