Free Genealogy Research Databases; What do They Contain?

The contents of free genealogy research databases are as varied as the websites and organizations that house them. Knowing what information is contained in these free genealogy research databases is paramount to successfully conducting a fruitful search of your family history. Many databases are subject specific, even restricted to one family surname. Some are large, and some quite small, others contain data that you can access freely, while many require you to register or become a member before doing so. But registering or becoming a member is a waste of time if the information you seek is not held in that particular database. In this article I’ll attempt to illuminate where you can find the most popularly required documentation in free genealogy research databases.

Census Reports

There are several free genealogy research databases in which you can find census reports. One particularly useful site is, which has free genealogy research databases for 1880 United States, 1881 British Isles, and 1881 Canada census reports. The search is completely free, and will return information on your ancestors birth year, birthplace, age, occupation, marital status, race, who the head of the household was, your ancestor’s relationship to the head of household, the birthplace of both of their parents, and the location at which the census was held. All you need is a surname to begin using these free genealogy research databases, which could lead you to other vital information regarding your relative.

The US GenWeb Census Project at has a fantastic library of transcribed census reports for the entire United States. The free genealogy research databases transcribed here are county specific and can save you a wealth of valuable time in your family search. These census reports have been transcribed in text format and the names listed alphabetically and vertically, making a quick browse of the surnames possible, making this one of the most useful free genealogy research databases available online.

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Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates

In the United States, free genealogy research databases that include birth, deaths and marriages can be found on the individual websites of each state’s archives. One such site I’ll use as an example is the State of Utah’s Division of Archives and Records Service. Free genealogy research databases are available for births from 1898, death pre-dating 1898 till present, and marriages from 1887. If your ancestor was from overseas, the National Archives or Register General will usually hold the same. Cindi’s List, a popular genealogy website, provides an excellent links page to free genealogy research databases for births, deaths and marriages at Keep in mind, that though you may be able to access the free genealogy research databases that are linked to, you may have to pay a small processing and shipping fee to receive copies of the original documents.


A great place to find a plethora of free genealogy research databases containing surnames is On this website you’ll find a plethora of free genealogy research databases containing surnames from a multitude of countries and the regions within. is also a website that provides a platform to post any genealogical queries you may have, which may allow you to connect with other genealogists, or of course, your cousins!

The website is completely dedicated to helping people connect with both deceased and living relatives and provides a wealth of information on how to get the most out of their free genealogy research databases.

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So called free genealogy research databases are a dime a dozen on the internet today, and the term Free is often misused by some websites. Though a search of their free genealogy research databases is allowed; accessing the returned info costs money. Always make sure what the terms and conditions of using their free genealogy research databases are before being lured into spending your hard-earned cash.

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