Do you want to know how to find your ancestors for free? Then check out my guide to the 10 free genealogy sites that you should be looking at.
There is plenty of free information already out there. The trouble is where do you find it?
And that is where this guide comes in.
How do I order this list anyway?!
While I was trying to decide on this list of 10 free genealogy search sites one thing was troubling me. And that was ordering it. How do I even do that?
Well, I couldn’t.
So, I decided the best way to present this list would be in alphabetical order. I think that that makes sense, don’t you?
The 10 Free Genealogy Sites
When you have checked out these free sites why not have a look around The Genealogy Guide.
There are plenty of guides, tips, and reviews for you to check out. And the best part of it is that my advice is completely FREE!
My Top 10 Free Genealogy Sites!
Before you do go ahead and check out these free genealogy search sites there is just one more thing that I need to say.
As with any free resource, you must be prepared that you may not even find your ancestors on these sites, or the information may be limited.
This list of the best free genealogy search websites is maintained and updated by private researchers and volunteers.
Even though you may not find your ancestor there is a chance that their record will be added one day in the future.
So, it is always worthwhile for you to keep checking back on these sites.
Why not bookmark this post so you can always refer to it whenever you like?
1. Access Genealogy
Online since 1999 this site claims to contain “the largest collection of free genealogy material for your United States research“. This site allows you to search hundreds of thousands of sites and ultimately therefore billions of names.
It has over 240,000 links which makes it the largest directory of genealogy records online.
Access Genealogy is essentially a portal to the free records containing your ancestors that you can find online.
Through this site, you will find many transcribed records.
- African American records,
- Cemetery records,
- Census records,
- Family trees,
- Genetic genealogy (DNA),
- Military records (including Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War),
- Native American records,
- Vital records, and
- Much, much more.
The best part of this website is the research material that you can find on your Native American ancestors.
This sets it apart from other sites where you can find a lot of information.
2. Billion Graves
As the name suggests this site contains the largest collection of headstone images to be found online.
Not only will you find pictures of headstones but there is also a transcription as well. In my opinion, this is useful as the writing is not always clear from the image.
I like this site because it shows you the generosity of fellow genealogy researchers. There are 100,000s of volunteers that have taken pictures all over the world.
The website makes it easy for you as well as they have a BillionGraves app that you can download.
You can then do your bit and give back to the genealogy world.
But if you do not have a smartphone, (yes, believe it or not, some people don’t), then you can either transcribe the headstones or link these images to records found on FamilySearch, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage.
Or if you’re very generous you can do both.
3. Dead Fred
This is another website that has benefited from the many volunteers that have uploaded their family photographs.
Online since 2001 the Dead Fred site has amassed a collection of over 125,000 images that are spread over 19,000 surnames.
You can search through the images by surname or by using a detailed search where you can select the state or country.
If you do find a photo of your ancestor on the site then you can receive it for free.
There are 1,000s of identified photos within the collection but there are also mystery ones as well.
So, identifying one of these can help other resources find their ancestors.
If you do have any old family photographs then why not add them to this site. One tip that the site recommends that you do is to add keywords to your photos.
This will make it easier for fellow researchers to find the photos that they are looking for.
4. Family Search
I have mentioned this free genealogy site several times on this site. I have searched their database many times and have found many records containing my ancestors.
The Family Search website contains the largest collection of free genealogical records in the world.
Their databases contain millions of records and billions of names. So, there is a very good chance that you may find your ancestors among the records.
I must admit though that because it is a free resource the chances of you finding your ancestors are not always great.
Sometimes I have not always found the records that I was hoping to find.
But still, this is a great place to start your search online. I would rather check this site out first than go to a paid site and hand over my hard-earned money.
Would you want to do that?
No, I don’t think so.
5. Find A Grave
This is another free website where you can find pictures of your ancestors’ headstones.
Although their collection is not as big as BillionGraves they do have millions of grave pictures for you to search through.
190 million graves to be exact!
Their collection of pictures have been contributed by volunteers all over the world. There are also transcriptions of the graves as well.
You can search for graves by surname, location, or by entering birth or death dates.
Again similar to the BillionGraves website you can do your bit and transcribe the headstones that have been submitted by the volunteers.
I think that this is a great initiative and it does help to make it a great resource for any family historian.
One interesting and fun feature of this site, (and that sets it apart from BillionGraves), is that it has a Famous Grave Search feature.
Here you can enter the name of a celebrity and who knows you may find a picture of their grave.
If you are looking for records containing your British ancestors then this website is for you.
Here you will find transcriptions of Civil Registrations such as births, marriages, and deaths for both England and Wales.
Before 1837 parish registers would hold information regarding these events. Then in 1837, these events had to be registered, (although you can still find them in parish registers past this date).
Again this site is completely free and prospers due to the help from the many dedicated volunteers that have contributed to it.
You will find records for the years 1837 through to 1983, but as you can imagine there are many records and so there may be a chance that you may not find your ancestors.
It is always worth checking though as you may be lucky.
This free resource began in 1999 and is part of the Free UK Genealogy family that also gives you FreeBMD.
And like the previous site that I have just described here you can find your British ancestors completely free.
FreeCen is a collection of UK censuses for the years 1841 through 1891. Again this site is helped by the many volunteers who transcribe these census records and upload them.
You can search for your ancestor by selecting whichever census you want and then by entering what information about your ancestor that you know.
So, for example, you can enter their surname, first name, marital status, age, birth year, and so on.
As you can imagine there are many, many census records for the transcribers to sift through so there is a chance that you may not find your ancestors within the records.
But as I have stated before it is always worth checking because you just never know.
RootsWeb is the Internet’s oldest and largest free genealogical community. Although this site is funded and supported by Ancestry it is still a free resource for the family historian.
Similar to the websites that I have already discussed this website benefits from the interaction and help from the many members.
You can search for free the family trees that other members have uploaded to its database. That is just a great feature that I like with RootsWeb.
Also, if you have any genealogy or family history query then you can always get help from the message board.
Just post your query and you will surely get a response.
What you can find on RootsWeb:
- Family trees submitted by other members,
- Free records containing your surname,
- Message boards,
- Search engines and databases, and
- Much, much more
9. US GenWeb Project
Another website that has benefited from the many volunteers that have helped make this site what it is today.
Established way back in 1996 the site’s volunteers provide you with free genealogy help and information from every U.S. state and county.
The project website is a gateway to thousands of sites where you can find information for the state or county that you are researching.
What can you find at US GenWeb:
- County and state histories,
- Listings of local sources for records,
- Links to helpful Internet resources,
- Online genealogy books,
- Query boards,
- Research tips, and
- Much, much more.
You can always do your bit and volunteer your services. Or you may offer your help by notifying the owners that there may be a bad link or an error.
Created in 2008 this is another community website. Here you will find family trees that have been submitted by its users.
Through using a genealogy software program the many users will have created a GEDCOM file that can then be uploaded to the site.
Once then someone has uploaded this file the website will then compare the data with any existing profiles on their site.
This helps to eliminate the creation of duplicated material. Pretty smart stuff.
Not only can users upload their family trees but also results from their Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) and mitochondrial (mtDNA) tests.
This can help scientifically confirm the relationships within their family tree.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this post listing free genealogy sites that I recommend for you to check out. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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