Top 10 Reader Recommended Free Genealogy Sites

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Top 10 Reader Recommended Free Genealogy Sites

To make it easy for you to take advantage of the many no-cost resources available on the web, we’ve recommended a good deal of free genealogy websites on Family History Daily.

Many of the wonderful research sites we’ve shared were brought to our attention originally by readers who use them every day. Some are recommended to us repeatedly because of their quality and expansive offerings. We thought you’d like to know which family history sites readers share the most. Find them below!

Note About FamilySearch: It’s no surprise that this is the most recommended free genealogy research site by our readers — but because most researchers are already aware of FamilySearch we have not included them in the list below. With the largest collection of free genealogical records in the world, as well as a free family tree and many research guides and tools, FamilySearch is the absolute best place to start for most family historians looking for free records.

Here’s a roundup of the 10 most recommended free genealogy research sites on Family History Daily. Enjoy!

1. USGenWeb Archives Project: A massive, collaborative, volunteer run database of user-submitted transcriptions of family history data. Whereas the USGenWeb Project provides helpful state by state genealogy research guides, the Archives Project holds the record transcriptions. You can search all of the US at one time, or every state individually. This is a wonderful resource to make use of and, if you can, donate your time to. Highly recommended by readers.

2. Fulton History: This site has been shared with us many, many times. It offers millions of free scanned pages from historical newspapers in the US and Canada where you can locate obituaries, birth and death notices and much more. Lots of search options make finding what you need surprisingly straightforward.

3. Internet Archive: Finding ancestors on this free digital library requires a bit of searching and careful research, but Internet Archive offers such a vast array of information that it is an extremely useful tool for genealogists. They are not to be missed. Find our guide to using Internet Archive for genealogy here.

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4. Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness: Many of our readers have mentioned this volunteer run site for genealogy lookups. RAOGK is a gathering place for family historians who are willing to look for records, conduct cemetery searches and more in their own location. This is a wonderful way to find records in places that you can’t travel to – and perhaps you can help other researchers?

5. Genealogy Trails: This free ancestry research site offers a large and diverse collection of transcribed family history records created by a group of volunteers. Comes highly recommended.

6. WikiTree: If you haven’t yet tried out WikiTree, our readers recommend that you do. This enormous collaborative family tree has data on more than 10 million people and helpful forums.

7. Find a Grave: Like so many free genealogy sites, Find a Grave consists of user submitted data. Although this extremely popular resource was acquired by Ancestry.com in 2013, the site continues to offer a completely free search of more than 130 million graves dating back to the 1600s.

8. Cyndi’s List: For those of you who have never checked out this huge directory of genealogy resources, you’ll want to give it a try. Whatever the topic of research, Cyndi’s List has links to free and paid resources to help you. Well-loved by our readers.

9. UK National Archives: Searching for ancestors in the UK? Then this site is for you. They offer millions of free records, detailed and beautifully laid out research guides and explanations of where to find family history records they don’t hold. Find more free UK genealogy sites in our guide.

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10. Library and Archives CanadaThe official archives of Canada includes a huge wealth of information and searchable databases — including marriage, census, land, and military records, directories, additional resources, guides and much more. If you have ancestors who were from, or may have immigrated through, Canada then this site is for you. Find their ancestor search here. Locate more free Canadian resources on this page.

You might also like: Many, but not all, of these resources can also be found on our list of 50 free genealogy sites. Take a look at that list if you need more resource options or view more of our Free Genealogy Site Guides here.

Don’t see your favorite resource? Post it in the comments.

Image: H. Witherspoon & wife, between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920, Library of Congress on Flickr

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2 Comments
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  • Linda Thomsen
    August 21, 2016 at 12:19 am

    This is a new site for me. You offer help in researching that is much needed!

  • Bob Vornlocker
    September 5, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Here’s 2. German Genealogy Group – TheGGG,org has an abundance of New York City vital records free, Elephind is a central link to free newspaper archives in many countries – also free.

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