Free Ancestry Research Records – The True Value of Free Ancestry Research Records

Finding free ancestry research records is easier now than it has ever been in the past. More and more free ancestry records are becoming available to budding genealogists on a daily basis. But what is the true worth of these documents? Can they be trusted to provide accurate information on our ancestors? Are they really free? Who is behind uploading these free ancestry research records to the internet? We’ll answer these questions, and a few more (you might be surprised at the answers!) to see if there is true value in free ancestry research records.

Where Can I find Free Ancestry Research Records?

Often the first question we are asked by beginning genealogists. The answer today is different from yesterday, and will be different from tomorrow. This is because there is a constant troupe of volunteers working tirelessly day by day transcribing and uploading free ancestry research records to help you find ancestors. The biggest collection of free ancestry research records to be found online is at Family Search. Their extensive worldwide collection of genealogical data includes billions of records and hundreds of millions of names.

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What Free Ancestry Research Records Can I Find Online?

There are a wide variety of free ancestry research records to be found online. These include:

  • Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates
  • Census Reports
  • Poor House Records
  • Military records
  • Ship’s Passenger Lists
  • Immigration and Naturalization Records
  • Cemetery records
  • Baptismal Registers
  • Wills and Probate records
  • Property and Estate Records
  • Surname Studies
  • Native American Tribal Studies and Census Reports

And the list goes on! These free ancestry research records vary in the degree of accuracy and amount of information contained in them, but generally are a powerful resource to tap into when searching ancestors. Whenever you find ancestry records free though, it is important to validate them by checking them with original documents. These can usually be ordered online from the website hosting the free ancestry research records.

Question: Are Free Ancestry Research Records Really Free?

The answer to this question might surprise you; yes, most of them really are. Be wary though of commercial sites offering a free search though, as often you can search the records, but must pay a fee to access them or sign up for a trial membership to their website. Some are worth it, some not so much, but sites do offer absolutely free ancestry research records for you to browse.

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Question: What Information Can I Find in Free Ancestry Research Records?

The information you might find in free ancestry research records will largely depend on the type of document you find, but generally you can discover your ancestor’s; name, place and date of birth, their marital status, health and welfare information, place of residency, occupation, social and economic status, even names of friends, associates and other relatives or children or mistresses you may not have been aware of.

The data found in free ancestry research records can not only help you to discover vital information about your ancestors, but help you to profile their personality as well.

For instance, if the free ancestry records you find place your relative in a Workhouse or Poorhouse, they may have been a bit of a rogue, or a down and out gambler. Finding your relative in free ancestry records such as Wills and Probates, may indicate that they inherited a bit of money, and consequently lived well.

When searching ancestors using free ancestry research records, don’t overlook the historical aspect of genealogy. Picture how your relative might have lived given the times and the circumstances they dwelled in, along with the official data you recover. After all, that’s the most fun part of a genealogical search!

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