Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network


Finding Family for Free

Many genealogy resources help you find your ancestors little or no cost. Join this group to share or gain ideas. My blog Relative Musings is filled with entries about such resources plus examples showing how they really work.

Members: 277
Latest Activity: Oct 28, 2020


If you're looking for genealogy tips and strategies to help you find your ancestors for little or no cost, please visit my blog Relative Musings. It is filled with many ideas and examples for you. Or use the Index to Finding Family for Free to zero in a tip or strategy of particular interest.

The blog post for July 11, 2009 is on GenealogyWise for free networking on your surname, family location, Y or mtDNA haplogroup and much more. Please join the Finding Family for Free Group!

Discussion Forum

101 Best Free Genealogy Websites 2 Replies

Started by Barbara Bradley Petura. Last reply by Bonnie Skiles Rost Mar 25, 2012.

Use 1940 Census FREE starting April 2, 2012

Started by Barbara Bradley Petura Mar 24, 2012.

1940 US Census coming soon - FREE 2 Replies

Started by Barbara Bradley Petura. Last reply by Barbara Bradley Petura Jan 22, 2012.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Finding Family for Free to add comments!

Comment by Catherine Davis on May 19, 2010 at 11:56am
Helen, Have you tried looking in the town where his family came from in Scotland? Have you tried, as distinct from looking at the UK, as a whole? The site, which is the official site of the Scottish archives, claims to have a free search routine, but it is really not very good, and to do a real search and look-see will require buying credits.
Comment by Helen Pust on May 19, 2010 at 10:08am
Hi I have been a long time member of Ancestry and have had luck on some of the branches. But there are a couple that still give me fun at finding facts. The one I really have is find my grandfathers birth certificate in the UK. Apparently according to family he was born on a ship from Scotland to Eng. but even the Gov. UK seem to have trouble finding his birth certificate. Things become even more difficult when they changed his name during his service with the army in 1900-06. If anyone has a suggestion other the the UK gov. please let me know. I only know his father's name, James Louder, but there are some many of same name it is hard to pick,. If I can help others with info on family in western Canada please let me know.
Comment by Robin Foster on May 14, 2010 at 11:01am
Great Resource! Have you also seen: Best Free Online Resources at FamilySarch Forums?
Comment by ELIZABETH DILLEEN on March 31, 2010 at 4:36am
Hello, I am very interested in finding family without expense. I have used Ancestry. com before but since I live in australia and my history is in America, it can be expense especially when the dollar fluctuates. The 19.95 per month subscription can become 35.00 or 40.00 instead. I will surely be looking in on this section regularly.
Comment by Barbara Bradley Petura on December 27, 2009 at 3:15pm
Catherine Davis, below, has a very good point -- that most genealogy resources have costs, whether to taxpayers or businesses or non-profit groups. I suppose the only truly free genealogy information comes from our family records, scrapbooks, Bibles and conversations - which is why those are so important!

I chose the phrase Finding Family for Free for a series of postings in my blog called Relative Musings. I then used it here at GenealogyWise. My aim was to encourage newcomers to try to find more about their families and not be afraid they have no chance to finding resources without big outlays of money. Because there are many resources available at no cost to someone just beginning. [See my discussion above on the newly available DAR patriot records, for example].

One of the most amazing free resources is Google Books, with thousands of digitized books including those out of copyright with the full information. I have found much of my Bradley family records from their centuries in Connecticut and from there back to Yorkshire. I salute Google for investing some of their considerable earnings into this project to make the world's published knowledge available to all.

I commend the states that are making older birth and death records easily available online. Another example is my own State of Washington which has excellent Digital Archives.

I fully agree with Catherine - always thank volunteers who help you, take time to give back by helping others, and don't begrudge the modest fees of $5 or $10 or $15 to a library or genealogy society! I encourage you to join genealogy and history societies relevant to your family research to support their work. Become a volunteer yourself. Some of the finest free genealogy information comes from people helping people!

Happy New Year and best wishes for your family research!
Comment by Catherine Davis on December 17, 2009 at 9:39pm
The idea of free genealogy has also been a discussion in the forum under the topic "Fees for information from Genealogy sites." I encourage all of you to check out the discussion that has gone on there. In addition, I feel it is very important to say the same thing here that I did there, and that is that there is no such thing as free genealogy. A website may be free you or me, but someone somewhere is paying for it, whether it be the LDS church members on or the taxpayers of Missouri who bring us I'm neither a Mormon nor a Missourian, but I appreciate both groups of people because they have given me great leads in finding my family or in helping a client. Same with libraries, county courts, etc. In most instances, it is thanks to taxpayers or someone else somewhere that we can access information that looks free to us. Please say thanks to them, before you lambast those places that charge you $10 to use the library that has come under hard times during this economic downturn.
Comment by Barbara Bradley Petura on October 12, 2009 at 10:02pm
Hello Darlene, Thank you for offering to help members of the group with research in Columbus, Ohio. That sort of genealogical kindness can make a big difference!
Comment by Darlene Ford on October 12, 2009 at 7:17am
I am willing to help do research here in Columbus, Ohio.
Comment by Barbara Bradley Petura on October 11, 2009 at 1:44pm
Hello! We're almost to 100 members of Finding Family for Free, so welcome to new members and long timers alike. If you look under the Using Google Search for Genealogy discussion, you'll see I've posted a new resource outlining 18 ways to use Google tools and search strategies. I think you'll find something useful there!
Comment by Barbara Bradley Petura on September 15, 2009 at 9:17pm
Welcome to Finding Families for Free! There are now 6 topics in the Discussion Forum so please click View All to see the topics. And add your ideas in the forum or here on the Comments Wall. You will help others by providing your tips and suggestions on resources. Thanks! Barbara

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