Freebies to Trace Your Family Tree

Genealogy is a fun hobby and it can tell you a lot about yourself. It's great to find interesting relatives and ancestors. You never know, you could be related to a famous bandit or renowned inventor. Maybe you're related to royalty!

Researching your family tree might seem daunting at first. Well, never fear; the Internet is here! It's a great place for genealogical research. There are plenty of resources out there to help.

Even better, many sites can help for free. Check these no-charge resources before signing up for a site that charges, such as Ancestry.com. Get started tracing your family tree today!

FamilySearch.org

There are plenty of resources for looking up ancestors and relatives online. But you'll spend a lot of time searching each site for the information you want. Searching just one site would be much better.

FamilySearch combs through public records from a vast number of locations. It will even perform international searches. This is an easy way to speed up your search.

You'll also want to check out FamilySearch's Learning Center. It offers online classes that introduce the best places to look for finding ancestry information. The classes are even country specific. That is particularly helpful for people whose ancestors recently immigrated.

Castle Garden

When you think of immigration, you probably think of Ellis Island. Millions of immigrants entered the United States through that portal from 1892 to 1954.

Long before Ellis Island, however, there was Castle Garden. In case you're unfamiliar with Castle Garden, it is located in Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan. Open from 1830 to 1892, it was a point of entry for millions of immigrants.

Maybe you're one of the 73 million who can trace their ancestry to that immigration period. If so, visit Castle Garden's website. You can enter a name and select a range of dates. Then, see if you can track down an ancestor.

Genealogists will love this site. But, even if you're just curious, you're bound to find something of interest. For example, even the most casual history buffs will enjoy checking out the timeline for important historical information.

Ellis Island Foundation

If you go back far enough, you can trace your ancestry to foreign shores. That means you'll want to pinpoint when your family immigrated to the United States. If you know history, you'll know that many people came through one place in particular - Ellis Island.

Ellis Island houses extensive immigration records, and you can search through them all. You may be able to find records of your ancestors setting foot in America. These records can help you delve even further into your family history.

Cyndi's List

There's no doubt that the Internet is a rich source for genealogical information. You can find things like adoption records, death records and passenger lists. Unfortunately, these resources tend to be scattered over many different sites.

That's what makes Cyndi's List such a helpful tool. You'll find links to thousands of resources. And they're all neatly categorized to make searching easy. There's a lot here to keep you busy!

USGenWeb

National and international databases are good places to research your family. But eventually, you'll need to use more focused resources. For example, maybe you've tracked your family line to a single state.

This site links to state-specific genealogy projects. You'll find databases and people who can help with your search.

MyHeritage

Genealogy is best when you get your entire family involved. So you'll want to share the information you gather with family members. This free site lets you create a family tree that you can share with both friends and family.

You can upload your genealogy files or create your tree directly on the site. Don't worry; the site does offer privacy tools. You'll only share information with those you know and trust. Remember, information like your mother's maiden name is valuable to identity thieves.

Dynastree

You’ll find a lot of information when researching your family. Pulling it all together can be as challenging as the search itself. This program makes it easy to organize your family tree.

Add birthdates, marriages and occupations. You can even attach photos, if you have them. Best of all, it's free!

Family Village

Genealogy doesn't have to be serious. This program is a novel, game-like approach to genealogy. You can create your own village populated by your relatives and ancestors.

You start by adding yourself and known relatives. You then get a fun little 3-D town to explore. Family Village will then help you discover and add new family members. It can dig up historical documents, like photos, newspaper articles and other records. These can be easily viewed within the game.

thanks to kim komando for the tips..

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