Family History Essentials

Family History EssentialsThis resource page is your easy access to the products that I recommend through my blog. To earn a place on the Mad About Genealogy Recommendation Page these products and companies are ones that I use now or have used in the past and that I feel confident in their quality and ability to be useful to you. I keep an active watch to make sure that the quality of the products are kept up to scratch.

Using this page you can quickly find great products and services all in one place, making more time for your genealogy research !

 This page contains affiliate links – see the end of this page or the Disclosure Page for further details. 

Websites – I suggest that you try their free 14 day trial and then opt for their Premium Subscription as you will very soon outgrow the Essentials Subscription. The difference is only £3 per month, but you get so much more for that little bit extra. Click Here to access your free 14 day trial to – If you have ancestors outside of the UK then you will want to access the thousands of databases that an Ancestry Worldwide subscription offers. This is the subscription I have because I have ancestors in America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe as well as the UK and I can truly say that I get my moneys worth out of this subscription. Click Here to access your free 14 day trial to – Again I suggest that you register for the free 14 day trail and then opt for the Plus membership as you will soon run out of things to look at under the Starter subscription. You won’t have that problem with a Plus membership that’s for sure ! Click Here to access your free 14 day trial to – This subscription covers all the records that FindMyPast holds from around the world. It is called the Pro Package and includes the records from their sister website British Newspaper Archives as well as extensive USA, New Zealand and Australian records. This is the subscription that I have and wouldn’t be without. Click Here to access your free 14 day trial.


Ancestry DNA – Those of you who have read my DNA blogs will know that I am very pleased with my results from Ancestry DNA. I chose Ancestry because of the many good reviews I read online as well as finding out about their huge database of people who had taken the test. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 they sold 1.5 million tests so that was a great increase in numbers on those few days alone. I have found some excellent researcher cousins and been able to fill in many gaps in my genealogy. Highly recommend. Click Here to purchase your own Ancestry DNA Kit.


Amazon I confess I am a book addict, I just can’t go past a bookshop or library without going in ! For most of my book purchases I go to Amazon for two reasons 1) I don’t have a bookshop within easy distance from my home and 2) because you just don’t get the huge range of books they offer elsewhere. Plus of course Amazon offer Kindle books which are often a lot cheaper to buy than a print version and I can take them anywhere with me as long as I have my Kindle or Tablet. Click Here to purchase genealogy books on Amazon and support Mad About Genealogy.

AbeBooks – Do you know about AbeBooks? I buy a lot of my books through them, they have gathered together a large number of secondhand book sellers and brought them together in one website. If you run searches using keywords genealogy or family history you will find a huge range of books. Plus if you do a keyword search using an ancestral county such as Hampshire then you will be surprised what turns up ! A couple of years ago I run a search on Berkshire and found, to my joy, a copy of a book on the village of Basildon which had a print run of just a few hundred copies. oh yes there are a great deal of treasure to be found at AbeBooks. Beware you might need to buy another bookcase!

Check out my blog post on My Genealogy Bookcase – the article is about the books I have in constant use and would replace if/when they fall apart.  I confess the books mentioned in the post are just a small part of my family history collection, but I have been “doing” genealogy and visiting book shops for a long time !!

USA readers Click Here to purchase genealogy books on AbeBooks and support Mad About Genealogy.

UK readers Click Here to purchase genealogy books on AbeBooks and support Mad About Genealogy.


Genealogy and stationery go together so well ! Even if you keep family history online you will need a few notebooks, files, pens and of course conservation materials for preserving your precious photographs and documents. I use Amazon for these supplies as I find them quick and reliable. You can find the following products on Amazon

Acid Free Storage Boxes – These come in a range of sizes small to extra large. Good, sturdy boxes just what you need for precious photos, documents, objects.

Acid Free Tissue Paper – Don’t expect this to be a brilliant white tissue, the sort that comes round gifts. This is acid free so is an off white and doesn’t handle quite the same because it isn’t loaded with chemicals.

Note Books – I haven’t used anything else since I was given a Moleskine notebook by my son. They cost very little more than a school type notebook, but are in a different league! You will be keeping your genealogy notebooks for years so you do want to start with a good quality book.

Pens, general use  – I use a good quality ball point with my note book and as you shouldn’t ever write on the backs of documents or photos then an ordinary pen will suffice.

Pens, chart writing – Quite a different matter if you are filling out a chart by hand. You will want to use a pen that has ink that will last. I’ve had one of these archival quality pens for years as I don’t do a lot of filling in of charts these days, but it is good to have it there when I need it.

Charts and forms – You can download and print off plenty of charts from the internet, but if you want something special or larger than your home printer can handle then I can recommend these charts from My History via Amazon.

Family Tree Book Starter Pack – If you are looking for a gift for a new genealogist then this starter pack might just be the answer.

Spring Back Folder – This is the folder you need to go with the starter pack above.

A3 Seven Generation Family Chart – I like these charts and have used quite a few over the years. There are a number of variations of charts at Amazon, these are acid free and on a heavy paper which is always a bonus for something that is going to be handled quite a lot.

I’ll be adding more items to this Recommendation Page as I test and like products.

Happy Ancestor Hunting !

Disclosure: There are affiliate links on the pages on this website, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used. I get commissions for purchases made through affiliate links. This is in compliance with the US Federal Trade Commission’s disclosure requirements and is inserted for readers who reside in the United States of America. & are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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