Conducting a family history search for free is as easy as turning on your computer and connecting to the Internet. There are so many free resources on the Internet, it's actually hard to keep track of them and this may become your most arduous task - keeping track of your sources. In fact, not tracking sources is one of the top ten mistakes made by beginning genealogists.
Family History Search for Free
For beginners or seasoned professional genealogists, the information that is available free on the Internet, in public libraries, or through historical societies makes searching for your ancestors affordable and easy.
There are many resources available to you as you search your family history. Some of the leading genealogy websites are given below:
- Family Search.org is the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Most genealogists learn early on about the vast resources offered by the Mormon Church. This website is rich in databases of records, but it also offers helpful tools for the genealogist such as family history software, tutorials and more.
- Kindred Konnections is another website that helps you build your family history using free genealogy software and connections to vital records.
- Search for Ancestors offers free genealogy databases.
- Genealogy Today features ancestry databases with more than 3.42 million names, resources, search tools and articles.
- Family History provides access to genealogy databases containing marriage records, death records and census records.
- Roots Web, operated by Ancestry.com, is one of the most popular genealogical communities on the Internet. It is the oldest and largest community, and it is also free. Use the index of all search engines and databases that are genealogy-related. Construct your family tree using WorldConnect project.
The records available in the "Genealogy Room" of the main branch of your public library may astound you. Here you can find transcribed:
- Census records
- County cemetery records
- Family history books
- County histories
- State histories
- Records of military service
- Estate records on microfiche
- Old newspapers
Ask the librarian on duty to go over all the free resources that are available to you. Your state library and archives is an important source for free searching as well. From estate records to rare local histories, military records, grants and obscure family titles, the archives well deserves a week of your time set aside for research.
Carrying out a family history search for free should include contacting your local genealogical and historical societies. Joining these societies can put you in touch with invaluable resources, tips and experienced professionals to assist you in your search. Whether it's the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Confederacy or a county genealogical society, you will find periodicals, personal collections and helpful advice. Sometimes these societies organize trips to places such as The Mormon Library in Salt Lake City for reduced travel rates. You may also be able to "tie in" your ancestors with common ancestors whom members have already researched. As you trace your family name history, you may desire to join societies relating to other countries, such as Scottish, Irish and European societies.
Your county courthouse is a great free resource. You may go into your county deed room and search original records to your heart's content - all for free. You will be charged to make copies of any documents or to receive certified copies of death, marriage, wills and birth certificates. Early deeds for your county are a rich source of information on ancestors. There is much helpful information to be gleaned from co-signers, neighbors on adjoining lots/plantations, names mentioned within the deeds, dates of the deeds and descriptions of the land. The tax office may also yield helpful information.
Finding sources for free family history just requires a little research of the Internet, the local library and other government buildings as well as the societies in your family's neighborhood.