Be aware of the many free genealogy websites that are on the internet. There are probably hundreds of these sites. Here might lie a treasure trove of information if you know where to look. Many of the free genealogy websites are not very helpful while others (the minority) can get you the information you are craving. Discover information about relatives who are long gone, find out how far back in your family’s history you can delve, and be amazed at what you can discover without having to pay for any of it!
One of the most common things you can find, free of charge, on a family history website is the ability to construct your own family’s history tree. This can often be in many different forms It can look like a traditional family tree, with branches and leaves to represent the varying generations and how they are related. Or it can be in a more linear format among other variations.
Try the U.S. National Archives. Here you will encounter census information, immigration records, military records and more. This is a very detailed web site where many researchers go to for their information. Bypass many of the steps involved with going to other websites and go here first!
When you look at www.archives.com, you will have the opportunity to enter your name and search for available genealogy records. With this tool, you have access to one week’s free trial to look up the available records of your relatives. Ancestry.com has a similar trail offer.
Other free ancestry search sites are also on the web if you look hard enough. Try Access Genealogy on the internet. Here you will be able to link to some valuable research resources such as military records, personal letters, census records and more.
Olive Tree Genealogy is another great resource. If your ancestors emigrated to the United States from abroad, the site lets you look up the names on ships’ passenger lists. Thinking of passenger lists, if your ancestors arrived in New York by boat, try the Ellis Island web site. There you can also view passenger lists, with names, gender, age, and much more personal information. You can also purchase a copy of the list with your ancestor’s name listed!
A group of volunteers run the US Gen Web Project. This website is not for profit and gives everyone free access to the information listed. It is organized according to county and state, with links to state ancestry websites linking you to the counties you need. Considering that this site is made possible by the volunteers involved, it is quite the gem.
If, like most Americans, your ancestry can be traced to other countries in the world, try looking at the WorldGenWeb Project. This is similar to the US Gen Web Project, but takes you further and further into your family’s past, going to the country of origin and then on to the town or city within the country.