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Best Free Genealogical Websites

With utilization of the Internet and computers, either in your home or those in libraries, there is a vast assortment and a variety of websites to assist the people in their genealogy research. The following is an essential list of some of the free use web sites that should become familiar to every researcher.

1. Family Search

This service is provided by the Church of the Latter-Day Saints out of Salt Lake City, Utah. This web site has family history, family trees and records from all over the world. Their sources are churches, government records and public researchers.
Their newest program is the Family Search Pilot.

Not only is census, birth, marriage, death records indexed for easier location of names, a digital image of the actual document is provided. Some examples are: Canadian Births and Baptism 1661 – 1959; Quebec, Canada Census 1861; Mexico Marriage 1570 – 1957; U. S. Civil War Pension Index Cards; District of Columbia marriages 1830-1921; Louisiana deaths 1850-1875 & 1894-1954; France marriages 1546-1921; and Cheshire County, England probate records 1492-1940.

2. U. S. National Archives

The United States National Archives contains all federal government documents going back before creation of the country. There is information about passports, military records, federal court records, federal prisoners, immigration, citizenship, land, census records, plus sections on ethnic heritage records (Chinese, Eastern European, African-American, etc).

3. The Olive Tree Genealogy

This site has been in operation since 1996 and has some wonderful links of resources. It has naturalization records, military records, palatine (German) genealogy, Canadian genealogy, church records, American Genealogy, Native American Indian Genealogy, Orphan records, land records, Quakers, Huguenots, Mennonites, almshouse reports, along with census records. Of special interest is the passenger ship lists with names, dates and ship names arriving at United States ports for nearly two hundred years.

4. U. K. National Archives

The records held by the U. K. National Archives covers over 1,000 years of history. Records going back to 1837 on births, marriages, divorces, and deaths are available. Census (1841- 1901) plus military service awards and records are at the archives. A large listing of occupations, business licenses along with voter registrations is open to the public.

5. Genealogy Today

This site is rich in all types of data concerning the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Some items are normally difficult to locate, including funeral cards, railroad employees and business cards. Of special interest can be rosters from numerous fraternity lodges and civic organizations where your ancestors may have held memberships.

6. U. S. GenWeb Project

Every U. S. state is listed, including the Indian Territory and the District of Columbia. Arrays of links on different topics related to that state are available by selecting a state name. There are cemeteries, census listings, photos, postcards, and state held archives, plus names and locations of family history centers, genealogical and historical societies for that state. Use the search box to place a surname or a town related to your ancestors in that state to see what is available.

7. Social Security Death Index (SSDI)

This site is provided by the United States Social Security Administration. It is an index of individual names who directly received social security benefits or had family members receive benefits after their death. The free index is available in many genealogical web sites; both free and fee-based sites. Those subscription sites do not charge to search this index. The SSDI is located with the Family Search site and on and Rootsweb sites.

Information that can be gathered on the index include: name, last residence, last address to receive S.S. benefits, social security number, birth and death date and which state issued their social security card.

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