Have you used Mocavo in your genealogy research? If not, is that because you’ve not heard of Mocavo yet? It’s a free genealogy and ancestry search engine.

I first heard about Mocavo in a webinar by Thomas MacEntee. I don’t recall which webinar it was, but it was earlier this year. I was intrigued by his description of it: a specialized family history search engine.

A lot of people use specialized Google searches to locate genealogy information. That has sometimes worked for me in the past if I get all my quotes and plus signs in the right place, but it can be frustrating to sift through hundreds or even thousands of search results.

Mocavo is supposed to eliminate the thousands of search results. I say “supposed” because even tho I heard about Mocavo a few weeks ago, I hadn’t tried it yet. Mainly because I have to create yet another account, and yet another password.

My noggin needs to learn to get anything of worth on the Internet anymore, you’ve got to give them something valuable: either personal information or credit card information (which Mocavo will gladly take for a “silver” or “gold” account). *sigh* I remember the good old days when the Internet was less focused on marketing and money.

But I digress. This morning I decided to give them a try. The main page is a sign-up page. They require only four things: First Name, Last Name, Email, Password.

Create Mocavo account screenshotThe next screen that popped up surprised me. It asked for three surnames I was researching.

Mocavo surnames screenshotThere was the option to skip this step, but I was there to find information about my ancestors, right? So I filled in three of the names from my tree that were either unusual, or I hadn’t found much information.

The next screen autofilled in the last name, and wanted a first name and a keyword. From my input I received 44 results. Way better than Google. However, once I started sifting through them, the first two pages were from Ireland after my person left. Could be a relative, but can’t pursue that right now. Finally on page three of the search results I ran across something that looking promising.

But this is what I get when I click on it:

Upgrade to Mocavo

Content on Mocavo will always be free, but we still have to keep the lights on. So, you can always search individual databases for free, but to search all of our content from one convenient location, you’ll need to Upgrade to Mocavo Gold.

It’s understandable they need money to operate and expand. Clicking the upgrade option brought up this screen:

Mocavo Pricing

The pricing of $7 or $9 per month is not a lot of money. But they didn’t convince me for two reasons. My genealogy budget is quite limited, so I have to be thoroughly convinced before I sign up for that automatic withdrawal. Plus I detest those limited-time offers, “click now, save, save, save.” It’s a play on your emotions.

To be fair, I must also mention that if you choose the One-Year button, it’s $80/year for Silver, and the Gold yearly plan is currently on sale for “only $80 year” as well.

In completing a few more searches, the hits ranged from 4,219 down to 3 results. There is also a “show preview” which may or may not show your relative, depending on what part of the page they appear. It definitely works better for me than Google.

So there you have it. Only you can decide if Mocavo is right for you. We all have different needs, diverse budgets, and various ways of searching. And some of us have more time than others.

A dear friend of mine used to say, “If you haven’t got the money, you better have the time. And if you haven’t got the time, you better have the money!” So true. Right now I have more time than money.

You could use it to search and narrow down possibilities, and then go look up those results elsewhere.

But what about you? Have you used Mocavo? If so, has it helped your genealogy research? Do you find it useful? I’d love to hear how it’s worked out for you.