101 Ways to Research Your Family Tree for Free (26-50)

Free Genealogy Sites 26-30

Ellis Island, New York City. Getty / nimu1956

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26. Ellis Island Records
If you're among the more than 40 percent of Americans with ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island, New York, this is a must visit site! The American Family Immigration History Center provides easy access to ships' passenger manifest records for more than 22 million immigrants who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924.

Once you locate your ancestor in the database you can view and print out digital copies of the original manifests as well as histories and photos of the ships which deposited these immigrants onto American soil. Having trouble locating your ancestor in the database? Try these tips for successful searching!

27. New South Wales Registry of Births, Marriages & Deaths
Are there Australian ancestors in your family tree? If they lived in New South Wales then there is a good chance you will find them in this free genealogy database of Births 1788-1905, Deaths 1788-1945 and Marriages 1788-1945.

28. FamilySearch - Free Census Search
A great boon to genealogists, this free genealogy database from the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) includes complete transcriptions of the 1880 U.S. Census, 1881 British Isles Census, and 1881 Canadian Census. Enter at least your deceased ancestor's first or last name to search any one of these free census databases, or search across all three censuses at once.

29. Illinois State Archives
Search for your Illinois ancestors online thanks to these free genealogy databases available from the Illinois State Archives. Begin your search with the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index (1763-1900) and then move on to the Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, database of Servitude & Emancipation Records (1722-1863), a variety of Illinois veterans databases and a large collection of local county records including births, deaths, probate records, court records, and more!

30. Free Genealogy Lookups
This service, the mainstay of the Ancestral Findings Web site, allows you to request one FREE genealogy search per day in your choice of a wide range of historical records, including birth, marriage, census, land, military, and state records.

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31. Archive.org
Known as the home of the Wayback Machine (good for finding cached copies of Web sites that are defunct or have moved), Archive.org also includes many great textual resources for genealogists from libraries across the country. Click on "Texts," then "Additional Collections," and then "Genealogy" to find free scanned copies of family histories, local histories and more.

32. Free BMD - England & Wales Vital Records
Volunteers have spent several years transcribing records for this free genealogy database, providing free Internet access to the Civil Registration index of births, marriages, and deaths from England and Wales for the period 1837-1983. Over 66 million unique records have been transcribed to date!

33. US Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
Find information on over 2,000,000 places, features, and areas in the United States, including federally recognized names and locations by state, county, and/or geographic coordinates. Looking for locations outside the U.S.? Then try these other great geographic place names sites.

34. Castle Garden Online
The free CastleGarden.org database, provided online by the New York Battery Conservancy, allows you to search by name and time period for immigrants who arrived in Castle Garden between 1830 and 1890.

35. Geneanet
What started as a small French genealogy research site, has blossomed into a worldwide genealogy network.

This free genealogy database indexes over 85 million names on free genealogy Web sites from around the world, with the primary focus still on French ancestry. You can get a lot of information here for free, but there are advanced options that will cost you.

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36. Family Tree Magazine - Free Genealogy Charts & Forms
Piles of books, a desk covered with sticky notes, boxes crammed with family photos and photocopied records... If this sounds like you then check out this veritable plethora of free forms and charts to assist you with getting and keeping your genealogy research organized - there is one here for pretty much any type of genealogical research!

Can't find what you need? Check out more free genealogy charts and forms.

37. Digital Library of Virginia
Important to millions of researchers with early American ancestors, this free digitized collection contains more than 2.2 million original documents, photographs, and maps from the states of Virginia and West Virginia. Of special note: Virginia Land Office Patents & Grants, a free genealogy database of Virginia patents and grants from 1623-1992 (includes images), digital images of 6,000+ family Bible records, and a fully searchable index of pre-1800 Virginia wills and administrations.

38. Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild
This group of dedicated volunteers has transcribed more than 5,000 ship passenger lists to date, citing over 1/2 million passenger arrivals - all available online for free genealogy research. Make sure to leave time for a visit to The Compass, a guide to further immigration research with links to other passenger lists on the Internet, information about specific ships, and resources for ports of entry and departure around the world.

39. Le Dictionnaire Tanguay
One of the major published sources for early French-Canadian genealogy, the Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes is a seven-volume work of the genealogies of early French-Canadian families published by Rev. Cyprian Tanguay in the late 1800s. It's material begins about 1608 and extends to material at and shortly after the Exile (1760+/-).

40. Kentucky Vital Records
If only all of us could have Kentucky ancestors! Thanks to the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, over 3 million state vital records are available for free genealogy search including the Kentucky Death Index for 1911-1992, Marriage Index for 1973-1993 and Divorce Index for 1973-1993.

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41. Emigrant Register - Finland Institute of Migration
The Emigrant Register was established in 1989 as a service for genealogists and the descendants of Finnish Emigrants. Sources include passport records (different years in different provinces), passenger records of the Finland Steamship Company (Suomen Höyrylaiva Osakeyhtiö), and information on Finns deceased abroad.

Over 550,000 free genealogy records are available for online searching.

42. Family Search Research Wiki
The FamilySearch website of the LDS Church offers more than just free genealogy databases. The extensive Research Wiki includes a series of wonderful research outlines which describe records and strategies that can be used to pursue family history research in regions and countries around the world. The FamilySearch Research Wiki also includes free maps, timelines, genealogical word lists and step-by-step research guides, as well as letter-writing guides to help you write letters requesting genealogical information from non-English speakers.

43. US Civil War Soldiers & Sailors
This free genealogy database contains basic facts about United States servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War; a list of regiments in both the Union and Confederate Armies; identifications and description of 384 significant battles of the war; and much more.

Over 5 million soldiers names from over 30 US states and territories are currently available online for free searching.

44. Canadian Genealogy Centre
Serving as a gateway to electronic genealogical resources in Canada, this free genealogy and family history site contains several free genealogy databases - including the fully-searchable Canadian Naturalizations 1915–1951 database of immigrants who received Canadian naturalization certificates, which were published in the Canada Gazette between 1915 and 1932, and the Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds.

45. Native American Genealogy
A wealth of information on America's Native American tribes, this free genealogy site includes online indexes to the Final Rolls (Dawes Roll), Guion Miller Roll, Kern Clifton Roll, Wallace Roll, McKennon Roll, and Cooper Roll, as well as tips for searching these and other Native American census records.

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46. German Military Grave Registration Service
This free German genealogy database contains more than 2 million names of missing and dead German soldiers from World War I and World War II. All that is necessary is a surname (nachname) to search. On the first visit you will be required to register with your name and address (Straße/Nr. - Street and Number, Land - Country, PLZ - Postal or Zip Code, and Ort - City) to view the search results.

47. Geneactes
Select a French département to access online databases containing free transcriptions of French civil registration records of birth, marriage, and death. Also available in English.

48. New Brunswick Provincial Archives - Online Research
The Web site of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Canada, is an excellent example of what we would all like online archives to be! A large number of free genealogy databases are available including John Lovell’s Canadian Directory for 1871, the Irish Famine Database, Index to Land Petitions 1783-1918, Index to County Birth Registers 1801-1899, Index to Provincial Registrations of Births 1900-1903, Index to New Brunswick Marriages 1887-1926, Index to Marriage Bonds 1810-1932, Land Grants 1765-1900, and New Brunswick cemeteries.

49. Utah Cemeteries and Burials Database
The Utah Cemetery Inventory project of the Utah State Historical Society includes a searchable database of over 600,000 burials in 321+ cemeteries.

They hope to eventually have a listing of every person buried in the state of Utah!

50. Enciclopedia Heráldica Hispano-Americana
This free searchable genealogy database from the US Library of Congress indexes 88 volumes by Alberto and Arturo García Carraffa which cover Spanish Heraldry and over 15,000 names with their genealogical histories.

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