I have become very familiar with the resources available on FamilySearch.org, but there are a lot of times when I still hit roadblocks. I am aware of Ancestry.com, but I know that most of their sources are only available to paid members.

I can't afford a membership to a paid site like that right now - what other online content providers are there?

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    I'm not aware of anything free that is comparable in scope to FamilySearch.org or Ancestry.com so you may want to make your question a little more specific by at least including your country and perhaps state(s) of main interest.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 23 '12 at 2:45
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    I'm voting to close. While this question is sure to collect a good list of resources, it's not a good question for this site. A narrower focus might help, but I'm not sure how to get around the fact that it's a "list of resources" type question and the answers, by their nature, will become stale over time.
    – bstpierre
    Oct 23 '12 at 11:52
  • Discussion on meta: meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/89/…
    – bstpierre
    Oct 23 '12 at 12:35
  • I also voted to close. We want to encourage questions that represent real problems. With out specific context, the list of possible responses is almost endless.
    – GeneJ
    Oct 23 '12 at 12:44
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    FWIW, you can visit any LDS Family History Center and get free access to most paid genealogy websites, including Ancestry and Findmypast. Though on Ancestry you can't access your personal tree to link records to it.
    – user47
    Oct 23 '12 at 14:06

GenesReunited has a free model, with a pay option for access to certain census records etc.

It has a pretty good setup, and can import and export in GED. This far it has been the only one I have used to any degree, having not heard of any others until recently.


Which country as that makes a difference. Also what type of records are you looking for as that also makes a difference.

For the UK there are loads

FreeREG and Online Parish Clerks for Parish Registers

FreeCEN for Census records

FreeBMD for the GRO indices of Birth Marriage and Death Civil Registrations post-1837

FreeREG and FreeCen are "works in progress". FreeBMD is very mature and complete. The Online Parish Clerks (or OPCs) vary in how comprehensive they are.

Plus things like Yahoo genealogical groups and of course many more.

  • Colin, it would improve your answer if you explained what sort of records each of these sites offer.
    – user104
    Oct 23 '12 at 8:15
  • Yes but it would have helped if the original question was more detailed. If he isn't interested in UK records there is no point in giving more detail then the suggestions and details could be better focussed.
    – Colin
    Oct 23 '12 at 9:28
  • The suggestion has been made that he makes the question more specific.
    – user104
    Oct 23 '12 at 9:38
  • FreeBMD is very mature, but it cannot be described as 'complete'. It is still a work-in-progress and current coverage may be found at: freebmd.rootsweb.com/progress.shtml
    – ACProctor
    Oct 27 '12 at 17:41
  • I know this is closed but I found the reference to onlineparishclerks really useful. It's been a while since I looked at them and they have great resources now. I would also add www.ukbmd.org.uk because their transcriptions of local (not GRO) civil registrations often include more details for the older records (e.g. age at death, spouse's name, mother's maiden name).
    – ACProctor
    Jan 8 '13 at 16:06

Free or almost free:

Local libraries, either on line or in person. Family Search at the local LDS church. They have people that can give you ideas of where to search. A Genealogical society in your town or county. Sometimes a small fee. Online Yahoo group specific to your area of interest or family name.. There are several free online sites to post your tree and possibly connect with cousins. Google - search areas of interest and family names. Start a blog with your family and when someone is searching those names or locations they will get your Blog info.


Primarily Jewish oriented: jewishgen.org

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    David, this would be a better answer if you told us what sort of records are available at jewishgen.org.
    – user104
    Oct 23 '12 at 18:51
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    Here is a link to their databases but they have a lot more info available including many mailing lists that specialize in different areas of research for those interested in their Jewish roots: jewishgen.org/databases
    – David
    Oct 23 '12 at 20:02

US GenWeb and World GenWeb sites are also good resources. They are broken down by locality, usually to the county level (in the US), and sometimes contain some tips about how to research in the area, but they often contain transcriptions and record sets that are great to check. Their quality varies greatly by location.

  • Welcome to Genealogy and Family History SE! Can you describe what these sites do or what type of information they have? Oct 23 '12 at 13:38

You can find a list of some good online free resources at http://trackingyourroots.com/data/awardwinners.htm


Here are some of the free sites I use.


You should also check your local library to see if they have subscriptions to Ancestry or Newsdex that you can access for free.

The Library edition of Ancestry.com can be used free at most FamilySearch Centers. See FamilySearch.org then click on FamilySearch Centers at the top of the page to locate the one nearest you.

http://archive.org/ is another huge free site.

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