10 Free Genealogy Sites You Need To Check Out!

By | August 24, 2017

Want to know how to find your ancestors for free? Then check out my guide to 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.

10 Free Genealogy Sites

While I was trying to decide on this list of 10 absolutely 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 That You Need To Check Out!

Before you do go ahead and check out these 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.

Family Tree Quotes

These sites are 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.

Records that you can find include:

  • 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 really 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 really useful as the writing is not always clear from the image.

I really like this site because it shows you the generosity of fellow genealogy researchers. There are hundreds of thousands 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. Why not?

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. DeadFred

This is another website that has benefited from the many volunteers that have uploaded their own family photographs. Online since 2001 the DeadFred 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 thousands of identified photos within the collection but there 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 it 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. FamilySearch

I have mentioned this free genealogy site a number of times on this site. I have searched their database many times and have found a number of records containing my ancestors.

The FamilySearch website contains the largest collection of free genealogical records in the world. Their databases contains 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 going to a paid site and handing over my hard-earned money. Would you want to do that? No, I don’t think so.

5. FindAGrave

This is another free website where you can find pictures of your ancestors headstone. Although their collection is not as big as BillionGraves they do have millions of grave pictures for you to search through. 162 million of 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 really does help it 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.

6. FreeBMD

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.

Prior to 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 maybe a chance that you may not find your ancestors. It is always worth checking though as you may be lucky.

7. FreeCEN

This free resource began in 1999 and is part of the Free UK Genealogy family that also gives to 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 to 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 of 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.

8. RootsWeb

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 with the websites that I have already discussed this website benefits by 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,
  • Maps,
  • 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.

10. WikiTree

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 mitochrondrial (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 think that this post will be helpful to others then please share it with friends and family using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

8 thoughts on “10 Free Genealogy Sites You Need To Check Out!

  1. KD Forsman

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I gave up on building my family tree through ancestry.com when they starting charging for the service. Given that it was something I was doing for my own enjoyment, their pricing seemed awfully steep for the amount of use I would get from it. It’s great to know there’s some free options out there. Cheers, Karen

    1. Owain Post author

      There are plenty of free resources out there, you just need to know where to look. And that’s where this post comes in handy.

      As for Ancestry I know what you’re saying about the price. But I do have a tip that you could possibly use. You could go to your local library and access their computers. Most libraries have an Ancestry subscription so you could access their records for FREE!

  2. Tanya

    What a great niche! I hope you find that it is larger than your dreams because there are a lot of people out there who would like to study their family. As Karen pointed out, some of the available resources are not so free, with extremely high prices. Your site is a great resource even beyond the free sites. Thanks also for your tip about using the library. That is good to know. Tanya

    1. Owain Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words Tanya. When I first started to trace my family history I just didn’t know which way to turn. So that is why I decided to create this site, to show people where they can get the information to help them build their family tree.

      There are a lot of resources out there and one thing that I encourage is to check the free ones out first. You will obviously save yourself money that could otherwise have been spent on certain things that do require money, i.e. genealogy software programs.

      Thanks again for your kind words. Keep checking back for more useful information from me 🙂

  3. Allan

    I have used Family Search for years. I am surprised that there are so many other free sites out there. I will have to check them out and build my family tree some more. It is great to see someone take their passion for genealogy and created a website.

    1. Owain Post author

      There are plenty of free sites out there and with the help of this guide I can show you where to look.

      When you start out on your family history journey you want to do it on the cheap, preferably for free. And I know what that’s like because I was like that when I first started to trace my own Ancestry.

      So yeah please check the sites in this guide, and also the rest of this site for more helpful guides and tips.

  4. Melissa

    I will definitely be bookmarking and sharing this article. I am sure a lot of tried to build our family trees and may have even tried ancestry.com but for me paying for the limited info I got wasn’t worth it. I can’t wait to tell my mom about these sites. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Owain Post author

      You’re welcome Melissa. There is plenty in this post that will keep your mom occupied.

      I wish her all the best on her family history journey.


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