What You Can (And Can't) Do With a Free Ancestry Trial

By: Carolyn Fitchard

3 generations of family sitting on a couch

An Ancestry.com free trial lets you test out key features that make the genealogy service popular with millions. But while there’s lots to explore, the free trial are also limitations. The Groupon Coupons team is here to give you the lowdown on what you can and can’t do with an Ancestry free trial. We’ll also key you in on some important things to watch out for to ensure your free trial remains 100% free. 

Ready to get started? Read on for everything you need to know about the Ancestry.com free trial.

How to Start an Ancestry.com Free Trial

Signing up for Ancestry.com’s free trial is easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. On the Ancestry.com homepage, click Start a Free Trial 
  2. On the next screen, click Start a Free Trial
  3. Fill out your name and email address, and select a password 
  4. Select your plan (we recommend the monthly All Access to start)
  5. Enter your payment info and click Order Now.

What You Can Do with an Ancestry Free Trial

Build Out Your Family Tree

Ancestry guides you through the process of building a family tree starting with your own details and then moving on to your parents and grandparents. You’ll occasionally receive Ancestry Hints—records, details, and photos—you can verify and approve to turn your family tree into a richly drawn story.

Find Ancestors From Among Billions of Records

During your free trial, you’ll merely scratch the surface of the billions of records available in the Ancestry.com database. Use the Search function to find names in birth, marriage, and death certificates, immigration records, and census and voter lists. 

Explore Millions of Public Family Trees

No need to do all the hard work yourself! Explore millions of Public Member Trees to find connections to your family. If any exist, you can use Member Connect to contact the owner and merge your trees. 

Search Military Records and Newspaper Articles

If you sign up for an All Access subscription, you can use Fold3 and Newspaper.com to search for family members’ military records and newspaper article mentions.

What You Can’t Do with an Ancestry Free Trial

Learn About Your Origins and Ethnicity

You’ll need an AncestryDNA kit, which is separate from the Ancestry.com subscription service, in order to unlock secrets about your origins and ethnicity. With the kit you can also find living relatives through DNA matches. AncestryDNA frequently goes on sale, so be sure to check our guide for the best time to buy it.

Uncover 25+ Personal Traits

This service is part of AncestryDNA Traits, an add-on to a AncestryDNA kit. It uses your DNA to clue you in on personal traits you share with people around the world, including things like hair color, finger length, cleft chins, and earwax type. Yes, earwax type.

Things to Watch Out For on Ancestry’s Free Trial

You Only Have 12 Days to Cancel, Not 14

Even though Ancestry markets this free trial period as 14 days, you only have 12 days to cancel before getting charged. And the cancellation process may take a few days to complete. That means even if you start the process on Day 12, you could still get charged. Our advice is to cancel your plan immediately after signing up to avoid getting charged. But never fear; even if you cancel your subscription early, you’ll still have the full 14 days to explore the service for free.

If you do unwittingly become a paid member, be aware that subscriptions auto-renew, so you’ll need to cancel before that period ends to avoid yet another charge.

There’s Really No Reason to Select the 6-Month Subscription

Even though you may be tempted to get a 6-month subscription for the advertised savings, there’s really no reason to select it; the monthly subscription is plenty of time to explore the free trial. Plus, you may end up locked into a pricier plan if you don’t cancel in time. Signing up for a monthly membership will minimize a potential hit to your wallet.

How to Cancel Your Ancestry.com Free Trial

When you’re ready to cancel your membership (and we recommend doing so sooner rather than later), just follow these steps:

  1. Click here and enter your login information
  2. Under the Membership section, click Cancel membership
  3. On the pop-up window, select Cancel membership
  4. Verify that you want to cancel, and select a reason for canceling
  5. Click Continue to cancel
  6. Click Cancel membership

If you’re happy with your Ancestry free trial, be sure to check out our collection of Ancestry sales and discounts to save on AncestryDNA kits and subscriptions.


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