15 Freebies for Genealogy

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.

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Episode 77 Show Notes 

1. Genealogy records – Familysearch

Website: https://www.familysearch.org/en/

Features:

  • Free account
  • Download and print
  • Historical records
  • Digitized Books
  • Browse Images
  • Trees

2. Books, Magazines & Newspapers – Google Books

Website: https://books.google.com

Features:

  • 10 million free digitized book
  • Google’s newspaper collection
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Almanacs
  • 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)

Features:

  • 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

Website: https://www.findagrave.com

Features:

  • 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.  

Search Tips:

  • 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

Website: https://www.familytreemagazine.com/FREEFORMS/

Features:

  • 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

Website: https://usgenweb.org/

Features:

  • 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

Website: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki

Features:

  • 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

Website: https://heritage.statueofliberty.org/passenger

Features:

  • Passenger lists images & transcriptions
  • Photos of Ships

Search by:

  • name
  • 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

Website: https://archive.org

Features:

  • Old webpages
  • Books
  • Images
  • Records
  • Audio Recordings
  • Storage
  • Videos

Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 43.

10. Photo Identification – Dead Fred photos

Website: https://deadfred.com

Features:

  • A place to post photos for potential identification
  • Reunite orphaned photos with families
  • Find old family photos

11. Military Records – Soldiers and Sailors

Website: https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm

“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.

free website for military

11. Soldiers and Sailors Database

Features:

  • 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

Website: https://fultonhistory.com/

Features:

  • Started as New York post cards
  • Expanded into newspapers
  • Now boasts “Search over 41,433,000 Historical
    Newspaper Pages from the USA & Canada” 

Tips:

  • 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

Website: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

Features:

  • Newspaper Directory (1690-present)
free newspaper website

13. Chronicling America: the Newspaper Directory

  • Digitized Newspapers (1777-1963)
  • Image search with Newspaper Navigator

Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 26.

14. Land Records – BLM GLO

Website: https://glorecords.blm.gov

Features:

  • Land Patents
  • Land Surveys
  • Legal Land Descriptions

Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 67

15. Video – YouTube

Website: https://www.youtube.com

Features:

  • Home Movies
    (search by surname,
    “old home movie”, locations)
  • Old Newsreels
  • Local TV station coverage
  • Documentaries

Learn more: Elevenses with Lisa episode 58.

Resources

Questions and Comments

Please leave your questions and comments below. 

Video #2 of our 25 Websites for Genealogy!

VIDEO & SHOW NOTES: Video #2 of our 25 Websites for Genealogy Playlist. In this video, my guest presenter Gena Philibert-Ortega covers top genealogy finding aids and society websites that are must-have for family history research. Even though some sound specific to a certain area, don’t be fooled. They have resources available for all genealogists.

Websites 5 through 12 of our 25  Websites for Genealogy

I’m Gina Philibert Ortega, and welcome to 25 Websites for Genealogy, What I’d like to do is talk to you about websites that are must-haves for your genealogical research. 

Some of these websites will be new to you, and others are going to be very familiar to you. In talking about the familiar websites, I want to get you thinking about them differently, explain a little bit more about what you can do at these websites, and how to get the most out of them.

In this series of 25 Websites for Genealogy, we’re going to be looking at websites in different categories. Our second category is the Finding Aids & Society Websites (#5 through 12). 

Download the ad-free Show Notes cheat sheet for this video here. (Premium Membership required.)

Websites #5: Cyndi’s List

https://www.cyndislist.com 

Cyndi’slist is a free genealogy website with more than 317,000 genealogy links, categorized & cross-referenced, in more than 200 categories.

Website #6: Linkpendium

https://www.linkpendium.com 

Linkpendium provides links to free and subscription websites that can help you with your genealogical research. The directory includes 10,000,000+ links to information about families around the world as well as helpful information about U.S. states and counties. The site emphasizes free resources provided by libraries, government agencies, genealogical and historical societies, and individuals.

Website #7: Conference Keeper

https://conferencekeeper.org

ConferenceKeeper.org is the most complete genealogy calendar of events anywhere!  Here you will find thousands of genealogy webinars, seminars, conferences, workshops, podcasts and more, from genealogy societies, libraries, and other organizations all around the world.

Website #8: New England Historic Genealogical Society (American Ancestors) 

https://www.americanancestors.org

AmericanAncestors.org databases include 1.4+ billion records for the United States, the British Isles, and continental Europe. And according to the website it also features:

  • one of the most extensive online collections of early American genealogical records,
  • the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines,
  • and the only online source for records from Boston’s Catholic Archdiocese.

Learn More: Early American Ancestor Records with NEHGS

Website #9: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

https://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org

Founded in 1869, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society provides access to genealogical records, journals, periodicals, special collections, digital books and other free resources. In addition, they host educational events. 

Website #10: National Genealogical Society

https://ngsgenealogy.org

Known for its annual genealogical conference, NGS also features an online Learning Center and special features available to subscribing members. 

Website #11: African American Historical and Genealogical Society

https://www.aahgs.org

From the website: “AAHGS provides content-rich resources to aid in the research, study, and exploration of African American history and genealogy.”

Website #12: The Foundation for East European Family History Studies

https://feefhs.org

The Foundation for East European Family History Studies is an international organization that provides education and resources to support Eastern and Central European genealogical research. 

Resources:

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