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How To Do Your Family History Research For Free

Updated on August 18, 2014

Getting started with your family tree: free search sites make it easy!

If you want to start or build on your family tree, free research tools are the perfect way to begin. It is amazing what you can find out when you give your family tree a metaphorical shake and start to delve into the past.

Let me share with you some ways to go about tracing your ancestors with free family history search sites. I began researching my own family history many years ago, but with the explosion of information on the Internet it has suddenly become a whole lot easier to catch the ghosts of the past. In fact, not only can you do your family history research for free or very little cost online, you can connect easily with others who share your ancestry by doing a free online family tree search, and even build a digital family tree to share with relatives in faraway places.

Why not join me and - with the help of these family tree free search resources - begin to uncover the mystery of your own family's past.

Tree image courtesy of morgueFile.

How to Begin your Online Family Tree Search

Easy Ways to Build Your Family Tree

There are many places you can do a free family history search. Some will require a subscription but others need only a little time and persistence.

The best places to look can depend on where you are located in the world and where your ancestors originally hailed from. Some suggestions follow below.

Don't forget that your own family, especially the eldest members, can be a fantastic source of information that can set your research off to a flying start. Once you start making connections with more distant relatives, chances are you will find out much more. I struck gold when I contacted a potential relative whose email address I found on an old forum during an online family tree search. It turned out he had been researching the family for 40 years and shared details on my great x5 grandparents that I probably would never have discovered alone.

If the name you are researching is not common, you have a better chance of finding these valuable contacts. Put the surname into search engines and family tree free search resources, trying different spellings if it is especially uncommon. Trawl through message boards on genealogy forums. Check out family tree sites to see if any of your more unusual ancestor names seem to be appearing in the trees of other users.

On the other hand, don't despair if you have Smiths, Browns, or other popular surnames cropping up. Most of us do - myself included. Use first names to your advantage, especially the rare or recurring ones. For instance, I have a John Brown who has an unusual middle name. Where the records such as the census show this name, it's a great help in keeping track of him.

Dig up your family history with free research sites - Some great links to get you going

These free online resources can take you back into the 1800s with your family history research - and can point you in the right direction for going back even further.

Free Web-based Resources

Start your free family history search here

Cyndi's List is THE genealogy website. This fantastic resource covers just about any genealogy-related topic you can think of.

The Latter Day Saints host a useful 'family search' resource which can be searched for free by anyone.

For those with UK ancestry, FreeBMD is a great starting place to look up births, marriages and deaths from 1837 up to 1983.

Here are some other FREE sites to try:

  • - 'an easy to use messaging forum for everyone researching their family history or local history. The focus is on Ireland and the British Isles.'
  • Brtish Genealogy - Resource pages and forums, both completely free to use.
  • Census Online - A starting place for finding out about online census records in USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Please note, the site will tell you where to find these records, however the census records themselves often cannot be viewed for free.
  • However...FreeCEN will let you view selected UK census records free of charge. These have been transcribed by volunteers and records are principally from the 1891 census, and do not cover the whole of the UK. Worth a try nonetheless as new records are being added all the time!
  • GenForum Message Boards on - connect with others by finding out who is researching your family name.

Genealogy Subscription Services

These family history subscription services are helpful but can get expensive!

Ancestry is perhaps the best known subscription service which has sites in a number of countries. There are also many alternatives which are worth checking out. Take care to work out what you get for your money - sometimes there can be different subscription levels and you will need to pay a premium to get access to everything.

The advantage of a subscription over a free family history search site is that it opens up many new sources to you. The disadvantage is that it can become costly and, when your subscription ends, difficult to do without.

TOP TIP FOR BRITS. If you are in the UK, you can gain library access to if you are happy to do your research from a terminal in your local library.

The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy - Helping you with your online family history search

This book is a useful companion to your online family history research. It aims to be the complete guide to researching your family tree online and includes a host of tips for free family history searches.

The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: A complete resource to using the Web to trace your family history
The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: A complete resource to using the Web to trace your family history

Amazon reviewer Paula Wilson-Case commented:

This was my first purchased book on genealogy. It was great. There is so much I didn't know. I've been doing genealogy for 12 years, here and there. I definitely recommend this book to beginners and advanced genealogist.


Creating an electronic family tree

You have a whole range of choices when it comes to going digital with your family tree.

One option is to create it using either a subscription or free online family tree service. Ancestry will let you do this, but you will need to subscribe. will let you build and share your tree (if you wish - you decide how private you want it to be) for free, but you'll need to register with them. Findmypast offers similar services to Ancestry, and there are a number of other sites that will offer to host your family tree for you.

If you use a well-known site, not only do you get to share your own tree, but you may be able to find and view the trees of people who share your ancestors - allowing you to fill in gaps and add whole new branches to your family tree!

The alternative is to use a software application which you can install on your own computer. This has the advantage of offering privacy and security, since you and other users of your computer are the only ones with immediate access to this data. The downside is that it may need more effort to share your tree, such as creating reports or uploading data to a website.

There are a number of commercially available packages which are likely to offer a whole variety of features. Or you can obtain free family history software, and while this may be a little less sophisticated you might find it does everything you want it to do. I've found GRAMPS Genealogy System (see image) to meet my needs, but there are several alternatives.

Roots Magic - Family Tree software - A genealogy program for all your family history records

Forget scattered pieces of paper and never be lost for a family history fact again! With Roots Magic you can keep all your family history research in one place - on your computer! Create custom reports and share your family tree too!

RootsMagic Family Tree Genealogy Software Version 4
RootsMagic Family Tree Genealogy Software Version 4

Amazon reviewer Blaine S. Nay commented:

I've tried 'em all. This is clearly the best genealogy software I've used. RootsMagic is the most intuitive software on the market. My database has over 50,000 names in it and this software handles the load effortlessly and quickly. It can create very nice charts and web pages. The publisher listens to the users and continually upgrades the software to meet their needs. He stays on top of the changes being made by the LDS church's Family History library system and updates the software to work seamlessly with the library's systems.


The Census

A valuable family history research tool

Birth, marriage and death certificates are likely to be the building blocks of every family historian's research. However, for tracking an entire family across the decades, the census is a wonderful resource.

My own experience is with the UK census, which was taken every 10 years from 1841 and is currently available to 1911. A subscription service will allow you to view entries up to 1901. Unfortunately you will need to make additional payments to view the 1911 census pages. You can do this through (Note: it requires a separate subscription, just for this census, and is not included in the regular Findmypast services which will give you access to other census years.)

The one thing you can check for free in the 1911 census is whether an ancestor or address is listed at all. This is worth doing, as you won't want to pay for access only to find the record you want does not exist. At, you can enter the name of your English or Welsh ancestor, plus the place name and their date of birth if known. The drawback of this is that you will need to guess exactly the details that your ancestor provided. For example, my ancestor Deborah Ann went by the name Annie, and only appears when I enter 'Annie' on the form.

Moving back in time, the 1861 census through to the 1901 census are treasure troves of information which will provide:

  • Road, Street and No. or Name of House
  • Name and Surname of each Person
  • Relation to Head of Family
  • Condition as to Marriage
  • Age Last Birthday (also indicates whether male or female)
  • Profession or Occupation
  • Employer, Worker or Own account
  • If Working at Home (1901)
  • Where Born
  • Deaf and Dumb; Blind; Lunatic; Imbecile, feeble-minded

As you can see, this information can give you many clues and might also turn up a few scandals, as with an ancestor of mine who was listed as 'single', but shared a home with a married man and who had 10 children (presumably his). A note on the final category on physical and mental disabilities - you won't find this catetory in the 1911 census, which has been released ahead of the 100 year deadline and therefore decided to hide this 'sensitive' information.

Have family tree free search tools on the Internet helped you find out more about your ancestors? Do you have interesting family history stories to share? Or just curious about how to get started?

Shaking your tree with free family history search resources? - I love to hear from other genealogy enthusiasts

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    changrcoacher 4 years ago

    I didn't grow up with my biological family. I was given away and grew up all over the place with all sorts of people. I survived. I've started with and my memories and I'm determined to find the answers to my questions to share with my children!

  • yayas profile image

    yayas 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing these free family history search resources. My family is so elusive that I have been searching for more than 43 years and only managed to find a few names in my family tree. I keep searching, though. They hafta' come outta' hiding, eventually, right? :)

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 4 years ago from UK

    @alientwilight: Not sure, but you could try something like with your surname in the title. Good luck!

  • profile image

    alientwilight 4 years ago

    Do you known if there's away to see if a family tree book about ur family has been published?My aunt gave me one when I was a kid I lost.

  • LynetteBell profile image

    LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

    Thanks for the great information

  • profile image

    fcinternetmarketing 4 years ago

    Great information. Really helpful.

  • Wednesday-Elf profile image

    Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

    I just recently became interested in researching my family history and these suggested 'tools', both online and in the form of books and genealogy programs will prove very helpful I'm sure.

  • roseambrose profile image

    roseambrose 4 years ago

    Great information for anyone starting on their family tree.

  • BestForTheMoneyz profile image

    BestForTheMoneyz 5 years ago

    killer lens with a lot of valuable information, family history is something that has always interested me.

  • mynameisrachel profile image

    mynameisrachel 5 years ago

    Thank you for taking time and writing such a nice article. Really informative. Thank you.

  • writerwilliam lm profile image

    Leigh Thomas 5 years ago

    Super informative, thank you

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @chickie99: Makes sense to do what you can for free first though.. then when you need to dig deeper pay for what you need.

  • SteenBiilmann LM profile image

    SteenBiilmann LM 5 years ago

    Truly an interesting and well written lens! I have always wanted to do some family tree searching, and this got me inspired! Thanks:-)

  • profile image

    bigtoad 5 years ago

    Wow! that can help a lot of people find their lost family members. Great Job!

  • profile image

    chickie99 5 years ago

    sorry but you can't beat

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @Adventuretravels: Best of luck with your family history research. You can get so far with the free resources but if those don't give you all the story it might be worth subscribing to a site like Ancestry. Also try 'one-name' surname forums, e.g. and you might be able to link up with different branches of your family tree.

  • Adventuretravels profile image

    Giovanna Sanguinetti 5 years ago from Perth UK

    Very, very interesting resource. I've been trying to find out whether or not I am a McGregor. I paid quite a lot of money to get my DNA tested, but the report that came back was incomprehensible! So I am really none the wiser. I'll try some of the free ones you mention here. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks for this very interesting lens.

  • profile image

    jeremylangstead 5 years ago

    This is a wonderful resource. Thanks for making this available to the rest of us.

  • KristenLAnders profile image

    KristenLAnders 5 years ago

    Thanks for this! This is something I've been interested in doing for awhile now.

  • Starzz30 profile image

    Starzz30 5 years ago

    I have been interested in learning more about my family roots but your lens has inspired me to begin searching online with the resources you have provided. Thanks for sharing

  • BunnyFabulous profile image

    BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

    I tried FamilySearch and there's just a little bit of info about my grandparents, but my parents weren't on there. I know a lot about my father's side of the family so it was interesting to check against what I know. I'm actually going to make a lens about some of my ancestry since it makes for some pretty good stories.

  • EditPhotos profile image

    Edit Photos 5 years ago from Earth

    Useful ideas - but for me has provided major fins that the free sources could not unearth. Largely because my family changes spellings on names and constantly lied about ages so the better search capabilities of Ancestry were key for me.

  • profile image

    SCaptain 5 years ago

    Very useful information, thanks!

  • profile image

    getmoreinfo 5 years ago

    thanks for the information about How To Do Your Family History Research For Free

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    Wow, what a tremendous genealogy resource you have created! I visited Cyndi's List and it looks like it would be a great help to anyone researching their family tree.

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I like your shaking the family tree. You'll have surprises indeed.

  • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

    William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

    I love to see more and more people searching the family trees and telling their family/ancestor stories - guess that is why I called my blog: Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories. Stop by, any time, and see my several family history lenses, as well. SquidAngel Blessed! ;-)

  • profile image

    CristianStan 5 years ago

    Great lens! There are so many sites out there that force you to pay for their services but this lens shows you how to get everything done for free

  • CamelliaPenny profile image

    Perrin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    I have taken advantage when offered 2 trial weeks free. It can go a long way toward getting you started. Of course, I ended up staying on it and buying a six month membership, because I was finding so much great stuff!!

  • Scraps2treasures profile image

    Scraps2treasures 5 years ago

    My grandfather passed away recently and I realized just how important it is to ask questions while they are alive. Thanks for all the information on how to search for free. Blessed.

  • flinnie lm profile image

    Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

    Blessed and added to my lens...Squid Angel flinnie.

  • flinnie lm profile image

    Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

    Hi thanks for all this info and tips. I am trying to search my family tree, and this should help me. Good info.

  • EpicFarms profile image

    EpicFarms 5 years ago

    Most definitely; kind of leveled the playing field too, since "back in the day" you would have had to pay someone hundreds of dollars to do all the research for you. I learned that my great grandmother ran away from home (due to literal evil stepmother) and went to work for a wealthy family as a maid at the age of 14. Nice lens!

  • Deeann56 profile image

    Deeann56 5 years ago

    my lens is about cornwall - always nice to read someone else giving advice on free searches

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @anonymous: Hi Marksology, thanks for stopping by. Not sure what was up when you visited as all links are currently working as expected for me. Was it one in particular you had trouble with?

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    Nice article full of good ideas. Heads up though - the links do not work.

  • HomeDecorKnight profile image

    HomeDecorKnight 5 years ago

    I like this informative lens,

  • Onemargaret LM profile image

    Onemargaret LM 5 years ago

    Real cool lens!

  • LiteraryMind profile image

    Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    I actually started doing a family tree as part of a college assignment. I was able to go back pretty far as some of the elderly people in my family were still alive and alert. They loved being asked about their history and family.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @JuneNash: It's so much fun when you start making those discoveries.. like being a detective! Thanks for stopping by here.

  • PostcardPassion profile image

    PostcardPassion 5 years ago

    I really like this lens. Good sound advice.

  • JuneNash profile image

    June Nash 5 years ago

    I am just getting started, but other family members have done a lot of the work already! Thank you for sharing your tips on how to get started. I am excited about the adventure! I have already met some long lost relatives.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @kevkev227 lm: Excellent advice. We tend to forget relatives won't be around for ever. Then they are gone and so much is lost that can't be recovered. Getting the stories of the older generation is invaluable.

  • kevkev227 lm profile image

    kevkev227 lm 5 years ago

    I love researching family of the best ways I have found to gather information from living relatives about your ancestors is to write up a very comprehensive list of questions and go over with them, taking detailed notes. The more information you can gather in person, the more direction you will have when you search on the web :)

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @Angelgirl1976: You're welcome. Thanks for such a great comment and best of luck in finding out more about your Nan. The answers will be out there somewhere!

  • Angelgirl1976 profile image

    Angelgirl1976 5 years ago

    I would love to do my family tree. I live in the UK but my family are all from Ireland, my surname is Kavanagh. I have a little look around but main one is site and it costs money which I can not afford :( My Nan is from UK but she is a bit of an enigma as she was adopted as a baby but she was in the WAFS 'Womens Royal Air Force', which is where she meet my Grandad so I do have something to go on at least.

    This is a really good lens and loved your family history too :)

    Thank you for the links, very good of you to have have found them and posted them on here :) thank you :)

  • newbizmau profile image

    Maurice Glaude 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

    That family Tree Photo album is awesome.

  • profile image

    familyshortstories 5 years ago

    Thanks for providing these resources for a family tree. I am currently writing family short stories, and it's amazing how much you learn from your family when you take some time listening to their stories. Your lens is a very good resource, and I'm sure to come back for reference. Thanks, Mark

  • Virginia Allain profile image

    Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

    I've become fascinated by genealogy over the last few years Always looking for more search tips and sites. Thanks for sharing what you've found.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    GREAT lens! I am always looking for free places to do research. I learned a few things today! Thank you!

  • wildsimplicity profile image

    wildsimplicity 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    A free site that I used to do much of my own research is The site has advanced search options and contains thousands of scanned records. I was able to cross-reference tons of records to ensure that they were accurate and learned a lot about my great-great-grandparents.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @HeirHound: Thanks for the tip. I'm a big fan of GRAMPS (mentioned above) but Family Tree Builder sounds worth exploring.

  • profile image

    HeirHound 5 years ago

    If you're on a limited budget Family Tree Builder and GRAMPS are two software packages you can install and use for free.

  • yayas profile image

    yayas 6 years ago

    I've been shaking my family tree for over forty years. I have only recently begun to see some success in finding my ancestors, but I have enjoyed every minute of the learning process.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

    @amkatee: That's good advice, thanks for sharing it!

  • amkatee profile image

    amkatee 6 years ago

    I've used mainly Ancestry, but be sure to google if you have names or variations of ancestor names, place of birth, who they married, any other family members. It took some searching to find missing information on some family. My mother's grandfather remarried for instance, and we had a hard time tracking him down.

  • RosemaryB profile image

    RosemaryB 6 years ago

    Finally a sensible topic for a lens.

  • kevingomes13 lm profile image

    kevingomes13 lm 6 years ago

    My family are islanders

  • eblack88 lm profile image

    eblack88 lm 6 years ago

    A topic that I find fascinating - hope to delve into my family tree at some point! Nice Lens!

  • Heather426 profile image

    Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

    This morning I got an email from Geni that Queen Elizabeth of England is my 16th cousin once removed. Next I got one that Prince Charles is my 16th cousin 2 times removed. Next, Prince William and Prince Harry, 3 times removed. So I went up to the Geni site and clicked on the Queen. Guess who manages her profile on Geni? Prince Harry! Posted on facebook and posted your lens up there too. Came back to share the story.

  • profile image

    jimmyworldstar 6 years ago

    Wow your great ancestor had to move to a whole other continent! Imagine where you'd be if he stayed in the UK? It's always interesting to find little known facts or rumors about previous family members.

  • markettrol profile image

    markettrol 6 years ago

    Great lens....I just started my family tree....Thanks

  • Heather426 profile image

    Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

    I just started my family tree, so this is a fantastic resource for me! Thank you so much! Bookmarked...and shared.

  • profile image

    EileenGoodall 6 years ago

    @ideadesigns: Have you tried searching on a site called Abebooks they have lots of old books that are out of print and hard to get.

  • profile image

    EileenGoodall 6 years ago

    What a great lens - thanks for sharing - I photograph and transcribe local gravestones in the hope that I can reach their ancestors. I'm new to Squidoo and seeing your lens has taught me a lot.

  • profile image

    slotowngal 6 years ago

    Thanks for featuring so many fun genealogy tools... I have lots of 'interesting characters' in my family tree, from bootleggers to counterfeiters, Revolutionary War soldiers to plantation owners. Finding out about family is fascinating. angel blessed...

  • TonyPayne profile image

    Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

    Rootschat is where Debbie and I met. It's a wonderfully friendly site, and there are even people who will repair and patch up scanned photos for you. Highly recommended, as is Legacy Family Tree.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

    @ideadesigns: The more you manage to learn about them, the more you will want to learn! I hope you get hold of that book, it sounds like it will give you a wonderful start.

  • profile image

    ideadesigns 6 years ago

    My grandmother was deep into genealogy and printed a small book, I wish I could get a copy, some day I will. I know that I had a great or great-great grandfather was a preacher. It's interesting to learn about ancestors, just lots of research and work! I want to search online and see if there are connections.

  • Genjud profile image

    Genjud 6 years ago

    There are so many wonderful resources for help with your family history. I just love the free sites and all the helpful ideas presented. Love your lenses. Keep looking for those ancestors, they really want to be found.

  • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

    Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

    I just picked up a large section of our family history while visiting with my sister. It is amazing between the two of us the gaps which we were able to fill in.

  • profile image

    Jools99 6 years ago

    Genealogy is addictive stuff and can cost a packet if you don't know where to look! Well done on a really good lens, very interesting stuff.

  • Johanna Eisler profile image

    Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

    @Lee Hansen: Tricky, isn't it? My Swedish grandfather was born with the name Axelsson, but the 1901 Names Adoption Act ( changed it to Jansson. Then when he moved to America, the Ellis Island officer heard and put it down as Johnson. Tracing Scandinavian roots back before 1901 is VERY hard. If anyone has any knowledge of how to do it successfully, I'd love to hear from them.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

    @Johanna Eisler: I know just what you mean... it is a seriously addictive hobby!

  • Johanna Eisler profile image

    Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

    I am totally fascinated with genealogy. I have done extensive research, but find that I love it too much! Too much? Yep, I start researching, and before I know it the day is gone, and maybe the night, too! So I have had to take a break. I want to resume again soon - and try to exercise more self-control and balance! :)

  • njg profile image

    Nancy Graham 6 years ago

    Thank you. very helpful.

  • profile image

    yourgoldenfuture 7 years ago

    wonderful lens

  • profile image

    whaleriders6 7 years ago

    Awesome lens! This is great info. When I first started doing research for my family tree I paid somewhat of a hefty fee for use of a site, so this is really helpful!

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @Lee Hansen: It's so hard when people change their names. I've been looking at the census and so many of my ancestors were known by one name and supplied it to the census taker but actually had a different birth name.

  • Lee Hansen profile image

    Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

    Genealogy fascinates me but it's always seemed such a daunting task. I''m hoping my aunt on one side of the family and a cousin on the other will share their research with the rest of us. I do know my grandfather changed his name when he left Scandinavia, so my maiden name is not actually our family origin name. Interesting and helpful info here.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @capriliz lm: Thank you so much! It was the very first thing I wrote for Squidoo and I still love researching my family tree.

  • capriliz lm profile image

    capriliz lm 7 years ago

    This is a wonderful collection of tips and places to research your family history.


  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @mrsm54321: Thanks for the kind words.

  • mrsm54321 profile image

    mrsm54321 7 years ago

    A really good and concise lens with loads of excellent information.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @happynutritionist: Delighted to qualify as food... even if it's 'food for thought'! Thanks so much for the kind words.

  • profile image

    happynutritionist 7 years ago

    Oh I am so excited about finding this...I just started working again on our family tree, and am so happy about how much easier it is to do with the internet...I started about 30 years ago. So I'm adding another blessing to this...a "Cupid Kiss", and it will be featured on "Nutrition SquidAngel" even though it's not about food...oh, wait, you're little avatar looks like a pear, and you use the name "WordCustard", that sounds like food enough for me...LOL:-)

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @Nancy S Oram: Thanks for all the extra tips, Nancy! These are useful. I appreciate the angel blessing too and sounds like they picked just the right person for the job!

  • Nancy S Oram profile image

    Nancy Oram 7 years ago

    Excellent information! Would like to add that offers a lot of free resources before the subscription level, so it's worth a visit. Also, you mentioned the LDS Family History Libraries - the main one being in Salt Lake City, Utah, but there are branches all over. There you can have free access to use as well as all their other free resources. Blessed by a brand new angel.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @jodijoyous: An excellent tip, thanks for sharing Jodi. Must have been interesting to see the very ship they sailed on. Thanks too for your angel blessing.

  • jodijoyous profile image

    jodijoyous 7 years ago from New York

    In the US, there's also the Ellis Island records of immigration. I looked up my great-grandfather and grandmother and found a photo of the ship, a copy of the ship's manifest, and the dates they arrived. Blessed.

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @AnnsHomeDecor: I'm glad this was helpful, Ann! You will get a lot of pleasure I think from taking the time to do your family history.

  • AnnsHomeDecor profile image

    AnnsHomeDecor 7 years ago

    So glad I came across your lens. I am in the process now of doing family history and you have given me some resources I was not aware of. Thanks!

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @ajgodinho: It truly is a fascinating and absorbing hobby to have. Thanks for your kind words AJ.

  • ajgodinho profile image

    Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    This is a great lens with free resources. I've never done research on ancestry, but I'd love to do it down the line. It's great to see that you've dug a lot of information from your search. This is very interesting!

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    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @AliciaAnn89: I hope you find some useful tips! There is quite a lot you can do before you need to start paying for a service. Good luck!

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    Alicia 7 years ago from New York

    I'm so excited I found this lens while reading through your 50 lenses in 3 months!

    I want to start researching my family history so badly, but the free 14 day trial at ancestry didn't get me very far. I can't wait to sit down and read through this entire lens. :)

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    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @burgessvillian: Good to know -- thanks very much, Ron. :)

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    burgessvillian 7 years ago

    This is a very helpful lens. I want to explore my family tree and you have listed some great resources here.

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    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @lollyj lm: My pleasure, Lollyj! And good point, we can learn about traits that have carried through the generations -- just one more thing that makes family history research such a fascinating journey.