The genealogy-world has seen an enormous number of company buy outs and partnerships over the past few years. So who really owns what anymore?

I did some checking and here’s what I found.

Before I get to the list, let me start with a little disclaimer: I don’t guarantee that this is absolutely 100%, but I do believe it is certainly around the mark. But if anyone has more up-to-date information please feel free to leave a comment advising of the change. I’d really appreciate it.

Now on to who owns what …


ANCESTRY.COM – founded 1983 is the largest commercial genealogy company in the world. There are very few people who haven’t heard of it.

Having started small, the company has grown exponentially since 1997 and became a publicly traded company in November 2009. In October 2012 was acquired by Permira Advisers LLP, a private equity group..

Current list of the websites and products owned by
AncestryDNA – launched may 2012
Ancestry app (formerly Ancestry Trees To Go app) – launched January 2010 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2002 – launched in 1996 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2007 – launched in 2006 – launched in 2007 – cannot find a date
Ancestry Corporate – cannot find a date – acquired August 2012 – acquired 2006 – acquired September 2013
FindAGrave app – launched March 2014
Fold3 (formerly – acquired late 2010 – acquired June 2010 – launched November 2012
ProGenealogists – launched 1998
ProQuest – partnership 2004
RootsWeb – acquired June 2000
Shoebox app (1000Memories renamed) – launched July 2013

Former sites and products:
1000Memories – acquired late 2012, relaunched as Shoebox (see above)
Ancestry24 – acquired October 2013
Ancestry Magazine – discontinued 2010
Ancestry Publishing – discontinued 2010
Archive CD Books England – acquired 2008 – acquired 2003, discontinued September 2014
The Generations Network – changed name to in 2009 – launched 2008, no longer online – discontinued 2014 – discontinued September 2014 – discontinued September 2014
Y-DNA and mDNA tests on AncestryDNA – discontinued September 2014


DC THOMSON FAMILY HISTORY – first online in 2003
DC Thomson Family History which was formerly known as Scotland Online and later brightsolid, is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy, with an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and almost 20 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes findmypast and Genes Reunited.

DC Thomson Family History currently owns or runs the following sites:
1901 Census – launched May 2008
1911 Census – partnership from 2008
1939 Register – partnership from March 2014
The British Newspaper Archive – partnership from May 2010 – launched February 2012 – launched July 2012 – launched May 2010 – acquired February 2008 – launched May 2011
Friends Reunited – acquired August 2009
Genes Reunited – acquired August 2009
IWM: Lives of the First World War – partnership from May 2014
Mocavo – acquired June 2014 – acquired June 2014
ScotlandsPeople – partnership from September 2002
Who Do You Think You Are? Story – launched July 2014

Former sites, now incorporated into Findmypast:
1837online (renamed to


MYHERITAGE – founded  2003 is a privately owned company based in Israel. Here is a quote about the company from their website: “… founded by a team of people with a passion for genealogy and a strong grasp of Internet technology. Our vision has been to make it easier for people around the world to use the power of the Internet to discover their heritage and strengthen their bonds with family and friends.”

Below is a list of the acquisitions. Some of these companies still are online, others have been absorbed into MyHeritage. Currently available in 40 different languages, MyHeritage has employees around the world.

Current sites and products:
23andMe – partnership from October 2014
BackupMyTree – acquired September 2011
BillionGraves – partnership from February 2014
EBSCO Information Services – partnership from October 2014 – acquired November 2011
Family Tree Builder – launched around 2010 – acquired November 2012 – started 2003 – acquired November 2011

Former sites and products:
Bliscy (Polish) – acquired June 2011
Family Tree Legends – acquired 2006
GenCircles – acquired 2006
Kindo – acquired 2008
The OSN Group (Verwandt/DynasTree) (German) – acquired 2010
Pearl Street Software – acquired 2006
Zooof (Dutch) – acquired 2010


FAMILYSEARCH – founded 1894
FamilySearch is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is the largest non-commercial genealogy organisation in the world, and it is totally free.

FamilySearch can trace its own roots back to 1894 when it was founded as the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) and their members have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 120 years.

Renamed to FamilySearch, the organisation launched their first website in 1999, which has now grown to include over a billion records from hundreds of countries around the world.

While FamilySearch themselves haven’t bought out other companies (well, not that I known of), being the world’s biggest genealogy website I felt they deserve a mention here.

Also in the last few year’s they have partnered with other genealogy organisations to make even more records available. So it is these I’ll list below.

Partnerships with FamilySearch: – partnership from September 2013
Findmypast – partnership from October 2013
Fold3 (previously named – partnership from May 2007
MyHeritage – partnership from October 2013
OCLC & WorldCat – partnership from January 2013

FamilySearch related sites and products:
FamilySearch Indexing – launched
FamilySearch Labs – launched October 2006
FamilySearch Wiki – launched 2008
FamilySearch Memories app – launched June 2014
FamilySearch Tree app – launched
RootsTech – FamilySearch are organisers of the world’s biggest genealogy conference

Former websites and products:
FamilySearch Indexing app
Personal Ancestral File (PAF)