Find Ancestor Free
You could hire a professional to find your ancestors for you, but that will not be free, is sometimes unreliable or incomplete, and takes all the fun of discovery out of it for you. If you like the "thrill of the chase" or simply like saving money, there are a number of sources where you can find your ancestors for free.
As any genealogist can tell you, the place to start your search is with yourself. You most likely know when and where you were born, your siblings' names and birth dates and places, and your parents' names. You may know your parents' birth/marriage/death dates and places but, when it comes to your grandparents, very few of us have that information memorized. This is where you begin to find your ancestors for free.
- Talk to living relatives. You can visit, write to or email your parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, or grandparents. Ask them specific questions. You are more likely to get the answers you need than if you simply ask them to tell you everything they know about Granddad. While it is fun to get "the scoop" on everyone's lives, you may miss details like the date of their marriage. While you are being specific, allow for flexibility in such things as asking for the burial place if they don't know exactly where someone died. Most family history software packages allow for baptism instead of birth information, and burial instead of death information.
- Attend family reunions. These are free (although you might be asked to make a donation or bring a potluck dish) and fun. Some family organizations conduct research and present their findings at such events. They are often located at or near the home of an ancestor. Visit the local library, museum, cemetery, government office or newspaper office while you are there.
- Visit the places where your ancestors lived. I once took my family to the small town where my grandmother was born in Washington while visiting friends nearby. Not only did we get a feel for where our ancestor was born and raised, but we also went into the two museums in this little town, and walked through the local cemetery. It was during this cemetery walk that I discovered other relatives who I had not previously known also lived there. And I got in touch with another family historian whose husband came through a sibling of my 6th great grandparents. The trip itself wasn't free, but the information was.
- See what research has already been done by others. Whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, many people have contributed their research to sites like www.familysearch.org. This site is free to the public and can be invaluable in finding your ancestors.
- Another valuable asset of www.familysearch.org is access to the microfilmed records that are available through family history centers. The LDS Church has microfilmed millions of records from around the world and through centuries of time, based on their "at risk" factor and how willing the guardians of these records are to allow them to be microfilmed. You have a good chance of finding your ancestors for free by going to any of the family history centers and ordering pertinent microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah - the largest genealogical library in the world. All you pay for is shipping. These records include such sources as church records, civil documents, censuses, military records, published family histories and land records, as well as compiled sources.
- Yet another way to find your ancestors for free is to enter their names in a search engine like Google and see what others have contributed online. You may need to be careful of the authenticity of this kind of data but most genealogists who go to this extent are careful of their work and rightly proud of it.
Whatever your approach, it is possible to find at least some information on your ancestors for free.
“...One person can't possibly do all of the work alone. They need help to speed up the work...The only way to do this is with your wonderful service...”
More Success Stories