Do you ever wonder where you came from or what your heritage really is? Are you looking for your ancestors or trying to fill in your family tree? Genealogy research can be expensive, but if you are limited on funds or just do not want to spend your hard-earned cash on research, there are ways which answer the question of how to find your ancestors for free.
I have personally used some free databases out there and have done some research to help others out in their quest for finding their family roots for free. I have listed some totally free genealogy sites below.
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has one of the free genealogy sites I have used personally. I am not a huge fan of this site personally, but it does allow you to enter your relatives in and complete searches. I find this one to be a bit cumbersome and isn’t as easy to maneuver as some other sites, but the functionality is there and it is free!
The One-Step Web pages by Stephen P. Morse allows you to search the databases available for your family members. It is not a site where you can actually form your family tree.
The Online Genealogical Index is also a site simply for completing searches. This free genealogy site only has information for Wales, the Isle of Man and England in it. It is great for searching for relatives in those locations.
Find A Grave is a free genealogy site which is a virtual cemetery. It contains grave and death information on a tremendous amount of people and new records are being added all the time. It is a really great resource.
This site allows people to sign up for their local area as a contributor and then those contributors can take pictures at local cemeteries. The photos submitted are theirs alone for one week. Provided the contributor transcribes the photos within 1 week, the memorials created by the pictures are going to be in that person’s profile to manage.
Having a virtual memorial for your loved ones is a really neat thing to have for people who are a great distance from where their loved ones are buried or even for people who were cremated. My uncle Lloyd was created and his ashes were spread in a location my family had never seen. My family has nowhere to go to remember my uncle and having the online memorial is strangely comforting. Knowing there is a place where my uncle can be remembered is important to the family.
But the primary reason Find A Grave is so great is that it allows family researchers access to a wealth of information about their loved ones. When the memorials are linked by parents, spouses and children, they show you relatives of the deceased. It makes finding the siblings, parents and spouses so much easier. Find A Grave is one of the really useful free genealogy sites available and definitely a must for any researcher to check out.
If you have any spare time, I recommend signing up to contribute photos and create memorials. It is comforting to help other researchers and in turn, others will help you out as well. You can request a grave site photo if you are not local to the cemetery and you need it for your research. I am signed up as a contributor for the Stephens Point/Plover, Wisconsin area.
Many public libraries have genealogy sections and databases for research. In Wisconsin if you have a library card, you can access the BadgerLink system online for researching your family tree for free.
Another great public library resource is the LDS Genealogy and Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The library is completely free to use and contains records from many countries. The collection held by the library is growing at a rapid rate and was originally started in 1894 as a means for LDS church members to research their families. It has become a very popular tourist attraction for people all over looking to do their own free genealogy research.
Wikitree.com is another free genealogy site I have personally used. I started compiling all of my ancestry information on this free genealogy site. The site is fairly easy to use and has a pretty good community. Read all about WkiTree in my review.
Ancestry.com is actually a very well-known genealogy site which is a paid site. However, you can utilize their databases without having a paid subscription. After switching over to using Ancestry.com for my complete family tree file, I came upon a time when I was unable to pay for the paid subscription and had to cancel my Ancestry account. After canceling I was no longer able to follow the hints Ancestry provides (the little green leaves). I was able to use the site to edit my family tree and also to search manually for ancestors and records.
Ancestry has a very wide range of records including census files, marriage, death and birth records, address information, and so much more. It is well worth the paid subscription, but in a pinch could be used without the paid subscription.
I now have my complete family tree on Ancestry.com and have the all access paid subscription. This is my personal choice to be able to have access to the leaves, but the site is very useful even without that ability. The collections Ancestry.com are really great.
Free Genealogy Sites
There are so many totally free genealogy sites available, but those I have listed are all useful and free. Any of them would help family tree researchers with their research and would be an asset. Having a place to compile your family tree is important, but make sure you have a back-up as I have heard some researchers say their research was lost in full or part. I would recommend printing out family profile pages and keeping them in a safe place.
I hope you have found this information to be helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below. I look forward to helping you with your journey to discover your family roots.