Review: HistoryLines

When any company releases a new product for the genealogy world, I am always excited. Excited to see what they bring to the genealogy table. Will the product help us with research or help us place our family in history? HistoryLines does the latter. It helps us put our family into history. In some instances, it is history I would not have thought about.

How it works:

You can either type your tree into their program or you can import a current gedcom. I opted for the gedcom upload, it is quick and painless. This process was flawless, I went to Ancestry downloaded my gedcom from the Tree Info section of the Tree Settings page. The tree with a few thousand people in it too a mere few short moments to download. It also only took mere moments to upload to HistoryLines. I was ready to start looking at timelines and creating stories within 5 minutes (if it took even that).

Once everything was ready to go on the website, I went to the search box and typed in the name I was interested in looking at. Once I hit enter, I immediately had the portion of the family tree I was working on. From there I clicked on the icon of a book and created the story of the ancestor I was interested in.

The story gives you the age of your ancestor at any important date in their tree; like the date a sibling was born, marriage or dates of their child’s birth. To me, this is a great additive to have. I am not one who likes to calculate.

Once you get past the family information, HistoryLines also shares with you what was happening in the world during your ancestors life. I never would have thought to look about when Levi’s were invented or which ancestor was alive during the moon landing or Watergate. Obviously, history is important and some of the small stories shared on your ancestor’s story page were happening around them, but I never really thought about it from my ancestors perspective. Using HistoryLines has changed this for me, I now will start thinking about what was going on around each of my ancestors as they walked the earth.

HistoryLines is a subscription based website, the price is $9.95 / month or $59 / year. To subscribe, please visit HistoryLines.

Disclaimer: The In-Depth Genealogist was given a three month subscription in order to review the website, the review is our own words. 



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  1. What makes HistoryLines better than Ancestry’s life story feature? It’s relatively pricey, so I would think it is considerably better.

    1. Kay,

      To be honest when I reviewed HistoryLines, Ancestry did not have their ‘new’ life story feature available. I do agree that there is some overlap in what they are doing, but HistoryLines might surprise you with some of the facts they have. Yes, they include the huge important historical events, but they also include things like when Levi’s became available, when ketchup was invented. I never thought about either of those things in a historical context with my ancestors before.

  2. Context is important. The ability to cancel your subscription, even more so. I’m frustrated, I cannot remove my credit card information, and they haven’t replied to my emails requesting they cancel. I’ll have to call my credit card company to contest the payment if I can’t get a reply. This is not a good business practice.

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