Surnames and Family Research Forum Archive
Some Free Resources On Internet !
Originally Posted Sunday, 18 December 2005, at 6:54 p.m.
You're always going to have some type of expenses if you're going to seriously research your family. There are free resources on the internet that can take you so far, but for absolute proof, you're going to need copies of birth or death or marriage records at the very least. People can offer to help you research some of these records, including census records, but then again, you are also limited in that you need to see some of those records yourself, so you would have to have access to census records. It also depends on how much you want to know about your family and how much you can find on the net. Another thing to do is to keep a look out on the Message Boards when free info is given by people posting messages with data that can be helpful to you.
You will almost certainly need to look at Census records, so try your local library to see if they have access to Ancestry.com or HeritageQuest. Some of them offer the ability to view those sites from your home through the use of your library card.
Check at the local Family History Centers run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints,the Mormons, also known as the LDS. You can view a number of genealogical records there for free, however, if the records for the location you are researching aren't housed at your local site, they can be ordered to view there for a small nominal fee. You can also do some research at the LDS website at:
The site also has the 1880 census online for free, and has an excellent tutorial on their website starting on their homepage, which I would suggest you look through to get an idea of what kinds of records you need and where and how to obtain them.
I happened to have posted to several boards recently a list of useful sites, and I am repeating it here.
USGenweb & Rootsweb have a number of free databases which can be searched
very easily. First of all try searching at the Rootsweb homepage by name,
they have the largest group of free resources online:
USGenweb can researched a number of ways, but probably the best way is by
going to the State and County pages that you need. Click onto the State in
the left column of the homepage, and then pick the County you want to check.
Most of the County Websites have lots of data contributed by users including
census, wills, deeds, court records, almost anything for genealogy
researching. Try it, you'll be amazed at what's available for free:
By the way, if you don't know the county, but have the city or town, try
doing a search at Rootsweb's "U.S. Town/County Database", available on their
homepage. Just click onto the link, and type in the city & 2 letter State
abbreviation. Most genealogy research locates records based on the names of
a County, so it is important to know the County.
Here are a number of State or County databases that can help in doing
specific researches, and which have documents or links to data:
(Halifax County, North Carolina)
(Northeastern North Carolina Genealogy Research database includes,
Maps,Court Records, Military databases for the Spanish American War, Civil
War, WWII, County Histories, Cemeteries, plus books for NC, and much more.
(Warren Co.,North Carolina family bible records)
(Warren Co.,NC Property Records database)
(Linkpendium Genealogy, has websites and resources for most Counties in the
USA. I use it for mostly NC research, so this takes you to the Granville
Co. webpage, but you can key in your own locations by clicking onto "USA" at
the top of the page)
(Nash Co.North Carolina Register of DeedsOnline)
(Wake Co.,NC Register of Deeds Online)
(Documenting the American South website run by University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill, many online books available for reading )
(website to assist in North Carolina Birth Certificates searches)
(Oberlin County, Ohio College website, lots of historical records for Ohio)
(Ohio Death Certificates 1913 -1937 Online)
(Illinois State Archives)
(Kentucky Vital Records database)
(Kentucky Cemetery records and more)
(Missouri State Archives)
(Kentucky land records and links to more)
(Virginia Tax Records 1790 -1800)
(Website to help in researching military history)
(SearchSystems.net - Public Records directory. This link is for NC, but can
key in the State of your choice)
(Ellis Island Passenger Arrivals research - can search for list of people
who arrived in Ellis Island)
(Search for cemetery records nationwide)
(Find a Grave)
(Index to the Dawes Rolls for Native American Research)
(Search for free census records online)
(free census records finder)
(free census and genealogy research sites)
(Michigan Online census)
(Lots of genealogy maps, and a good list of genealogy terms, and illnesses,
a must for beginners, or just someone needing a refresher course)
(Lots of free data, including Census and Marriage records for Cherokee
County, North Carolina)
(1895 U.S. Atlas, for every state and county in the U.S.)
The following are a bunch of websites featuring historical maps for all
eras, and all areas of the U.S. and World.
(North Carolina County formation maps, clickable from 1700-1912)
(maps of all kind)
(want to find out what is available and who to contact for any State or
County office in the U.S.? It's at this website)
The following is a link to a website run by the University of North Carolina
at Greensboro that has transcribed thousands of slavery petitions for 15
states. Transcriptions are fully searchable and lists names of slaves,
masters, and locations where petitions were filed.
Links to websites featuring lists of nicknames used in historical and
present times, which can be very useful when trying to locate your
ancestors. I'll bet a lot of people never knew that a name like "Mary" and
"Polly" were interchangeable, or that "Mary" and "Molly", "Jane" and
"Gincy", "Daisy" and "Margaret", "Madge" and "Margaret", and hundreds of
others, were variations on the same names. That can make the difference when
you can't find your Great Aunt Jane, but all you see is someone named
"Jincy", or "Gincy".
Looking for an Obituary of a fairly recent death, or in some cases, for a
death occurring in the last 50 years or so? Or is there an article you
heard about that appeared in a newspaper somewhere in the country? You can
find it yourself in many cases by simply checking newspapers for the area of
the country where the individual died. The following is the link to
Newspapers.com, with links to newspapers throughout the world. Just key in
the name of the location you want to find a newspaper, and you'll get a
Results listing all of the local newspapers for the area. Click onto the
newspaper site, and you can read the paper online, and most of them feature
archived articles and obituaries which can be searched for free for a
certain amount of years back. There are a few which charge a fee for older
articles, but then again, there are those that don't. Try it.
Find something on almost anyone who ever had anything to do with politics at
the Political Graveyard.
Genealogy resource page - Your guide to free genealogy search tips,
articles, and family tree
Want to find out more about the "Lost Colony of Roanoke"?
Want to learn more about the original colonists at Jamestown? Plenty of
searchable material here.
The following are websites that sell various genealogy books. Many times,
these are the only way that some of us can find those wills, deeds, estate
records, etc., and these websites sell books at fairly decent prices and are
very reliable. The webpages are fully Searchable.
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