Ancestor Search Free – How to Conduct an Ancestor Search for Free

Conducting an ancestor search for free, although possible, will contain certain pitfalls. Knowing where and how to look for your relatives is obviously essential, but understanding how to interpret the information you’ll find is important too. In this guide to searching ancestors, we’ll take you through the procedures of researching, and highlight what snags you might run into when conducting an ancestor search free.

Where to Conduct an Ancestor Search for Free

You can begin your ancestor search using free databases that are hosted online by various websites. The largest online genealogical database is housed at Family Search and is maintained by the Mormon Church. The collection of resources offered by this organization is the largest in the world. You can find data on African American, Latin, Jewish and many other ethnic groups in their library of records, as well as genealogical records form just about every country around the world. They have been accumulating ancestral data for over a hundred years, and besides their online catalogues they maintain well over four thousand family History Centers in seventy countries throughout the world. The vast collection of records hosted by Family Search makes it the number one choice of genealogists looking to conduct an ancestor search free.

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Besides using online resources, be sure to visit libraries and national archives. These institutions possess many records and other resources that will help you to undertake an ancestors search free. Often libraries will have subscriptions to major genealogy websites, and members can use them at no additional cost. In national archives you’ll find original census reports and other genealogical records that are critical to the success of any ancestor search. Free advice is usually given to beginning researchers, and occasionally there will be a professional genealogist to consult with.

Don’t Make These Mistakes When Conducting an Ancestor Search for Free

  1. Don’t Fail to Authenticate Records. When performing an ancestor search, free information will be discovered that could lead you to your relatives. It is wise however, to authenticate it before going any further in your ancestors search, as much transcribed data contains errors. The databases you’ll find during your genealogical journey have mostly been transcribed by volunteers who are human and do make mistakes. Often the writing on original documentation is illegible, and misspelt names and wrong dates and place names are common. When conducting an ancestor search for free, always authenticate what you find by cross-referencing with original documentation.
  2. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Sources. Although there is plenty of information available online to help you with an ancestor search for free, make no mistake; you cannot complete your family history online. You will need to find original documents, and although you can order some of these over the internet, they are mostly limited to primary records like BDM certificates and census reports. To find other important records such as Property Records, Wills and Testaments, and Military Records, you will have to go offline.

Do Implement These Strategies in Your Ancestor Search

Free information will only take you so far in a genealogical search, and you may find yourself stuck at some point. At this stage you may need assistance with your research, and there is plenty available. Libraries often have genealogical experts as part of their staff, especially the large national ones. They are very approachable and will be more than happy to help you in your ancestor search. Free access to large databases because of memberships in professional genealogical societies, and often extremely knowledgeable due to their experience, libraries are usually eager to help you perform an ancestor search for free.

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Networking with other genealogists can also help you to achieve success when conducting an ancestor search for free. Join forums and subscribe to genealogy newsgroups. You may find that another researcher has already found the information you’re looking for and will be happy to share it. Genealogy is about connecting; not just with the past, but with other family historians as well.

Many genealogical societies offer lectures and workshops that can help you to carry out an ancestor search free. Look for one near you, and give them a call to find out the membership requirements. You don’t have to go it alone in your ancestor search, free yourself from any inhibitions you may have about being a beginner and ask more experienced researchers for help. After all, they were once beginners themselves!

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