There will be times when you need to spend your money on genealogy. However, you will be pleased to know that you can discover your ancestry without having to spend a penny at all.
In this helpful guide, I will show you 4 ways that you can easily get access to your ancestors’ records completely FREE! Interested? Well, please read on.
Ancestry has helped me on my journey!
Ancestry was the first genealogy site that I discovered and used to find out more about my ancestors.
And the simple reason why I stumbled across this site was that Ancestry’s recognition as the world’s largest genealogy search site on the planet.
There are 8 billion records for you to search through on this site so the chances of you finding your ancestors within their collection are pretty high.
Speaking of myself I have built out quite an impressive family tree largely to the thanks of Ancestry.
Records available at Ancestry:
- Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
- Parish Records
- Census Records
- Electoral Rolls
- Land Records
- Military Records
- Convict Records
- Passenger List Records
- Immigration & Naturalization Records
- Newspaper Archives
There are many more different kinds of records that are available at Ancestry. I thought though that I would just show you above a sample of what is on offer.
If you have already explored the records that are on offer I have a question for you.
What did you find out about your ancestors?
I bet some of what you found quite surprised you. Let me know below in the comments section what you discovered.
As you can see there are plenty of resources that you can access from within the Ancestry databases.
But how do you get them for free?
Well read on and I will show you!
4 Ways To Get Ancestry Free Access:
1. Ancestry Free Records
Ancestry is known for its billions of records that you can view. You will though need a paid subscription to access many of their databases.
But did you know that there are nearly 2,000 free records on offer?
What free records are available?
To view these free records you will probably need to sign up for a free account at Ancestry.
But don’t worry because the account is exactly that, FREE!
No need to provide your credit card details!
Yes, that’s right. Unlike other genealogy sites, you don’t need to enter your card details to check out the free information that is on offer.
There are too many records here to mention in a post like this, nearly 2,000 as I have mentioned.
But let me share with you the most popular records that you can find on Ancestry.
Popular free records that are available:
- 1880 and 1940 US censuses,
- 1881 and 1911 UK censuses,
- England and Wales Criminal Registers 1791-1892 – Learn about the crime and the sentence handed down to your convict ancestors.
- Family Facts – The meaning behind your surname and its distribution over the U.S. and the U.K. Plus there is much more that you can find out about your family name.
- Family Trees – More than 30 million trees submitted by Ancestry members for you to freely view and access.
- FindAGrave – View images of your ancestors’ graves.
- US Naturalization Record Indexes 1791-1992 – Be aware that only 15 States are free to access within this database.
Why not head over to Ancestor Search where you can learn more about these popular records and more.
Create and Share Your Family Tree for Free!
Accessing other members’ family trees hosted at Ancestry is another great way for you to build your tree.
From these trees, you can trace your ancestry further back. And you can also find their siblings and their respective descendants.
Be careful with what you find!
I must warn you though about using these types of trees for your research. I have come across many of these trees that contain glaring mistakes.
The trees I have come across cite censuses that they have used.
And sometimes the information in these records contradicts information about the family, such as the number and names of children, where the family was residing, and so on.
So, you need to use common sense and logic when checking these trees out.
Why are there errors?
I feel that the people who have put up incorrect information are just too quick to find and enter information without checking it first.
They just find a census featuring a person with the same surname as their ancestor and assume that it is their relative.
They then wrongfully conclude that that is their ancestor without checking further details such as the location or the occupation of the found person.
So, again please be careful with what you find.
These trees can really help you a lot but they can also hurt your research as well I find you don’t pay attention.
2. Ancestry Free Trial
If you want to view and access every record within the Ancestry databases then you could sign up for a 14-day free trial.
However, due to the billions of records at your disposal, you will surely not be able to find all of your ancestors’ records within this time frame.
You will though get a taste of what Ancestry has to offer and so it is worth taking a peek. If you don’t want to sign up and become a paid member then you don’t have to.
There is no pressure to join. It is entirely up to you.
Differences between the free trial and free access:
- Select a package – The trial offers you a choice of a monthly, 6 monthly, or yearly package. There is also a choice as to whether you want to access your respective country’s records or get a worldwide package.
- Provide credit card details – I urge you to be careful when signing up for a free trial. This is because you will need to cancel your trial 2 days before it ends. Otherwise, you will automatically be signed up for the package that you initially signed up for.
This last point may be considered crafty.
So, I thought it was only right for me to warn you and mention it.
If you do not wish to carry on with the trial you can simply log in to your account and cancel your membership.
It’s that simple.
3. Ancestry Free Weekend
Occasionally Ancestry will allow you to gain access to their records over a weekend or a special event, such as Easter or St Patrick’s Day for example.
Although only for a few days this is another great way for you to get a taster of Ancestry. And also it is an opportunity for you to find some of your ancestors’ records as well.
There will be several times throughout the year that Ancestry will put on events like this.
And it certainly helps them as many visitors will decide to sign up for a package and find more records to help them build their family tree.
When are these free weekends?
My best method for you to keep up with such events is to like and follow Ancestry’s Facebook page.
Not only will you know when these free access events will take place but they also provide useful guides and tips that will help with your family history research.
4. Visit Your Local Library
Did you know that your local library will have access to the top genealogy sites? These sites will most likely include Ancestry.
From your library, you CAN view your ancestors’ records completely free!
Why not join your local library?
This is how I got into genealogy and how I vastly built my family tree by this method.
Not only was I able to collect details about my ancestors but also their siblings and descendants.
Both of my parents are only children and so I never knew of any cousins when I was growing up.
I think this is why I was so fascinated to not only build my tree upwards but also outwards as well.
Expanding my family tree has certainly helped me because I have made contact with several distant cousins.
With my research, I could see how these cousins were related to me.
Collect your information and then assimilate!
When you do go to your local library and access your ancestors’ records you can download the information onto a flash drive.
This has helped me as I could then go home and enter this information into my family tree.
My Final Thoughts!
Researching and building your family tree can be costly.
So, I always urge people to seek out free alternatives whenever and wherever they can.
You will though need to invest in a good genealogy software program. This is a much better way for you to build your tree rather than using just pen and paper alone.
Quite messy I can assure you.
After that, you can search your home for information and ask your relatives.
These are two great steps that you can take to learn about your ancestry for free.
So, signing off this post I urge you to try Ancestry for free and see what you can find.
And also discover whether this genealogy site is right for you.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this post showing you how you can get records at Ancestry for free. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
Please share with family and friends if you think this post will help others by using the social media buttons below.