A ton of genealogy and family history research can be done for free. In this episode I’ll share 15 fabulous free websites and what I love about them. These are essential for everyone serious about saving money while climbing their family tree.
(Get your ad-free Show Notes Cheat Sheet at the bottom of this page in the Resources section.)
Episode 77 Show Notes
1. Genealogy records – Familysearch
- Free account
- Download and print
- Historical records
- Digitized Books
- Browse Images
2. Books, Magazines & Newspapers – Google Books
- 10 million free digitized book
- Google’s newspaper collection
- City directories
- County histories
- Court records
- Government reports…
Tip: Use the Tools button on the results page to reveal the filter menu. Filter your results down to just full digitized and searchable books by selecting Full View.
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 30.
3. Records – Find free records at Ancestry
Website: tinyurl.com/lisaancestryfree (affiliate link)
- Use the link to zero in on only free records
- All types of genealogical records!
- Use fields to search just the free records and free indexes.
- Free Trial available
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 17.
4. Burial Records – Find a Grave
- over 170 million burial records.
- birth, death, and burial information
- many submissions include additional biographical details (possibly an obituary) and information about spouses, children and parents.
- Name fields:
? replaces one letter.
- * represents zero to many letters. g. Lars?n or Wil*
- Search for an exact birth/death year or select a range, before or after.
Select “More search options” to:
- Search for a memorial or contributor by ID.
- Include the name of a spouse, parent, child or sibling in your search.
- Use partial name search or similar name spellings to catch alternate spellings or broaden your search.
- Narrow your results to famous, Non-Cemetery Burials, memorials with or without grave photos and more.
5. Free downloadable worksheets – Family Tree Magazine
- 5 Generation Ancestor Chart
- Family Group Sheets
- Ancestor Research Worksheet
- Records Checklists
- Family Relationship Chart
- Online Search Tracker
- Ancestor Surname Variant Chart
- Oral History Interview Worksheet
- S. Census Checklist
- Genealogy Source Documentation Guide
6. Resources & Information – US Gen Web
- Free, volunteer organization for 25 years
- Organized by State then Organized by County
- Free guidance from experienced researchers in that area
- Links to free records
7. Resources & Information – FamilySearch Wiki
- Organized by country, state, county…
- Provides an overview
- Directs you to where known records are located
- Alerts you to pitfalls and tips from experts at the FHL
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 64.
8. Passenger Lists – Ellis island Website
- Passenger lists images & transcriptions
- Photos of Ships
- the Wizard
- One page form
Snagit Clipping Tool: Here’s our link for purchasing your copy of Snagit (screen clipping tool) Thank you for using our link. Use coupon code GENEALOGY15 to get 15% off. (We will be compensated at no additional cost to you, which makes the free Elevenses with Lisa show and notes possible.)
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 34.
9. Books, Images, Videos – Internet Archive
- Old webpages
- Audio Recordings
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 43.
10. Photo Identification – Dead Fred photos
- A place to post photos for potential identification
- Reunite orphaned photos with families
- Find old family photos
11. Military Records – Soldiers and Sailors
“Cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans’ understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible.
- Men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.
- Histories of Union and Confederate regiments.
- Links to descriptions of significant battles.
- Selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records.
Learn more: Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 149.
12. Postcards & Newspapers – Old Fulton Postcards
- Started as New York post cards
- Expanded into newspapers
- Now boasts “Search over 41,433,000 Historical
Newspaper Pages from the USA & Canada”
- Take the time to visit the Help & FAQ section
- Visit the Old Fulton New York Post Cards page at the FamilySearch Wiki.
13. Newspapers – Chronicling America
- Newspaper Directory (1690-present)
- Digitized Newspapers (1777-1963)
- Image search with Newspaper Navigator
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 26.
14. Land Records – BLM GLO
- Land Patents
- Land Surveys
- Legal Land Descriptions
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 67
15. Video – YouTube
- Home Movies
(search by surname,
“old home movie”, locations)
- Old Newsreels
- Local TV station coverage
Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 58.
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