List of Free Websites for Family History Research
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List of Free Websites for Family History Research

Genealogy and family research has become a popular hobby and consuming interest. Finding free websites that hold the information about family immigration, marriage, birth, death, and descendants is critical for researchers.

If you have become interested in researching your family history, there is good news: Genealogy on the internet is abundant and free. The Mormon Church, officially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Salt Lake City, Utah, hold the largest collection of genealogical data in the world. They are very generous with their holdings, and it is available free on the internet and at Family History Library sites all over the country. They have subscriptions to the sites, like Ancestry.com and Genealogy.com that require a fee, but you are welcome to use their computers on-site for free. You can also request microfilm or microfiche copies of books and documents to be sent to the local Family History Library where you can read and review them, again, at no cost. If you want to make a paper copy, there will be a nominal fee. These libraries are staffed by volunteers who are knowledgeable in use of the equipment and procedures. Check for hours of operation.

Rootsweb.com is a free site that has much searchable information. With nothing but a family name, it is possible to search many family trees and a multitude of records. Rootsweb.com is allied with Ancestry.com, but there is no charge for the Rootsweb.com service. One of the most productive aspects of Rootsweb.com is the collection of databases available for search. The databases are private collections maintained by individuals who are interested in genealogy and history. They often contain family stories, pictures, and reunion information.

Cyndi’s List is a free genealogy site that contains a searchable list of free sites. The sites contain a wide assortment of historical and family information. They may include the origin and meaning of names, a narrative of historical events, national and international resources, Native American resources, and a host of others.

Each state maintains a historical site. These are searchable and free. The states will provide copies of documents like land grants for a fee. They may also have a list of look-up volunteers that will search in hard copies of records maintained at the state capital. You should expect to pay expenses of the volunteers and reimburse for copies.

USGenweb.org is a free site that is divided by states and counties. They also have special projects that include the Census project, the Tombstone project, the United States digital map project, the Pension project, the Church Records project, the Obits project, the Immigration project, and the Marriage project. They are adding records and projects continually.

With family history you must begin with what you know and work backwards from there. Add all the details you can, such as cities, towns, jobs, and dates of marriage, birth, death, schools attended, and names of relatives or even friends or neighbors. These sites are a valuable resource. Become familiar with them and return to them frequently because more is being added every day. See the links below.

Seven Onsite Sources for Family History Researchers

How to Begin a Family History

How to Use the Heritage Quest Online Website for Family Research

How to Search USGenWeb.org for Family History Details

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Comments (3)
Ranked #5 in Genealogy

I love your family research articles! I am trying to find out info on some of my maternal grandpa's family and have come against some road blocks. I have used the mormon site extensively and have dabbled with rootsweb and a few other places that were specific to the region of the world I was researching. So time consuming, but worth getting info (when I can).

Ranked #1 in Genealogy

Thanks for reading and responding. I apprciate you.

Ranked #5 in Genealogy

Hi Gayle, Gosh I feel like it's been eons since I wrote that above comment! I just want to tell you how here in the past few months I have noticed an explosion of information come through on familysearch.org - I don't know if they finally updated their database for the year, or if it is because of the new decade? Either way, I suddenly got quite a jump on finding info! It led me to write my own genealogy article today. :-) Natasha

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