TheGenealogist Review 2023

How much do you know about your family tree? Apart from a few school projects where you had to research your family history, you've probably never studied it in-depth.

But, learning about your family's history is quite important, and you may find out some surprising things about your relatives! These days there are so many options for DNA testing - you can either sit down and chat with your older relatives, or you can go that extra step and use DNA testing.

With so many online family history websites available, how do you pick one? In this review, we'll be looking at TheGenealogist and what they can offer. We'll also cover the pros and cons of this website and how much their subscription packages cost.

Don't forget to check out the FAQ section too for more information about tracing your family history. Read along for a detailed review of TheGenealogist.

Who Is TheGenealogist?

The Genealogist is a UK-based genealogy site that issues data to family historians who want to research their family tree. It is a subscription-based service and allows its subscribers to find the names of their relatives and ancestors.

You can also access UK records such as marriage, birth, and death indexes, as well as census records and lots more. Established in 2006 by Nigel and Susan Bayley, TheGenealogist was originally a volunteer project in 2002 where it began to index census records from 1891.

The Genealogist also provides DNA testing through FamilyTree DNA - its partner company. They will also explain your results to help you in your family tree building project.

How Does The TheGenealogist Test Work?

TheGenealogist offers DNA tests, but how does DNA work? DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, and everyone has it, and it's described as a self-replicating material. But what does it do?

DNA is present within our cells and acts as a set of instructions. They're the building blocks that make up our physical appearance. They can tell us what eye color we have, skin color, and so on. DNA also contains markers.

Each person has markers that are unique to them, like fingerprints, which makes DNA tests a great tool to use as a family tree builder. TheGenealogist provides many different tests that you can use to trace your UK ancestry. Below you'll find some of the tests you can purchase.

Autosomal DNA (Family Finder)

The autosomal DNA test uses the data found in your DNA to determine where your ancestors are likely to be from. This DNA test can be used by men and women, and it can create matches within the previous five generations.

It gives you a rough idea of where your ancestors were located as the test results are provided in percentages.

Mitochondrial DNA

Men and women can also use the mitochondrial DNA test, which will help you trace your maternal line. This is because that particular DNA doesn't change much from mother to offspring.

The test results are compared with the genealogy database, and the match can assist you in finding your maternal ancestry.

But, if your mitochondrial DNA doesn't produce a match, your results will be kept because your chance of achieving a match increases as the database grows. If a match happens, you'll receive an email alert.

Y-chromosome DNA

Men can only take this test. A woman who wants to search for her paternal line will need to ask a father, brother, or paternal uncle to do the test on her behalf.

As with the mitochondrial DNA test, the Y chromosome test results are compared with those in the ever-growing database to generate a report. TheGenealogist provides three different Y chromosome DNA tests, which depend on how many markers need to be matched.

What Does TheGenealogist Testing Kit Include?

Your DNA test kit from TheGenealogist contains everything you need to complete your test. Your ancestry testing kit will contain two tubes, two swabs, user instructions, and a release form. All of this comes in an envelope so you can keep everything together.

How To Purchase The TheGenealogist Testing Kit

Purchasing your testing kit is very simple:

  • Head to the TheGenealogist website and click on the Shop menu
  • Select DNA from the drop-down menu and choose which test you want to buy
  • Add the test to your basket and enter your personal information
  • Continue to the payment section, where you'll need to choose your payment method and enter your details
  • Confirm your order and click pay!

Payment methods

When it comes to payment methods, you can pay for a subscription from TheGenealogist using:

  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Visa
  • Maestro
  • Discover


The testing kits are sent directly from the FamilyTree testing lab located in Houston, Texas. If you're ordering from within the United States, you can expect shipping to take 3-5 business days; however, sometimes, it can take ten business days.

Orders from outside the United States can take several weeks to arrive. There's also free shipping on all products.

Free trial

Some customers can take advantage of the 14-day free trial. All you need to do is provide some personal details, such as your email address and full name, then select which subscription you want. You'll then have full access to all the features that come with that package.

If you'd like to cancel your subscription before the 14-day free trial ends, you'll need to do it manually. If you don't, you'll be charged for the price of the package that you selected.

How much does the TheGenealogist test kit cost?

Four different subscription packages are offered by TheGenealogist, including the option of credit for those who don't want a subscription. The four subscriptions are:

  • BMD index
  • Starter
  • Gold
  • Diamond

The BMD index tier is the most affordable, and the Diamond tier is the most expensive. The more expensive subscriptions offer more advanced search facilities and features.

The first tier is the BMD index, but it's a credits system rather than a subscription. You can purchase 50 credits that are valid for 90 days, for just $7. However, the credits system will only grant you access to census records and indexes from England and Wales up to 2005.

The next tier is the Starter subscription. This is available for three months, priced at $20, 6 months for $39, or 12 months for $73. This tier allows you to access BMD transcripts, birth, marriage, and death indexes, landowner records, image archives, and many other records. You'll also be able to access the TreeView premium features.

The Gold tier includes everything in the Starter tier plus additional specialist records. It's priced at $52 for three months, six months for $78, and 12 months for $131.

The highest tier is the Diamond subscription which will cost you $185. You'll have access to a full range of records plus exclusive content and features.

If you want to buy any DNA tests, the prices are as follows:

  • Family Finder - Autosomal DNA: $99
  • Mitochondrial DNA: $199
  • Y chromosome - Y-DNA37: $133
  • Y chromosome - YDNA67: $245
  • Y chromosome - YDNA111: $372

You can also purchase combination packages that offer various DNA tests in one pack.

How To Use The TheGenealogist Testing Kit

Take the first swab

Using your test kit to trace your family history is very straightforward. To provide a sample, you simply rub the cotton swab on the inside of your cheek for around 1 minute before placing it back into the sealed tube.

You must take the time to read the instructions carefully. If you don't and you do the swab incorrectly, the test might be invalid, and you may not receive any results back.

Take a second sample

You'll need to do a second swab around 4 hours later. Once you've taken the two samples, you can put the kit back into its envelope.

Mail your sample back

Once you've taken your sample, simply mail it back in the envelope that is provided. You can monitor the progress of your DNA test, such as whether it has been received, its analysis, and the results on the FamilyTree DNA website.

The Pros And Cons Of The TheGenealogist Testing Kit


  • A census search containing millions of census records - many of which can't be found anywhere else
  • Excellent family tree building tool
  • The search tool is user-friendly and effective


  • TheGenealogist is a British genealogy service, so it is only useful for those with UK ancestry
  • It can be quite expensive

When And How Will I Receive My Results?

After sending your test back, you can expect to receive your results in around seven weeks. Depending on which test you chose, the company will list your maternal or paternal haplogroup and a migratory path showing where your ancestors lived. You'll also be able to see your ancestral origins, which are shown in percentages.

Keep in mind that if you do purchase one of the combination packages, you may get the results of each test at different times. So, don't worry if you get one result and not the other.

Is TheGenealogist Test Accurate?

Yes, the DNA test kits that are available through TheGenealogist are highly accurate and are provided by FamilyTree DNA. This company has more than 20 years of experience in processing DNA in its CLIA-certified laboratories.

Will TheGenealogist Keep My Information Private?

TheGenealogist will collect your personal information, and it claims to store it all using secure servers to protect against loss or mismanagement. But, it doesn't promise that this won't happen with your data.

TheGenealogist claims that it will only share necessary data for the necessary services with S&N British Data Archive Ltd - its sister company. However, you can request that your personal information is deleted and removed at any time.

How Does TheGenealogist Compare To The Competition?

TheGenealogist vs. Ancestry

There are different prices for the TheGenealogist services, depending on which test you choose. These prices are also quite high when compared to Ancestry, which offers a more affordable option. Another big advantage of Ancestry is the 8 billion census records that they offer in their database.

TheGenealogist doesn't offer that many records, so in that sense, Ancestry is the better choice. Ancestry also offers a free trial, so you can explore its features without committing to a subscription straight away. Keep in mind that you will need to be a subscriber to access either of these websites in full, though.

TheGenealogist vs. MyHeritage

MyHeritage is a popular website. However, they only offer a basic autosomal test. That said, if you choose MyHeritage, then you'll have access to the millions of records they have in their collection.

Additionally, they have a huge community of people, so you can easily get help. MyGenealogist and MyHeritage offer very similar services, but if you want a full range of results, MyGenealogist might be the better choice.

TheGenealogist vs. 23andMe

Both of these websites provide the same DNA tests, but 23andMe also offers health screening tests. If you're interested in more than just DNA testing and you want to know more about family health concerns, 23andMe is a good choice for you.

Keep in mind, though, that 23andMe doesn't have genealogy records that you can access once you've received your DNA results. But, if you're wanting to connect with distant relatives, then either company is ideal.

TheGenealogist vs. FamilyTree DNA

Both of these companies provide the same kind of tests, although TheGenealogist offers testing kits from FamilyTree DNA as they don't have their own kits. One advantage of choosing FamilyTree is that it has a far bigger community than TheGenealogist.

This will give you a better chance of finding distant relatives and getting the help you need if you find yourself struggling with your research. However, both companies allow access to millions of indexes and other records that can help you build your family tree.

TheGenealogist vs. Living DNA

Living DNA provides a complete range of tests just like TheGenealogist does. However, the test results from Living DNA can take much longer to arrive. The Genealogist generally takes seven weeks to deliver the results, whereas Living DNA can take up to 12 weeks.

That said, it's worth waiting a bit longer because you'll get a much more detailed report from Living DNA. As you can probably guess, this means prices are much higher with Living DNA, so consider how much you're willing to spend and how detailed you'd like the results to be.

TheGenealogist Frequently Asked Questions

Can I hire an expert to trace my family tree?

Yes, you can hire a Genealogist to help you trace your family history. It's a good idea to hire a genealogist if you feel overwhelmed with creating your family tree. Researching family history can be difficult and demanding.

This is because you may be dealing with records that haven't been indexed or historical documents that are in a foreign language or ancient script. A professional genealogist specializing in a specific location or subject is well acquainted with many sources that someone without experience might miss.

Why is it called genealogy?

Genealogy is the tracing and study of family histories and pedigrees. It involves the names of deceased and living relatives and establishes the relationships between them using primary, secondary, and circumstantial documentation or evidence. This, in turn, creates a family tree.

Genealogy is often called family history, but these terms can be used distinctly - with the former being the fundamental study of the relatives and the latter researching the personal lives and histories of the people involved.

The word genealogy derives from two Greek words - the first meaning family or race and the second meaning science or theory. This means "to trace ancestry," the science of researching family history.

Can I give a test kit as a gift?

Family trees can reveal some fascinating things about people, and if you know someone who would love to do it, you'll be pleased to know that you can have a test kit sent to a friend or family member as a gift.

To do this, simply add whichever test you'd like to buy to your basket. You'll then be given the option of sending it to someone else, where you'll have to enter their details, and the test will be shipped to their address instead.

You'll still receive the order confirmation email as normal, but the recipient will receive other communication from the testing provider.

Can I locate living relatives using TheGenealogist?

Yes, when you receive your DNA results, you'll also be given a list of living relatives plus their contact information so you can get in touch with them if you'd like to.

The Bottom Line

TheGenealogist provides many useful tools that allow you to connect with relatives and discover your family bloodline. It's a site that you may want to consider if you want in-depth information about your British ancestry while having access to DNA-based, detailed results about where you're from.

It's a user-friendly and moderately-priced resource with millions of records that can't be found anywhere else. If this is what you're looking for, The Genealogist could be a perfect choice for you.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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