Free Genealogy

There are a growing number of useful and free genealogy and family history resources, tools, and websites.

Family Search Website

One of the most active organizations in genealogy is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – the Mormon Church. Their flagship genealogy information FamilySearch website is one of the most comprehensive databases of family history and genealogical information in the world. What is more, it is a growing genealogy database that increases in size and scope with each passing day. The Mormon family search website is free to use and is well worth your time to explore.

Personal Ancestral File Free Genealogy Software

Again, from the Mormon Church, PAF – or Personal Ancestral File, is a free genealogy download available on the home page of the Family Search website. The PAF genealogy software is extremely powerful and user friendly and provides an excellent repository for all of your genealogy information. It has a robust pedigree or family tree feature as well as family group sheet templates to create your own extensive family history and genealogical information database.

Free Family History Information Centers

The Mormon Church has a very extensive network of Genealogy Libraries and Family History Centers. Listings for the family history centers can be found in the white pages under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The centers are located in many cities and are staffed during the day and into the evenings with trained volunteers. The centers are equipped with an extensive array of computer and microfiche resources. Schedules may vary so it is wise to call to set an appointment. The genealogy centers are free to the public and the staff is typically well trained and helpful.

Public Records Databases

City, county, and State public records are available for your review with a little effort. These records are not always the easiest to navigate. But generally there is someone there who can assist you. You may be surprised to find a few nuggets of important genealogy information by searching these old records. Be aware that many of these old records have been transferred over the years to microfilm and microfiche. The family history centers of the Mormon church can provide advice on how to access these archived records. Public records databases may include information on wills, land and property deeds, marriage information, household census information, immigration records, and other vital pieces of family history and genealogy information.

Cemeteries

It can be exciting to search old cemeteries where you know that ancestors have lived and died. Quite often these cemeteries will contain the graves of one or more of your relatives. Headstones generally have very accurate information regarding birth, death, and often marriage dates. Some headstones even include information on children born to the deceased. A visit to one or more cemeteries in the vicinity of known ancestral homesteads can yield a great deal of genealogy information. It is wise to not only make careful notes when visiting these cemeteries but also to take photos of the ancestral headstones you discover. Don’t forget to note the name and location of the cemetery!

There are a growing number of useful and free genealogy and family history resources, tools, and websites.

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