Free Genealogy and Family History Records on the Internet
Annotation:Created by the Church of Latter Day Saints, this enormously useful site has grown exponentially. There are billions of names found in hundreds of collections—including birth, marriage, death, probate, land, military, census returns, and more.
Annotation:Now owned by Ancestry, but completely free and a volunteer effort. Host of the mighty WorldConnect project, where you may search millions of user submitted trees for your ancestors. Also, mailing lists for all the US counties and many foreign communities.
Annotation:This site was created by the founders of Rootsweb as their second project. It gathers all the best links to genealogy sites for every state. They're now adding the UK and Ireland. If it's important and useful, it will be here. I can't live without it.
Annotation:An all volunteer effort. Organization is by county and state, and this website provides you with links to all the state genealogy websites which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties. Some counties need volunteers and therefore have less to offer, other counties have a treasure trove.
Annotation:On their way from east to west, many migrants stopped for a while in Illinois. If they did, you'll surely find evidence here. This is a massive site with statewide indexes for births, marriages, and deaths as well as land and military records.
Annotation:Another large American migration took our ancestors out of New England and through New York. This site has a dazzling collection of digitized newspapers from all over New York state, and it's searchable by name. Here, you may find the real stories behind some of those family legends.
Annotation:Heritage Quest has census returns, both searchable and browseable, plus a giant collection of digitzed books, including family, town, county and state histories. It is searchable by name and place, but does not have "fuzzy" searching, so remember to try all the variant spellings of a surname. This site is available from home with your Multnomah County library card.
Annotation:This is available at Multnomah County Library locations only. It has all the US and UK Census returns, an Australian and Canadian census collection, immigration & travel, vital records and much, much more!
Annotation:More than 22 million passengers and members of ship's crews entered the United States through Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924. Now you can search these millions of records for information on individual Ellis Island passengers. Records include passenger name, date of arrival, ship of travel, age on arrival, and more.
Annotation:If your ancestor arrived after 1820 and prior to 1892, you won't find them at the Ellis Island site. If they came through New York, they landed at Castle Garden. Remember to search for all the various spellings of your ancestor's name.
A Shared List by girlsean
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My go-to list of sites with hard data, i.e. vital records, family trees, local histories, military records, immigration & ships lists, census returns & more. All are either entirely free, or in the case of Ancestry and Heritage Quest, are available via your Multnomah County Library card.