Free Genealogy Websites And Search Information

free genealogical websites and resources

Have you ever thought about figuring out your heritage and family history but weren’t assured how to start? In that case, you are not alone.  With various forms of records, documentation, and numerous  free genealogy websites to research, anyone can begin researching their family history and document their genealogy.

Genealogy is the journey to find the family history of one in as accurate away as possible. And it has become a favorite hobby for many Americans.

Multiple resources support users to get answers regarding their family history and separate facts from fiction. Whether one is adopted, separated from family, or searching for information for their family tree, the field of genealogy is vast and includes multiple branches.

History of Genealogy

Nobody knows when genealogy originated. It may be that when people started managing written records, people began maintaining genealogical records. We have a genealogical history at the time of the 6th century BC Chinese philosopher Confucius.

In ancient human records, people stored genealogies of one kind or another to show social status or establish a royal pedigree. Queens and kings ascended to the throne by birthright, and the need for accurate, written records of lineage was apparent.

Church Records

In the middle ages, churches started keeping records of patrons, thus building files used in the genealogical analysis. It is a hobby for people for a long time. But it wasn’t until modernized times when the arrival of the Internet-enabled everyday people resources required to discover their ancestry, that genealogy enriched as successful as it is now.

Modern strategies help weed out fraudulent histories, thereby allowing genealogists to record an official report of a family line. However, some of the oldest known genealogies involve those of dynastic leaders, early kings, and pharaohs, and records present in the Bible and other holy books.

Therefore, many genealogies date back several years, but whether or not they’re proven verifiable is a matter of debate. In modern genealogies, the search for verifiably correct records is paramount to creating a legitimate family tree.

Kinds of Records and Documentation

Oral history has been passed down from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, this isn’t a source of accurate genealogical information. Oral histories often suffer from what we see in the game Chinese whispers or telephone: errors grow over time, finally swamping the original message.

Varied Documentation

Fortunately, multiple records and documents exist, which can help produce a genealogical record that withstands careful scrutiny. Some documents and papers commonly used to establish genealogy include:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth and death certificates
  • Army documents
  • Immigration, naturalization, and emigration documents
  • Employment records
  • Social Security indexes
  • Deeds, property ownership, and other land titles and records
  • Census records
  • Tax records
  • Passports
  • Voter registrations
  • Church documentation
    • Baptisms
    • Christenings
    • Funeral services
    • Other spiritual rites of passage
  • Court documents
    • Wills and probate
    • Guardianship and adoption
    • Criminal records

However, oral histories may be weak, they are often priceless as a starting point for a genealogical search. They may be used to begin searching for documents that are much more likely to be true.

Identifying Reliable Resources

We have already discussed how oral history can be corrupted over time. The same is true for written documents, although clearly not as likely. What is more, just because a piece of information was written down, does not make it right. As we all know from our experience today, there are a few things that are published that are not correct. But in several instances, it is the result of a writer with an ax to grind. These instances are easier to discredit.

Primary and Secondary Sources

When knowing reliable resources for specific genealogies, keep in mind that there are two different types of sources of information: primary and secondary. A primary source of data is the originator of the record.

For instance, church documents regarding a funeral ceremony or baptism written at the time of the event would be primary. A written account twenty years later, according to an interview with the priest who performed the service, would be secondary.

Therefore, search for primary sources provided by witnesses who were eyewitnesses to the event at the time it happened to ensure higher reliability.

Kinds of Information

To make a reliable history, several key elements must be known, researched, gathered, and then examined for reliability. Similarly, the most valuable types of information genealogists use include:

  • Family and given names
  • Dates
  • Location or names of locations
  • Work-related or occupational data

Recognizing practices or customs that were extensively used during the place, period, or culture an individual may have lived in is also of great value.

Discriminating Between Related People

One issue that often arises when trying to establish reliable genealogies is recognizing people with the same name. It’s essential to use all available tools at your order while separating a person’s identity from other same-name folks, those who use nicknames, and those with the same occupations.

However, some historical records may register a person by their given name and then use a nickname, causing the inexperienced researcher to think there were two people in the family line when indeed there was just one.

Therefore, the spellings of city or town names may vary from one record to the other. And this gets more serious the further you go back. Knowing variations of spelling over time will help the genealogist create a more accurate history.

Genetic Testing

Modern-day genealogists have a specialized tool only available very lately: genetic analysis. DNA testing may be used to verify or trace a particular lineage. Genetic analysis may show what country a person’s ancestors basically came from, presenting more knowledge that may be used to find reliable records.

Modern researchers realize that often find that genetic testing is what puts the missing pieces of a puzzle together and creates a complete picture.

The Research Process

Genealogists have a variety of tools available at their disposal to use when researching family histories. Generally speaking, the research process begins with histories and oral traditions. It then traverses  to free genealogy websites, written records, and documents — frequently networking along with other researchers. After that, results confirmed through genetic testing.

No-Cost Or Free Genealogy Websites

Searching for some best and free genealogy websites? There are 50 free family history sources where you’ll find marriage, birth, and obituaries, research tips, death records, newspaper articles, cemetery listings, biographies, and much more.

Therefore, we had great fun making this list of top websites. Keep in mind, most free genealogy websites are available by the dedication and hard work of many volunteers! However, do not forget to appreciate them and give back if possible.

50 Free Genealogy Sites

 1. Access Genealogy: Extensive family history registers and more, best Native American sources
2. African Heritage Project: Records on freed persons, former slaves, and their descendants
3. Automated Genealogy: Indexes of the Canadian census
4. Billion Graves: grave records
5. British Library, India Office: records on European and British people in India pre-1950
6. Castle Garden: Immigration documents, pre-Ellis Island. 
7. Chronicling America: An extensive collection of archived US journals from the Congress’s Library
8. Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System: History of Civil War in the National Park Service
9. Cyndi’s List: Highly regarded directory of free genealogy databases and resources online
10. Daughters of the American Revolution: Army service documents and much more
11. Dead Fred: Genealogy photo archive
12. Ellis Island: Free indexes, immigration documents, and original records, the price to download information
13. FamilySearch: The most extensive acquisition of free genealogical reports in the world
14. Find a Grave: Find your relatives in cemeteries throughout the universe
15. Free Genealogy Search Engine: Explore hundreds of free genealogy sources at one time on Family History Daily
16. FreeBMD: Civil listing index of marriages, births, and mortality for England and Wales
17. FreeCEN: Copied census records in the United Kingdom
18. FreeReg: Marriage, baptism, and funeral documents from parish registers of the United Kingdom
19. Fulton History: Old newspapers from Canada and the United States
20. GenDisasters: For exploring disasters and other situations that your ancestors could have been engaged in
21. Genealogy Trails: Reprinted genealogical records from across the U.S.
22. GENUKI: Source library of genealogical resources for Ireland and the UK
23. German Genealogy Server: German lineage examination (several sections in German)
24. Google News Archive: An extensive collection of archived newspaper pages
25. Guild of One-Name Research: Vast surname research site
26. Hispanic Genealogy: Incredible list of resources for exploring Hispanic ancestry
27. Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection: A large volume of old US newspapers
28. Immigrant Ancestors Project: Immigration records for finding birthplaces of emigrants in their native nations
29. Internet Archive: Lots of information useful to genealogists, but you will have to do some research
30. Italian Genealogical Group: Italian American genealogy databases and resources
31. JewishGen: Jewish ancestry analysis
32. Library and Archives Canada: Census records, proper archives of Canada, and more
33. LitvakSIG: Lithuanian-Jewish genealogy resources and databases
34. NativeWeb Genealogy: Listing of Native American genealogy sources and searchable databases
35. Open Library: Fantastic place to obtain family history books, explore surnames or places
36. Patriot And Grave Index: Destructive war deaths registry and volunteer index from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
37. POWVETS: WWII POW look for inmates of war held in German barracks.
38. Preserve the Pensions: War of 1812 pension documents accessibility
39. RomanyGenes: Romanichal ancestry research
40. RootsWeb: World’s most extensive genealogy community, a massive volume of free information
41. Seventh-day Adventist Obituary Database: Millions of obituary entries
42. Släktdata: Genealogy histories for Sweden (in Swedish)
43. The National Archives of Ireland: Sanctioned National Archives of Ireland
44. UK National Archives: Standard National Archives of the United Kingdom
45. US National Archives: Standard US National Archives sites, several free genealogy resources, and databases.
46. USGenWeb Project: Vast free genealogy source directory from US county and state
47. Viximus: Member presented biographical data
48. WieWasWie: For investigating relatives from the Netherlands
49. WikiTree: Large collaborative family tree
50. WorldGenWeb Project: Genealogy support by region and country, not to overlook

We wish you good luck on your journey to find your family history using these free genealogy websites.

 

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