Every one of us has long ancestries and searching for our ancestors can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time. There tends to be a person in every family who becomes resilient and obsessed with tracing his or her ancestors. In our family, that person is me.  This is the reason why I am online right now writing this article to share with you guys my journey in finding my family tree without paying or spending a buck.

I started with the traditional Genealogy. I talked to the people around me – these are my family, friends, relatives and more.  I asked them about themselves and write their stories down. Yup, I log, document, and source every single piece of information that I find. You do the same thing whether it came from your grandparents, Find-A-Grave, Ancestry websites, Census, or any document – even a note written on the back of a certain photo.

Be as detailed as much as possible. Add page numbers, line numbers, book titles, even the dates, and places.  

Your goal is to talk to a lot of people and get the facts – important names, relationships, birth dates, marriage dates, death dates, etc.  You might want to talk to the oldest people in your family. Or talk to your neighbors who might remember your family. Try to get everything while they’re still alive.  Talk to your distant relatives. It’s going to be a lot easier these days because of technology today. You can easily contact them via email, Skype, Facebook or other social media channels. Try to compare if they have the same stories, or they got different ones.  Work your way backward in time, little by little, until you got that far enough to find your ancestors.  Finally, work your way you’re your ancestors forward in time to find your other relatives.

Tip: Never take as absolute truth what someone else recorded in their tree about your family. If the tree contains names that are new to you (or not), do your own detective work and investigate any sources the other person recorded but don’t rely solely on their info.

Again, there’s no need to go to any paid Ancestry websites such as Find my Past, Ancestry, My Heritage, or resort to Genetic Geneology. Believe me, you can do it without spending dollars! Just be persistent, do your own research. Census is an excellent starting point to find and learn more about your family. In the U.K., you’d find information from 1850–1940 which are especially helpful – they have a list of everyone in the family; you’ll find your grandparents or great grandparents here. Then, you can work your way back to find their parents, and so on. But then again, the information that you may find here can also be sketchy – so make sure that you verify every bit of information that you have collated.

Research is the key, please don’t regurgitate

Family Search

If you are not into old school approach of documenting everything, you may create a free account at Family Search. Here, you can enter all the information so you’d be able to update it,  preserve it, and keep everything organized online.  You may also upload all the pictures and other memorabilia – you just need to scan them using a flatbed scanner.  You may also use a mobile phone to record your interviews; then upload it on YouTube. Family Search also has tons of records available that you can access for free, so be sure to take advantage of it. Moreover, they also have free online help and volunteer missionaries 24/7 who can help you with your questions.  They also have centers across the globe where you can get free help.

Free Genealogy Websites

Free entry to info data is only a couple of clicks away — no membership needed!   You may find anything into some newspaper article on the company of your great-grandfather from duplicates of your grandparents’ death certificates.  Take a look at these free genealogy websites with information that is free that will assist you research your loved ones and develop your family tree.

  1. Family Hunt  — The largest free genealogy site on earth.
  2. Library of Congress — accessibility free digitized pictures of papers, books, movies, maps, personal narratives, photographs, prints, and drawings.
  3. MyHeritage — Hunt over 10 billion worldwide historic records, birth, marriage and death records from 32 nations, 25 million pages of historic papers dating back to 1803, and over 6.3 billion titles — all using a 14-day trial.  Use it for 2 weeks if it is not for you, and then cancel.5.  
  4. Ancestry Free Trial — You are able to get access to every one Ancestry.com records to get a 14-day free trial.
  5. FindAGrave — More than 170 million burial records are filed to Find-A-Grave.
  6. Ellis Island — During this site, you can learn more about the history of Ellis Island, get advice on genealogy research, and hunt the 65 million Ellis Island database entries for the immigrant ancestors.
  7. USGenWeb — County and state sources, maintained and compiled by volunteers, the USGenWeb websites can offer historical information regarding areas, local cemeteries, neighborhood birth, and death records, obituaries, and links to additional sources linked to the region and its own people.
  8. Fulton History — A searchable repository of older papers printed in the USA and Canada, Fulton History includes historic photographs and papers from 1795 into 2007, with new information added weekly.
  9. MyHeritage Family Tree Builder — This free program has high ratings in its own features, ease of usage, and client care.
  10. David Rumsey’s Ancient Maps — With more than 90,000 maps and associated images streamed on line, this map set can help you determine where your ancestors lived and how borders and place names changed over time.
  11. Sanborn Maps — A map set contained in the Library of Congress, this group of fire insurance maps printed by the Sanborn Map Company may be used to determine how towns evolved over time.
  12. Google Maps — Google Maps will help you find areas, examine the space between locations, and watch topographical or satellite pictures of geographic places.
  13. Google Books — Lots of out of print publications are scanned and may be read at no cost on the Google Books page.
  14. Online Archive — This is a fantastic place to try to find a family genealogy book or local history publication.
  15. Jewish Gen — If your ancestors were Jewish, then this site has over 20 million albums from all around the world that will assist you follow your Jewish heritage.
  16. DeadFred — A completely free genealogy photo record, Dead Fred allows you to search for photographs of your ancestors, and offers a forum to place photos for other investigators to find.                                                        

We, at Family Tree Shop, wishes you good luck. It’s a tough task but definitely, you will gain an appreciation and perspective that will bless your lives in so many ways!

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