Free Ancestry Search

Finding your ancestors doesn't have to be expensive. There are many good free ancestry search resources available today, on the internet and otherwise.

Aside from your free 7-day trial here at OneGreatFamily, here are a few additional resources we recommend for anyone trying to work on their genealogy on a budget:

CyndisList is a categorized, cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the internet. The site is completely free to use, and it links you to thousands of genealogy websites of all varieties. CyndisList started more than ten years ago with a simple list of 1,025 genealogy websites. Since that time, it has grown significantly: the site now averages 1,200 new genealogy links per month, and it has more than 15,000 visitors each day.
The USGenWeb project, manned by volunteers, was established in 1996 to provide free ancestry search resources online. All the resources on the site are organized by state and county. One of their best collections is the Tombstone Project: volunteers gather local cemetery transcriptions and post them on the website. That way, if you don't have the time or money to travel to the cemetery where an ancestor is buried, you can still read their headstone inscription online.

The Social Security Death Index
This database was created by the Social Security Administration, and it records the deaths of persons who died after 1962 and had been receiving social security benefits at the times of their deaths. This index can be a valuable free ancestry search tool to finding twentieth-century family members. The SSDI, as it is commonly abbreviated, can be searched free of charge on the internet at many different sites.

In addition to free ancestry search websites, you should also take advantage of your local library's subscriptions. Most subscription genealogy sites cost money, but city libraries and genealogical libraries often subscribe to these services so that you can access them for free-either by accessing the website through their webpage or at the library itself.

Don't forget to check to see what resources are available through nearby universities. University libraries usually have extensive collections of maps, photographs, biographies, newspapers, and other historical collections that can help you in your search for your ancestors. Sometimes you can access these services free of charge, and even if they're not free, you'll usually only have to get a university library card and pay a small yearly fee to do countless ancestry searches at no cost.

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