Do you have French, or even possibly European ancestry? If so then the Geneanet website can help you with your family history research. This review will show you what tools and features it contains, what packages are available and whether I do recommend it.
I must admit that I hadn’t even heard of this genealogy search website when I first started on my family history journey.
And even a while after I had started to review sites for The Genealogy Guide I didn’t come across it until recently.
But I must say I am quite impressed as to what I discovered as you will see in this review.
Geneanet Rating and Details
|1 Year – €50
2 Years – €90 (save €10)
|Yes, but there are limitations with free membership
|Family Tree Builder
|Collections, Cemetery Grave Photos, App, Blog, Newsletter, Postcards
|Help & Support
|Great for French and European genealogy research!
|CHECK IT OUT ==>
What is Geneanet about?
The Geneanet website was created to help family historians to search for and share relevant information more easily.
It was launched back in 1996 and since that time it has gathered quite a collection of individuals and family trees.
At present there is information regarding 5 billion individuals on the site, with 2 million members worldwide and 850,000 family trees featured.
And it has 100,000s of historical records for you to search for, as well as registers, books, and photos too.
With such a collection within their database, I am surprised that this site passed me by.
The website did originate in France, but don’t let that bother you as it does support English as well as 9 other languages, (including German, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Swedish).
Credit: Nicky Smith
The site therefore can help you to discover your French ancestry. If you do have ancestors from another European country then the site can help you.
About the company
As well as holding many records, family trees, and information regarding billions of people the company also has made an exciting partnership with another genealogical entity.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) members can use the site’s services for a fee.
Yes, there is a fee to use some of the tools and features of the site. I’ll explain the pricing later in this review.
Discussed in this post:
When you have finished checking out this site review why not check out my Best Genealogy Sites For Your Family History Research post.
And then after that head on over to Top Ten Reviews where they review the ten best genealogy search websites that are both free to use and subscription-based.
Tools and Features!
I have covered just how much information and how many individuals are contained with this site already. But let’s look a little closer at the tools and features that this site has to offer as well.
Family Tree Builder
No genealogy search website would be complete these days without a Family Tree Builder. If you are going to be searching records of your ancestors you want the ability to put that information into a tree.
Similar to other sites you just enter your name and then the names of your parents. To continue using the service you just click on the Continue button.
This will then bring you to a new screen where you can add details such as each person’s date of birth, your spouse, and your children.
From there your family tree can grow.
Import your tree
Alternatively if you have already started to build your family tree then you can import your tree into the site. This will save you time as you will not have to re-enter all the details in your tree.
As you can see from the above image you can import an Ancestry, MyHeritage or Family Search tree, or any tree that has been created within a genealogy software program.
The builder also allows you to create reports and charts as well. You can create both ancestry and descendant charts with this site.
As I mentioned earlier there are currently 850,000 family trees hosted on the site. As long as they are for public access then you can get valuable information by searching for them.
Watch your tree grow
The benefit of connecting with others is that your tree can grow quite quickly.
Linking between other members’ trees allows you to add whole new branches to your tree.
Origin of Your Last Name
One of the facets of genealogy that I have become intrigued about is the origin and meaning of the many last names that I have uncovered in my family tree.
It has another level to the research that you are doing.
I am pleased to say that through Geneanet you too may be able to find information regarding your last name.
I say may because I was unable to find my last name ‘Couch’ within their catalog of 9,990 indexed names. But you may be more successful than I was.
If you are interested in the origin and meaning of names then please check out SurnameDB. This site has helped me immensely to uncover this information.
I mentioned earlier that Geneanet has partnered with Family Search, (a site operated by Latter-Day Saints).
Through this feature you have access to over 1 billion genealogical records contained on Family Search as well as other genealogy sites, (predominantly French).
You can search for an individual based on their last and first name, as well as their occupation, spouse details, location, and limit the search to a range of years.
You can even enter parents’ names as well.
Adding as much information as possible will help you to refine the search and find what you are looking for.
If you are a premium member then you will have access to this section of the site, (more on this later).
Held within the collections of this genealogy site you will find family trees, archival records, family pictures, indexes, old books and newspapers.
There are nearly 3 million collections for you to sift through. Actually, I don’t expect you to sift through all that, but you can see that you have a lot of useful material that you can utilize.
The bulk of this section is the archival records, which include birth, marriage, and death records.
Cemetery Graves Photos
One interesting, and maybe overlooked, resource for the family historian is graves. You can find a lot of clues about your ancestry through the details that are inscribed on a tombstone.
There is the birth date of your ancestor, or at least how old they were when they died.
You may even uncover their partner’s details, children, and maybe even information regarding siblings as well.
This section of the site is only available for Premium members I’m afraid, but it is a useful resource for you if you have hit a brick wall in your genealogy research.
The site also offers an app that you can use on your smartphone, (iPhone or Android supported).
Through the app, you can view your family tree, even if you are not online.
You can easily search through your tree where 4 and 5 generation charts are supported.
And the app contains a powerful search engine. Just start typing your ancestor’s name and you will be instantly directed to your chosen ancestor.
Uploading photos that you have just taken with your phone is also possible with this app.
There is also a blog that is hosted on the site. Through the blog posts, you can get information regarding the latest collections that have been added.
You can read about celebrities and discover whether you are related to them. You can do this by viewing their family tree.
Who knows maybe you are related to Demi Lovato or maybe even Beyonce.
A fun addition to the site is the Postcards section. From here you can choose from a range of different greeting cards from yesteryear and send them to your relatives.
Now we get to the part which you want to know about, what is free and what do you have to pay for.
There are two options available to you when you use the site, the Free membership or the Premium membership.
I like how you get just the two options, rather than working out what paid subscription package is right for you. It’s quite simple in that regard.
Basic Free Membership
If you are starting on your family history journey then free is worth checking out first. Although there are limitations with the free package.
You can though at least create and build a family tree, (which is standard with any other genealogy search website).
You have 250MB of storage space for your photos and archival records. Space for your family tree is unlimited.
Searching for your ancestors is limited to details such as their first and last name, and place of birth, i.e. those are the only key details that you can enter to search.
Other limitations include only notification when an individual matches your name and place query, limited collections, and support only through the forum.
Premium Subscription Package
The Premium package will open up all the tools and features that Geneanet has to offer. There are no restrictions with this package.
The full benefits you can see compared to the free package can be seen in the table below.
Premium Package Benefits:
- Storage Space – 2GB is available to store your photos and records.
- Advanced search – Search for your ancestors based on spouse and parents, use wildcards, name variants, and nearby places.
- Genealogy Library – Get access to over 2.5 billion individuals within old books and newspapers.
- Matches – Any blanks in your family tree are automatically searched for to find new details about your ancestors.
- Email Notifications – Get weekly updates regarding new entries that may help your research.
- Help & Support – Priority support for your queries.
Premium Package Price
When you sign up to Geneanet you have a choice of whether you want to just subscribe for 1 year or 2 years. (€ is approximately lower than USD).
- 1 year – €50 (just over €4 per month)
- 2 years – €90 (save €10)
I haven’t seen this option before for other genealogy search sites so I was intrigued by this, especially as you save €10 by opting for 2 years.
Filling in your information is simple. You select whether you want a 1 year or 2 years subscription followed by your gender, full name, and email address.
You will need to enter a username for your account together with a password.
Then enter your country of residence and residential address details.
The option of receiving the Geneanet Newsletter is already selected for you. You can deselect that if you wish.
After all, these details just click on the Submit button.
Check out the site for free first!
I am a firm believer in trying something before you buy. And genealogy sites are no exception.
So, before you do sign up to this site please first check out what the site has to offer and whether it is right for you.
After all, you don’t want to be throwing your money away. You’d rather spend it on something better, (your genealogy research).
There are limitations to the free membership but at least you can get a taste of what the site can offer you.
Help & Support!
There will be times when we all need help, and genealogy is no exception. That’s especially true with using a website that you’ve never used before.
So you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your membership.
The forum is open to both free and paid members. This is where you can get help from others who use the site, (members and staff).
To help you get the advice that you need the forum is broken down into 3 areas.
- Geneanet – Get help with your family history searches, and get help and support.
- Family History Research – Ask for help based on the location of your research.
- Genealogy – Discussions regarding Occupations, Digital Photography, DNA, Emigration, Origin of Names, Software, Heraldry & Armorial, and Old Pictures.
This support is only available for premium members of the site. It will allow you to have a private chat with Geneanet.
If you cannot find help within the forum, (or you prefer this method), then this option is for you.
Pros & Cons
✔ Cheap compared to other genealogy sites
✔ Over 2 million members already connected
✔ 850,000 family trees to search
✔ Building your family tree for free (importing and exporting supported)
✔ Clean and easy to use website
✔ App available so you can research on the go
✔ Get help through forum submitting a ticket (paid members only)
❌ No monthly subscription offered
❌ Collection is small compared to other sites (but is growing)
❌ Suitable only really for people who have French ancestry
Do I Recommend Geneanet?
This genealogy search site is relatively cheap compared to other websites. But that only takes into consideration whether you will gain anything from Geneanet at all.
Saying that if you do have French ancestry then it is worth checking out.
Try before you buy!
I would advise you to at least check out the site for free first. Once you have got used to the interface, what records are held within the catalog and what you can discover about your ancestors then by all mean go for the paid subscription.
The 2-year subscription offer is great. Yes, it may only be €10 that you are saving, but I’m a firm believer that every little helps.
That €10 can be better used, maybe towards paying for certificates of your ancestors.
Easily building your tree
I like how you can easily create and build your family tree immediately with this site. Yes, that can also be said for other sites, and this is no exception.
It’s good though that you are not limited to the number of people that you can put into your tree or any details about them.
Only the storage for your photos and records. So, it’s worth thinking about upgrading in that respect.
So, do I recommend Geneanet?
Yes, I do recommend Geneanet. This site can help you to discover your French ancestry as I have said, (maybe even European ancestry). It’s worth at least checking what this site has to offer.
What do you think?
If you do decide to subscribe to this genealogy website then please come back and let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear how it is working for you.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed reading this Geneanet Review and what it has to offer. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
Please share with family and friends if you think this post will help others by using the social media buttons below.