Free Ancestry Records – Research Secrets for Finding Free Ancestry Records

Free ancestry records are available on many different websites, but often they are not as comprehensive a collection as those of paid subscription sites. But don’t worry, that brings us to our first secret! Did you know that some of the vast databases of subscription websites can be found elsewhere on the internet – for free! Ancestry records are big business these days, and the hard working researchers and cataloguers who compile the large databases should be financially rewarded. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret that changes normally subscription databases into free ancestry records!

Free Ancestry Secret #1 - Accessing Free Ancestry Records through your Library’s Subscription

Yes, that’s right, many libraries have subscriptions to costly databases that are free to use for their members. Since joining a library is free, becoming a member of one makes for a very lucrative investment. Even if your local library isn’t subscribed to one of the major commercial genealogy websites, they may be part of a wider system that does have it. If it is, then becoming a member of your local library usually extends your membership to all of its partners. The easiest way to find out if your library has access to these databases is to ask the reference librarian. Perhaps your local library won’t have access, but it is possible that one in a neighbouring county may.

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Free Ancestry Secret #2 - Accessing Free Ancestry Records at Family History Centres

We’ve talked about family history centres before; they are the genealogical hubs run by the LDS (Latter Day Saints), and a great source of free ancestry records. A quick visit to will help you to locate the one nearest to you. There is a library drop-down menu under which you can select Family History Centres, then you simply enter your location (Worldwide options) and the search will return the one nearest you. The Family History Centres allow you to download the databases, so take a flash drive with you to save any free ancestry records you might find.

Free Ancestry Secret #3 – Accessing Free Ancestry Records through the Internet

There are free ancestry records hidden all over the Internet. Generally speaking, the National Archives of many countries have either indexes to or parts of their databases available to researchers online. Of course to successfully find free ancestry records, you have to know what data you’re looking for.

Make sure you’re well prepared for your ancestor search by having as much information about the family member, geographical location, or type of free ancestry record you’re looking for.

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It is a good idea to join your local genealogical society, or at least the one closest to you. These organizations may have subscriptions to the large commercial databases, even some of their own. Genealogical societies also have access to huge amounts of literature, genealogical expertise, and good old fashioned companionship. The professional guidance and experience available to genealogical societies are just a few of the benefits of membership, another benefit is – more secrets as to how to access free ancestry records!

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