Resources for the Amateur Genealogist

Ancestry research begins by collecting family documents and stories. This creates a foundation for research that involves examining and evaluating historical records about ancestors and other relatives, their relationships, and the events that occurred in their lives. The websites below will help you as a beginner, to get started on a project that is fun and may last for decades.

Using Free Ancestry Resources
Has Somebody Already Researched My Family
LDS Family Search Learning Center(Audio & Video Lessons) - United State

Explore Your Roots

Free Census Resources

The United States Census of 1790 was the first census conducted in the United States. Census data included the name of the head of the family and listed people as follows: free white males at least 16 years of age (to assess the country’s industrial and military potential), free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons (reported by sex and color), and slaves. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson's marshals collected data from all thirteen states.  Today this data is a valuable resource for discovery our ancestors past. The free website links listed below will help you discover your ancestors movements across America.

Free Family Trees

The longest family tree in the world today is that of the Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius. Your family tree may not be as long, but is just as important to you and other family members. A family tree is an easy way to view your family's past at a glance. It's a good idea to publish your family tree so others who may decide to research your family won't have to repeat the work you 

have done. The websites below allow you to create a familytree for free.  There are other websites that offer free family trees, but these seem to be the most popular at this time.


Emigrant Ships Passenger Lists

Beginning in 1606 people began emigrating from England to countries such as the United States. Emigration increased after 1815 when it became a means of poor relief. Emigration also increased during the gold rush. Records were not required for free emigrants to the United States until 1776. The free

websites below contain ship names and passenger information for many emigrant ships to the United States and many other countries.

Free Ancestry Search Tools

The largest free ancestry search website is the LDS 

Family Search website.  It contains a large collection of birth, death, social security, census data and more that belong to the LDS church. The "USGenWeb Archive" search checks records that have been collected and archived by volunteers over many years.  The "RootsWeb WorldConnect Global Search" checks records submitted by users of the website. Mocovo searches the entire internet. There is also the link below "Google Ancestry Search" which through example, takes you through a search using Google command operators to filter search results.


The Ultimate US States Resource Website 
Includes Webpages For All 50 States

The link below will take you to free resources for all fifty states and most counties. On each state page you will find a section called "County Websites". The county sites are from the "USGenWeb Project","Genealogy Trails History Group", "Trails To The Past", "American History and Genealogy Project" and the "American  Local History Network".  All of these organizations are ran by volunteers. 

You will notice that some of the counties have no data and specify that they are adoptable. These organizations rely on our support, so if you are interested in adopting  one of these counties, please contact the groups state administrator.

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