101 Ways to Research Your Family Tree for Free


Is free genealogy a thing of the past? With the constant addition of subscription genealogy databases on the Internet, people often wonder if there will soon be an end to free genealogy research via the Web. For those of you with this concern, take heart – free genealogy databases aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Web sites from all over the world contain free genealogy information of use to family tree researchers which has been contributed by individuals, companies and even governments. Birth records, marriage records, military records, ships passenger lists, surnames, census records, immigration records, wills, photos and much, much more are available on the Internet for FREE if you just know where to look. These 100 free genealogy sites, in no particular order, should keep you busy searching for weeks!

1. Rootsweb – World Connect Project
Out of all of the online databases of submitted family tree information, my favorite is the World Connect Project which allow users to upload, modify, link, and display their family trees as a means to share their work with other researchers. The reason why this particular project is my favorite is it is one of the largest, and it also allows people to add to, update or remove their information at any time. While this by no means ensures that the information you will find here is correct, it at least increases the probabilities of finding current contact information for researchers with information which interests you. This free genealogy database currently contains over 3 billion names in over 300,000 family trees, and you can search them all online for absolutely no charge! You can also submit your own family tree information in GEDCOM format for free.

2. FamilySearch Record Search
This free research site from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a veritable treasure for all genealogists, with plenty of free family history records for those concerned about the budget, and excellent image quality and indexes for researchers looking for alternative access options. Records are available from numerous countries.

3. HeritageQuest Online
The data on this site is only available through subscribing institutions, but free online access is available to many with a membership card from their local library. The databases are fairly US-centric, including digital images of the complete federal census, 1790 to 1930 (with head of household indexes for most years), thousands of family and local history books, and Revolutionary War pension files, plus PERSI, an index to articles in thousands of genealogical journals. If your local library doesn’t offer online access, many genealogical societies offer free or low-cost access as a membership priviledge.

4. U.S. Federal Land Patent Records
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides free online database access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, as well as images of more than two million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and 1908 for the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. This is not just an index, but images of the actual land patent records. If you find the patent for your ancestor and wish to also have a certified paper copy, you can order these directly from the BLM.

5. Interment.net – Free Cemetery Records Online
You’re likely to find details on at least one ancestor in this free genealogy database containing over 3 million records from over 5000 cemeteries worldwide. Internment.net contains actual cemetery transcriptions as well as links to other cemetery transcriptions available on the Internet from cemeteries around the world.

6. WorldGenWeb
No list of free Internet genealogy records would be complete without mentioning WorldGenWeb. It began in 1996 with the USGenWeb project and, shortly thereafter, the WorldGenWeb project went online to provide free access to genealogy information around the world. Each region, country, province, and state has a page on WorldGenWeb with access to free queries, links to genealogy information and, often, free transcribed genealogy records.

7. Debt of Honour Register
Find personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces (including the United Kingdom and former colonies) who died in the First or Second World Wars, as well as a record of some 60,000 civilian casualties of the Second World War provided without details of burial location. The cemeteries and memorials where these names are commemorated are located in over 150 countries. Provided freely on the Internet courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

8. Canada Archives Search
Search the index of over 600,000 Canadians enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914-1918) right online! An index to those WWI personnel files held by the National Archives, the CEF database also includes over 800,000 digital images of the original Attestation papers. Archivia Net, a service of the National Archives of Canada, also offers numerous other free genealogy databases, including the index to the 1871 Census of Ontario, 1901 Census of Canada, the Canadian Census of 1851, 1906 Census of the Northwest Provinces, Home Children, Dominion Land Grants, Immigration Records, and Colonial Archives.

9. Geneabios – Biographies for Genealogy
Search through thousands of bios of ordinary men and women posted by genealogists around the world, or post your own. A big plus is that this site, though small, links to most of the major online sources for biographical information to help you expand your search for biographies of your ancestors.

10. The Digital Archives of Norway
Are there Norwegian ancestors in your family tree? This joint project of the National Archives of Norway, the Regional State Archives of Bergen and the Department of History, University of Bergen offers online censuses (1660, 1801, 1865, 1875 and 1900), lists of Norwegians in U.S. censuses, military rolls, probate registers, church registers and emigrant records. There is also an English version.

11. Ancestry.com – Free Trial Membership
While Ancestry.com is a subscription genealogy service, they do offer a 14-day free trial, allowing you unlimited access to over 1 billion names! If you like what you see, they offer a variety of monthly and annual subscriptions. If not, you can cancel any time during your trial membership and owe nothing. Be aware that you will have to provide a credit-card number to access the free trial period and you will be charged for an annual subscription if you do not call to cancel before your free trial period has ended. And no, this is not an affiliate link.

12. British Columbia, Canada – Vital Records
Search for birth, marriage or death registrations in British Columbia, Canada for free. This free genealogy index covers all births from 1872-1899, marriages from 1872-1924, and deaths from 1872-1979. If you find a record in the index which you would like to request, you can do so by visiting the archives or another agency which holds the microfilms in person, or by hiring someone to do so for you.

13. 1901 Census for England & Wales
Search for free in this comprehensive name index to over 32 million individuals who lived in England and Wales in 1901. This free genealogy index includes the individual’s name, age, place of birth, and occupation. While the index is free, viewing transcribed data or a digitized image of the actual census record will cost you. A similar site is available for the 1911 UK Census.

14. Obituary Daily Times
A daily index of published obituaries from around the world, this free genealogy index grows by approximately 2500 entries per day, with obituaries dating back to 1995. This is just an index, so if you would like the actual obituary you will need to request a copy from a volunteer or track it down for yourself. You can access the list of indexed newspapers and publications here.

15. RootsWeb Surname List
A list or registry of over 1 million surnames from around the world, the RootsWeb Surname List (RSL) is a must-visit. Associated with each surname are dates, locations, and contact information for the person who submitted the surname. You can search this list by surname and location, and limit searches to recent additions. You can also add your own surnames to this list for free.

16. International Genealogical Index
A partial index to vital records from around the world, the IGI includes birth, marriage and death records from Africa, Asia, the British Isles (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Island and the Isle of Man), the Caribbean Islands, Central America, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, North America, South America, Europe, the Southwest Pacific and Sweden. Find dates and places of births, christenings, and marriages for more than 285 million deceased people. Many of the names were extracted from original records from the early 1500s to the early 1900’s. This free genealogy database is accessible through the FamilySearch.org Web site. More Information About the IGI

17. Canadian County Atlas Digital Project
Between 1874 and 1881, approximately forty county atlases were published in Canada, covering counties in the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec. This wonderful site includes a free genealogy database derived from these atlases, searchable by property owners’ names or by location. Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners’ names in the database.

18. USGenWeb Archives
Most people with United States ancestors know about the USGenWeb sites for each state and county in the U.S. What many people don’t realize, however, is that most of these states and counties have free genealogy records including deeds, wills, census records, cemetery transcriptions etc., available online through the efforts of thousands of volunteers – but you don’t have to visit each state or county site to look for your ancestor in these free records. These hundreds of thousands of online records across the United States can be searched through just one search engine!

19. US Social Security Death Index
One of the largest and easiest to access databases utilized for genealogical research in the United States, the SSDI contains over 64 million records of U.S. citizens who have died since 1962. From the SSDI you can find the following information: the date of birth, date of death, state where the Social Security number was issued, the individual’s residence at time of death and the location where the death benefit was mailed (next of kin).

20. Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1958
This free database from the Missouri State Archives offers a searchable index, plus actual certificate images for Missouri deaths 1910-1958. They also have a database of abstracts for Missouri births and deaths recorded prior to 1910.

21. The Genealogical Server (GenServ)
One of the first projects to share GEDCOM files over the Internet, GenServ has been online since 1991. Over 21 million individual’s names and data are held in over 15,300 different databases. You do have to pay a small fee for access to all of the databases but, in the spirit of free genealogy, you can add your database for free. Anyone interested is also entitled to one FREE surname search.

22. inGeneas Database
Free searchable databases containing 50,000+ Canadian passenger and immigration records (c1750 to 1900) including the only electronic version of the free National Archives of Canada Miscellaneous Immigration Index. For the passenger and immigration records, the free search will generate a list of records which meet your search criteria. Each record will include the name and age of the individual (if available), the year of the record and a description of the type of document from which the record was transcribed and what additionally information you would typically expect to find in records from that document. If you find a record which interests you, you can order a transcription from InGeneas.

23. Books We Own
Over 1500 volunteers are willing to provide free genealogy lookups in various genealogical books and resources which they either own or have access to. This master index directs you to the independently updated Books We Own pages, organized by locality.

24. Australian War Memorial
Search for free through several Australian military databases including: the Boer War Nominal Roll, details of over 17,000 service people in the Boer War; the First World War Nominal Roll, details of 324,000 members of AIF 1914-1918; the Commemorative Roll, details of about 3,000 commemorated Australians; and the Roll of Honour, details of over 102,000 of Australia’s war dead. Plus a database of over 200,000 military related photographs.

25. ARC – Archival Research Catalog
The U.S. National Archive’s replacement for NAIL, ARC offers free searches in many digital databases of interest to genealogists. Browse through this page, which is an assortment of links to information and data, and you’ll find links to free genealogy databases such as the Dawes Rolls; Enemy Alien Registration Affidavits; World War II Draft Registration; Casualty Lists from WWII, Korea and Vietnam; Indian Bounty Land Applications and Criminal Case Files.

26. Ellis Island Records
If you’re among the more than 40 percent of Americans with ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island, New York, this is a must visit site! The American Family Immigration History Center provides easy access to ships’ passenger manifest records for more than 22 million immigrants who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924. Once you locate your ancestor in the database you can view and print out digital copies of the original manifests as well as histories and photos of the ships which deposited these immigrants onto American soil. Having trouble locating your ancestor in the database? Try these tips for successful searching!

27. New South Wales Registry of Births, Marriages & Deaths
Are there Australian ancestors in your family tree? If they lived in New South Wales then there is a good chance you will find them in this free genealogy database of Births 1788-1905, Deaths 1788-1945 and Marriages 1788-1945.

28. FamilySearch – Free Census Search
A great boon to genealogists, this free genealogy database from the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) includes complete transcriptions of the 1880 U.S. Census, 1881 British Isles Census, and 1881 Canadian Census. Enter at least your deceased ancestor’s first or last name to search any one of these free census databases, or search across all three censuses at once.

29. Illinois State Archives
Search for your Illinois ancestors online thanks to these free genealogy databases available from the Illinois State Archives. Begin your search with the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index (1763-1900) and then move on to the Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, database of Servitude & Emancipation Records (1722-1863), a variety of Illinois veterans databases and a large collection of local county records including births, deaths, probate records, court records, and more!

30. Free Genealogy Lookups
This service, the mainstay of the Ancestral Findings Web site, allows you to request one FREE genealogy search per day in your choice of a wide range of historical records, including birth, marriage, census, land, military, and state records.

31. Archive.org
Known as the home of the Wayback Machine (good for finding cached copies of Web sites that are defunct or have moved), Archive.org also includes many great textual resources for genealogists from libraries across the country. Click on “Texts,” then “Additional Collections,” and then “Genealogy” to find free scanned copies of family histories, local histories and more.

32. Free BMD – England & Wales Vital Records
Volunteers have spent several years transcribing records for this free genealogy database, providing free Internet access to the Civil Registration index of births, marriages, and deaths from England and Wales for the period 1837-1983. Over 66 million unique records have been transcribed to date!

33. US Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
Find information on over 2,000,000 places, features, and areas in the United States, including federally recognized names and locations by state, county, and/or geographic coordinates. Looking for locations outside the U.S.? Then try these other great geographic place names sites.

34. Castle Garden Online
The free CastleGarden.org database, provided online by the New York Battery Conservancy, allows you to search by name and time period for immigrants who arrived in Castle Garden between 1830 and 1890.

35. Geneanet
What started as a small French genealogy research site, has blossomed into a worldwide genealogy network. This free genealogy database indexes over 85 million names on free genealogy Web sites from around the world, with the primary focus still on French ancestry. You can get a lot of information here for free, but there are advanced options that will cost you.

36. Family Tree Magazine – Free Genealogy Charts & Forms
Piles of books, a desk covered with sticky notes, boxes crammed with family photos and photocopied records… If this sounds like you then check out this veritable plethora of free forms and charts to assist you with getting and keeping your genealogy research organized – there is one here for pretty much any type of genealogical research! Can’t find what you need? Check out more free genealogy charts and forms.

37. Digital Library of Virginia
Important to millions of researchers with early American ancestors, this free digitized collection contains more than 2.2 million original documents, photographs, and maps from the states of Virginia and West Virginia. Of special note: Virginia Land Office Patents & Grants, a free genealogy database of Virginia patents and grants from 1623-1992 (includes images), digital images of 6,000+ family Bible records, and a fully searchable index of pre-1800 Virginia wills and administrations.

38. Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild
This group of dedicated volunteers has transcribed more than 5,000 ship passenger lists to date, citing over 1/2 million passenger arrivals – all available online for free genealogy research. Make sure to leave time for a visit to The Compass, a guide to further immigration research with links to other passenger lists on the Internet, information about specific ships, and resources for ports of entry and departure around the world.

39. Le Dictionnaire Tanguay
One of the major published sources for early French-Canadian genealogy, the Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes is a seven-volume work of the genealogies of early French-Canadian families published by Rev. Cyprian Tanguay in the late 1800s. It’s material begins about 1608 and extends to material at and shortly after the Exile (1760+/-).

40. Kentucky Vital Records
If only all of us could have Kentucky ancestors! Thanks to the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, over 3 million state vital records are available for free genealogy search including the Kentucky Death Index for 1911-1992, Marriage Index for 1973-1993 and Divorce Index for 1973-1993.

41. Emigrant Register – Finland Institute of Migration
The Emigrant Register was established in 1989 as a service for genealogists and the descendants of Finnish Emigrants. Sources include passport records (different years in different provinces), passenger records of the Finland Steamship Company (Suomen Höyrylaiva Osakeyhtiö), and information on Finns deceased abroad. Over 550,000 free genealogy records are available for online searching.

42. Family Search Research Helps
The FamilySearch Web site of the LDS Church offers more than just free genealogy databases. The extensive Research Helps section includes a series of wonderful research outlines which describe records and strategies that can be used to pursue family history research in regions and countries around the world. The Research Helps section also includes free maps, timelines, genealogical word lists and step-by-step research guides, as well as letter-writing guides to help you write letters requesting genealogical information from non-English speakers.

43. US Civil War Soldiers & Sailors
This free genealogy database contains basic facts about United States servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War; a list of regiments in both the Union and Confederate Armies; identifications and description of 384 significant battles of the war; and much more. Over 5 million soldiers names from over 30 US states and territories are currently available online for free searching.

44. Canadian Genealogy Centre
Serving as a gateway to electronic genealogical resources in Canada, this free genealogy and family history site contains several free genealogy databases – most notably the fully-searchable Canadian Naturalizations database of immigrants who received Canadian naturalization certificates, which were published in the Canada Gazette between 1915 and 1932, and the Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds.

45. Native American Genealogy
A wealth of information on America’s Native American tribes, this free genealogy site includes online indexes to the Final Rolls (Dawes Roll), Guion Miller Roll, Kern Clifton Roll, Wallace Roll, McKennon Roll, and Cooper Roll, as well as tips for searching these and other Native American census records.

46. German Military Grave Registration Service
This free German genealogy database contains more than 2 million names of missing and dead German soldiers from World War I and World War II. All that is necessary is a surname (nachname) to search. On the first visit you will be required to register with your name and address (Straße/Nr. – Street and Number, Land – Country, PLZ – Postal or Zip Code, and Ort – City) to view the search results.

47. Geneactes
Select a French département to access online databases containing free transcriptions of French civil registration records of birth, marriage, and death. Also available in English.

48. New Brunswick Provincial Archives – Online Research
The Web site of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Canada, is an excellent example of what we would all like online archives to be! A large number of free genealogy databases are available including John Lovell’s Canadian Directory for 1871, the Irish Famine Database, Index to Land Petitions 1783-1918, Index to County Birth Registers 1801-1899, Index to Provincial Registrations of Births 1900-1903, Index to New Brunswick Marriages 1887-1926, Index to Marriage Bonds 1810-1932, Land Grants 1765-1900, and New Brunswick cemeteries.

49. Utah Cemetery Burials Database
The Utah Cemetery Inventory project of the Utah State Historical Society includes a searchable database of over 600,000 burials in 321+ cemeteries. They hope to eventually have a listing of every person buried in the state of Utah!

50. Enciclopedia Heráldica Hispano-Americana
This free searchable genealogy database from the US Library of Congress indexes 88 volumes by Alberto and Arturo García Carraffa which cover Spanish Heraldry and over 15,000 names with their genealogical histories.

51. Distant Cousin
A reminder that we’re all distant cousins, this free genealogy site offers numerous searchable databases including ship passenger lists, city directories, alumni lists, cemeteries, birth, death, and marriage records. Simple navigation and whole site surname search make it easy to find what you need quickly.

52. Danish Emigration Archives
Compiled by the Danish Emigration Archives and The City Archives of Aalborg, this free genealogy database contains emigration lists compiled by the Copenhagen Police from 1869 to 1940. These lists give the name, last residence, age, year of emigration and first destination of the emigrant from Denmark. Currently, records are available for the years 1869 to 1908, covering 394,000 emigrants.

53. Cyndi’s List
Most of you have probably used this amazing free genealogy directory at least once, but I bet there is more left to explore. Cyndi and her team have categorized over 250,000 genealogy links into over 180 categories, with a majority of them pointing to free genealogy sites. Of special note are the sections on Surnames & Family Associations and Personal Genealogy Home Pages.

54. Greenville County, SC Historical Records
There are dozens of Web sites offering free South Carolina genealogy records, but I’m highlighting this one for the sheer number of digital records they’ve made available online, including deeds, wills, probate records and district court records. The records are in digital format only, but the indexes (when available) have also been digitized.

55. JewishGen Family Finder
If you have Jewish ancestry, then don’t miss this free genealogy database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by over 78,000 Jewish genealogists worldwide. Containing over 390,000 entries (including 100,000 ancestral surnames and 18,000 town names), it is indexed and cross-referenced by both surname and town name.

56. Archives Office of Tasmania
This wonderful archives site includes a free searchable index to Tasmanian wills and probate records, as well as an index to naturalization applications by non-British subjects for the period 1835-1905. Also included are Tasmanian divorce records, census records, photographs and a Colonial Tasmanian family links database.

57. Utah Census Search
Free genealogy search of Utah federal census indexes for the years 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880, are available in this easy-to-use search tool. Especially versatile, the database allows you to search for partial surnames (as few as the first two letters) and across all four census years.

58. My Cinnamon Toast
Serving as a gateway to free genealogy databases and surname sites on the Internet, My Cinnamon Toast specializes in one thing – surname search. Surnames from listed sites are stored in a special field, so that when you search for a surname, you are ONLY searching surnames, not first names, regions, occupations, or anything else. For example, when I search for CRISP, I actually get sites about the surname CRISP, not Web sites talking about “apple crisp” or “crisp toast.” Surname searches can also be narrowed down by region, religion, and record type – especially useful when you have a very common surname.

59. Olive Tree Genealogy
With over 1700 free genealogy databases on site, plus links to additional offsite databases, Olive Tree Genealogy can keep you pleasantly occupied for quite a while. Over 1,000 of these free genealogy databases are ship passenger list transcriptions, but there are also free military records, and specialized databases such as Loyalists and Mennonites. There are numerous links on the site to offsite subscription databases as well, but most of these are fairly well-marked, or located in the left and right-hand columns.

60. Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System
Search this free genealogy database for information on 170,000+ Michigan death records from 1867-1884. A project of the Michigan Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics, this free genealogy resource will eventually index death records to 1897.

61. Wisconsin Historical Society – Wisconsin Name Index
Search through more than 100,000 obituaries, personal sketches, and other short biographies of Wisconsin people gathered from 150 county and local histories, dozen of professional directories and biographical encyclopedias, more than 60 scrapbooks containing 30,000 obituaries, and selected articles in Wisconsin magazines and newspapers. The online index is free, but full-text copies of the original documents are available by mail for a fee.

62. FreeREG
Nearly 1 million baptism, marriage and burial records have been transcribed from parish and non-conformist church registers in the UK, and are available online for free viewing. A searchable database of these records is also in the works.

63. Scottish Documents
Enjoy free access to a fully searchable index of over 520,000 Scottish wills and testaments dating from 1500 to 1901. Full-color, actual-size digital images of the original documents are available for immediate online purchase from this not-for-profit site operated by the Scottish Archive Network.

64. AfriGeneas Library
As part of its excellent collection of African-American genealogy resources, AfriGeneas offers numerous free genealogy databases including a surnames database, slave manifests, deed abstracts, slave bills of sale, school rosters, and city directories. Click on “Records” to access even more free genealogy databases.

65. Obituary Central
If you’re looking for a death record in the U.S. or Canada, then this is a great place to start. The CemSEARCH tool allows keyword searching of your surnames through thousands of online cemetery inscriptions, while the Obituary Links page contains a comprehensive directory of links to online obituaries, cemetery inscriptions, and birth, marriage, and death notices, arranged by state and county.

66. Glossary of Last Name Meanings & Origins
Hundreds of surname meanings and origins are profiled in this free genealogy reference tool, along with popular spelling variations and related family trees. Includes common surnames of English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Jewish origin. You can also submit a free request to have your surname meaning researched and added to the glossary. No guarantees, though – surname meanings are not always able to be found.

67. Ireland-Australia Transportation Database
Free online searching is available for this database of records (transportation registers, petitions, etc.) relating to transportation of convicts from Ireland to Australia covering the period 1788 to 1868. In some cases these include records of members of convicts’ families transported as free settlers. It is important to note that all transportation registers compiled before 1836 were destroyed, so if the person you are researching was convicted before 1836, but was not the subject of a petition, he or she will not appear on this free genealogy database.

68. RootsWeb Mailing List Archives
Search or browse for genealogy tips, surname queries, and other helpful data, in this archives of thousands of free genealogy mailing lists, some going back as far as 10 years! Search by letter for geographic or surname specific lists or head over to the list of genealogy mailing lists organized by topic. When you just don’t have the time to manage subscriptions to dozens of different genealogy mailing lists, these archived posts are a wonderful way to check in periodically to see what’s new.

69. Galveston Immigration Database
Search by surname in this free computerized listing of immigrants to Galveston, Texas, from the Texas Seaport Museum. This free genealogy database includes names of passengers and members of their traveling parties, age, gender, occupation, country of origin, ship name, dates of departure and arrival, and destination in the United States. The ship database, covering a small number of ship arrivals, includes ship name, type of ship, master, home port of ship, arrival date at Galveston, port of departure, destination port, tonnage, number of immigrants, ship owner, and citation source.

70. The Olden Times – Historic Newspapers Online
Get a taste of what life was like for your ancestors in collection of digitized newspapers, scanned in from original issues of 18th, 19th and early 20th century newspapers from the US, England, Scotland, Australia, and Ireland. While fairly small, this intriguing collection includes obituaries, birth & marriage announcements, old news stories, old advertising, vintage recipes, cartoons and humor, and more. Browse by topic or search by surname.

71. Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
Over 4,000 generous individuals from around the world have volunteered to perform free genealogical tasks to help other genealogists, such as videotaping cemeteries, or visiting county courthouses or archives in their specified area. You WILL be expected to reimburse expenses incurred by the volunteers, such as copying fees and mailing expenses.

72. Australia – WWII Nominal Roll
Search by name, service number, honors, or location in this free genealogy database of service records from approximately one million individuals who served in Australia’s defense forces and Merchant Navy during World War Two (1939-1945). Once you find an individual service record you can create and print an unofficial certificate of service. You can also purchase a photocopy of the original World War II service record from the National Archives for a small fee.

73. Our Timelines – Timeline Creator
Enter an ancestor’s name and dates of birth and death to generate a free, personalized historical timeline of historical events, epidemics, etc. This site will generate a timeline for any date from 1000 AD to the current year, and the output can be included on your personal genealogy pages for free.

74. Free Genealogy Translations
Find volunteers willing to help you with free translations of genealogical documents in 27 different languages. This service, hosted on the FranceGenWeb site, is presented in French, but is still easy to use for people who don’t read French. Just select the language you need translation help with and click “Recherche” for a list of volunteers with contact information.

75. GenCircles – Global Tree
Founded by Cliff Shaw, GenCircles is a popular place for searching and submitting family trees. Over 32 million surnames can be searched for free and, if you’ve submitted your own GEDCOM file to GenCircles Global Tree, you can use “matching technology” to pair the people in your pedigree with those already on file.

76. Ohio Death Certificate Index
Over 2 million death records can be searched in this database of individuals that died in Ohio during the years 1913-1944. Indexed from Death Certificates held by the Ohio Office of Vital Statistics, this free genealogy database is hosted online by the Ohio Historical Society.

77. Census Links
Browse thousands of links to free birth, death, marriage and census transcriptions on the Internet. Primarily U.S. focused, this free census search site organizes free online transcriptions from Rootsweb and other genealogy databases in one easy-to-browse site. One thing I appreciate about this site is that affiliate links to genealogy subscription sites are very well-marked, and not interspersed in as text links with all the free census links.

78. 1851 Scottish Census & Other Records
Search for your Scottish ancestors in this free index to the 1851 census returns for all the parishes of Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire in Scotland. Other free Scottish databases hosted on this site include Shipping Registers, Chamberlain’s Accounts, and an index to Jail and Bail Bond Books of Dumfries.

79. North Dakota Naturalization Records Database
Compiled by the State Historical Society of North Dakota, this free genealogy index of North Dakota naturalizations is complete for all counties and contains over 212,000 name entries. Find information on your naturalized ancestor, including country of emigration, dates of the “First Papers” (declaration of intention) and “Second Papers” (naturalization), and the county district court where the proceedings occurred. Photocopies of the naturalization papers can be obtained for a fee from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

80. Avotaynu Consolidated Jewish Surname Index
A free gateway to information on more than 500,000 different surnames, primarily Jewish, the free CJSI helps determine which of 34 different databases have Jewish names of interest. The index, referencing over 2 million entries, is entirely free, but access to the actual referenced databases varies (some are immediately accessible on the Internet, some are in published books, and others are on microfiche).

81. Bremen Passenger Lists 1920-1939
While most passenger lists from Bremen, Germany, no longer survive, almost 3,000 have been preserved for the years 1920-1939. A project of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce and Bremen-based genealogical society Die Maus, over 200,000 names from these lists have been transcribed into this free genealogy database of Europeans emigrating through Bremen to the New World.

82. .My Trees
Normally a pay-for-use subscription database, Kindred Konnections offers a free genealogy alternative – an Extraction Project offers you free genealogy search time in their subscription-only genealogy databases in exchange for helping them to extract names and dates from original source documents. Once you sign up (it’s free), Kindred Konnections will provide you with a link to an online source document. It will take about 5 minutes maximum for you to type in the names and dates from one document, and for that 5 minutes of your time, they will grant you one free hour in the subscription database area of the site where you can access over 1 billion names in their pedigree-linked archive as well as millions of other marriage, birth, death and census records, White Page Directories, and the imaged documents that have already been extracted. Unlimited hours of free subscription time are available through the Extraction Project.

83. Japanese Immigrants to the United States, 1887-1924
A record of early Japanese immigrants to the U.S., this free searchable genealogy database focuses primarily on first-generation Japanese immigrants in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. The data was collected from manuscript censuses, cemetery records, obituaries, and local historians.

84. Bygones
This free genealogical research note-taking software helps you stay organized without paper by allowing you to keep genealogical research notes on your computer. Not intended as a replacement for your family tree software, Bygones replaces standard genealogical note keeping forms, such as paper research logs, correspondence logs, etc., with computer versions of these forms (which can be printed out for your paper files for those of you who really like paper clutter!).

85. Find Your Family Tree
This free genealogy Web site, sponsored by Progeny Software, is designed to help you find missing branches of your family tree using Pedigree Resource File (PRF), a rapidly expanding collection of family trees (containing over 65 million names) submitted by people worldwide to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Once you’ve found your ancestor, order the PRF CD (sold by the Church of Jesu Christ of Latter-day Saints at cost) that contains this branch of your family tree in order to view and print entire family trees as well as see full family groups with siblings and cousins.

86. A Very Grave Matter
If you have Colonial New England ancestors, then don’t miss this collection of photographs and historical information from colonial cemeteries and gravestones of New England, including southern Maine, southern New Hampshire, and northeast Massachusetts. Dozens of cemeteries are transcribed here, with accompanying photos.

87. Cousin Connect
Search by surname or browse by region to find genealogy and surname queries posted by researchers around the world. You can also connect with new cousins by posting free genealogy queries of your own, which can be easily edited or updated at any time. Unique to genealogy query sites, CousinConnect also offers a free email notification service which will send you an e-mail whenever a new genealogy query, matching your specified parameters, gets added to the site.

88. Irish Newspaper Announcements, 1817-1823
Find your ancestors in this free genealogy index of over 15,000 birth, marriage, and death announcements from Irish newspapers. Free index material includes the basic details (names, date, event), and copies of the original notice can be purchased for a small fee.

89. California Death Records 1940-1997
Over 9 million death certificates are indexed in this free genealogy database hosted by RootsWeb. Search by surname, first name, mother’s maiden name, birth date, death date, or location to find details on your California ancestors.

90. Indiana Naturalization Database
Search this free genealogy database to find information on naturalizations in Indiana prior to 1951, including Surname, first name, nationality, date of arrival, and county book and page location. A complete naturalization record may be obtained by contacting the Indiana State Archives. This free database includes naturalizations from the following counties: Blackford, Dubois, Elkhart, Floyd, Hamilton, Hancock, Henry, Howard, Jefferson, Marshall, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Randolph, Switzerland, Union, Wayne, and Whitley.

91. Manitoba Vital Statistics
Searchable by last name, first name, city, or date, this free genealogy database allows you to search for information on births (more than 100 years ago), marriages (more than 80 years ago), and deaths (more than 70 years ago) which took place and were registered in the province of Manitoba, Canada. Copies of the original certificates can be ordered from Vital Statistics for a fee.

92. Dear Myrtle’s Family History Hour
You’ve used the Internet to search for surnames, make cousin connections, and maybe even take a genealogy class or two… But have you ever listened to an Internet Genealogy Radio Show? Hosted by Pat Richley, affectionately known as Myrt to her readers and listeners, DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour offers a free hour of genealogy tips, special guests, and even door prizes each Tuesday evening.

93. GenForum
Notable for its active message boards, GenForum, operated by MyFamily.com, allows you to post, browse, search, and read queries on message boards covering thousands of different topics – including geographic locations and individual surnames. Membership isn’t necessary to read messages, but to post queries or receive email notification when someone replies to you, you’ll need to complete a free registration form.

94. DAR Patriot Index Volunteer Lookup Service
If you’re interested in learning if your ancestor is recognized by the DAR as a Revolutionary War Patriot, complete this free request form and the DAR volunteers will be happy to check for you at no charge. Containing the names of Revolutionary patriots, both men and women, whose service (between 1775 and 1783) has been established by the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, the DAR Patriot Index may provide such useful information as dates and places of birth and death, name(s) of wife (wives) or husband(s), rank, type of service, and the State where the patriot lived or served. If pension papers are known to exist, that fact will also be included.

95. WWI U.S. Draft Registrations
On three designated registration days in 1917 and 1918, approximately 24-million U.S. civilian men born between 1872 and 1900 provided information for draft registration cards. More than 80% of these civilians received exemptions or deferrals, and so NEVER went into the military and will NOT have military records! Over 1 million of these WWI Draft Registration records have been included in this free genealogy database, covering all registrants born 1872-1900 from about 15% of U.S. counties.

96. Pennsylvania Digital Archives
Over 600,000 records have already been digitized by the Pennsylvania Archives Records Information Access System, including the Civil War Veterans’ Card File 1861-1866, Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File, Mexican Border Campaign Veterans’ Card File, World War I Service Medal Application Cards, Spanish American War Veterans’ Card File of United States Volunteers, and Militia Officers Index Cards, 1775-1800. Each archive group has to be searched separately, but the results include digital copies of the original documents!

97. Newspaper Abstracts
Organized by state and county, this free genealogy site focuses on United States newspapers published prior to 1923. Articles from other countries, including Canada and Ireland, are limited to 1900 and earlier. Published abstracts include any newspaper items that include names of individuals, details on the community, etc. The number of documents varies widely by region, as this site is 100% volunteer supported.

98. Maryland State Archives – Free Genealogy Indexes
A bit tough to find, there are a lot of free genealogy goodies tucked into the corners of the Maryland State Archives site. Search for your Maryland ancestor in Free Census Indexes covering selected counties for 1776, 1778, 1870, and 1880, or in the Church Records, Deaths, & Burials Index with records from select Maryland churches for the years 1662-1967.

99. Digital Library of Historical Directories
Leicester University provides this digital archive of a selection of 18th, 19th and 20th century local and trade directories for England and Wales. National coverage has been provided for three date ranges – the 1850s, 1890s, and 1910-1920 – with one digitized directory from each period selected for each county and main county town. You can even search by surname across all directories!

100. Oregon Historical Records Index
Provides free index access to surname and other entries compiled from a selected list of records held by the Oregon State Archives. Over 400,000 entries document Oregon births, deaths, marriages, naturalizations, census entries, military records, and more.

101. Google Advanced Search – Google Search Tips for Genealogists
I doubt there is anyone reading this who hasn’t used Google for genealogy searches, but I bet there are a few Google tricks you haven’t tried yet. Arguably the most powerful and comprehensive search engine available, Google provides many advanced features, allowing you to search within Web sites, locate photos of your ancestors, bring back dead sites, and track down missing relatives.

About these ads

2 responses to “101 Ways to Research Your Family Tree for Free

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s