What free resources can I use for genealogy?

Many sources are freely available to the amateur genealogist.  You can create a free account for yourself in FamilySearch.org to build your tree electronically and share it with others. 

You can download free pedigree and family group charts from the National Archives website. 

https://www.archives.gov/files/research/genealogy/charts-forms/ancestral-chart.pdf

https://www.archives.gov/files/research/genealogy/charts-forms/family-group-sheet.pdf

Look for additional free forms from the websites of genealogical libraries and at Cyndislist.com.  https://www.cyndislist.com/us/

Your local public librarian can help you find books to use for free to help you learn best practices for genealogy.  They can also put you in touch with a local genealogical society where you can find further support and tips for learning to research your own genealogy. 

You can use FamilySearch.org to examine digitized historic documents and to look for further clues to build your tree, relationship by relationship, into the past.  You can find further freebies at websites like  https://cyndislist.com/

https://www.familysearch.org/en/

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Main_Page

https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog

The Library of Congress online catalog lists these fairly recent publications, which you may be able to find at a library near you. 

1.  All-in-one basic to advanced guide to genealogy & ancestry history research

https://lccn.loc.gov/2017910871

Berry, Kimberly L., author. All-in-one basic to advanced guide to genealogy & ancestry history research / Kimberly L. Berry. Streetsboro, Ohio : Jhana Books, Inc., [2017]

     294 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm

     CS16 .B45 2017

     ISBN: 15486952039781548695200 (trade pbk)

2.  The basic genealogy checklist : 101 tips & tactics to find your family history

https://lccn.loc.gov/2016042594

Christmas, Henrietta Martinez, author. The basic genealogy checklist : 101 tips & tactics to find your family history / by Henrietta M. Christmas & Paul F. Rhetts. Los Ranchos, NM : Rio Grande Books, [2017]

     119 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 21 cm.

     CS21 .C49 2017

     ISBN: 9781943681129 (pbk. : alk. paper)9781943681617 (ebook)

3.  Genealogy Basics In 30 minutes : The quick guide to creating a family tree, building connections with relatives, and discovering the stories of your ancestors

https://lccn.loc.gov/2016941441

Combs-Bennett, Shannon, author. Genealogy Basics In 30 minutes : The quick guide to creating a family tree, building connections with relatives, and discovering the stories of your ancestors / Shannon Combs-Bennett. First edition. [Newton, MA] : i30 Media Corporation, [2016]©2016

     93 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.

     CS16 .C66 2016

     ISBN: 9781939924681 (softcover)1939924685 (softcover)

4.  Organize your genealogy : strategies and solutions for every researcher

https://lccn.loc.gov/2017385317

Smith, Drew (Andrew Martin), 1956- author. Organize your genealogy : strategies and solutions for every researcher / Drew Smith. Cincinnati, Ohio : Family Tree Books, [2016]

     239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

     CS16 .S63 2016

     ISBN: 9781440345036 (pbk)1440345031 (pbk)

5.  How to do everything. Genealogy

https://lccn.loc.gov/2014046320

Morgan, George G., 1952- How to do everything. Genealogy / George G. Morgan. Fourth edition. New York : McGraw-Hill Education, [2015]

     xxi, 490 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

     CS16 .M69 2015

     ISBN: 9780071845922 (paperback)

6.  Finding your roots : easy-to-do genealogy and family history

https://lccn.loc.gov/2012016804

Schultz, Janice Lindgren. Finding your roots : easy-to-do genealogy and family history / Janice Lindgren Schultz. Chicago : Huron Street Press, [2013]

     ix, 230 pages, illustrations, genealogical tables ; 23 cm.

     CS47 .S38 2013

     ISBN: 9781937589004

7.  Genealogy tool kit : getting started on your family history at the National Archives

https://lccn.loc.gov/2012933204

Deeben, John Paul. Genealogy tool kit : getting started on your family history at the National Archives / by John P. Deeben. Washington, DC : Foundation for the National Archives, [2012]

     ix, 150 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm

     CS25 D44 2012

     ISBN: 9780984103362

You can use the Library of Congress website to access digitized collections and finding aids before you come to the Library.  

https://loc.gov/rr/genealogy/

https://loc.gov/collections/

You can use the online catalog to find out which family histories and local histories the Library of Congress has collected.  https://catalog.loc.gov/

Items published before 1924 may have been digitized.  If they are listed in the Library of Congress online catalog, there may be a link to the digital version in the catalog description.

If you can't travel, you might be interested in this website that lists persons willing to scan local information for you.  https://raogk.org/

Local public libraries and historical societies will often search their collections or find materials for you for little or no cost.  


Last Updated: Sep 17, 2021
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Please Note

The staff of the Library of Congress cannot undertake research in family history or heraldry. In order to perform work of this nature satisfactorily, it is necessary to identify a particular branch of the family concerned, and, because of the time and effort involved, searches for this kind of information usually require the services of a professional genealogist or heraldic searcher.