When I started researching my family tree 20 years ago, there were a lot of free family search sites available online. People used to do free lookup requests and offer assistance in genealogy forums too.
Now there are a lot of resources available online in digitized forms – many you have to pay to access, but some are still free.
This list includes links to some of my favorite sites for doing free genealogy research. I hope that these help you find what and who you are looking for!
UNITED KINGDOM (England, Wales, Scotland, N Ireland)
FreeBMD > https://www.freebmd.org.uk/
Search this site for records between 1837 and 1992. The records are for England and Wales.
FreeCEN > https://www.freecen.org.uk/
Census records 1841 to 1891 for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The old site is still available here: https://freecen1.freecen.org.uk/
FreeREG > https://www.freereg.org.uk/
Search Parish Registers for Baptisms, Marriages and Burials. The records available are for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
GENUKI for the UK and Ireland > https://www.genuki.org.uk/
Family History Societies for the UK > http://www.ffhs.org.uk/
Online Parish Clerks (volunteers who help others do research) > https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/online_parish_clerk
CANADIAN FAMILY GENEALOGY RESOURCES
Canadian Genealogy Records Online – All of Canada > http://www.genealogysearch.org/canada/canada.html
CemSearch Ontario > http://www.cemsearch.ca/burial/
CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project > https://cemetery.canadagenweb.org/search.html
CanadaGenWeb > https://www.geneofun.on.ca/cgw/
Olive Tree Genealogy > https://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/index.shtml
Canadian Military Heritage Project > http://sites.rootsweb.com/~canmil/
Census of Canada, 1871 > Microform Digitization Canadian Archives
Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1916 > Canadian Archives.
These include business directories, city directories and farmers’ directories.
For more information about the different Canadian Census Records and what type of information they collected you can visit the Library and Archives Censuses Page.
Browse the Full Collection at the Library and Archives Canada site. They have lots of resources available including immigration, land records, military heritage, maps, newspapers, photography, vital stats, indigenous heritage and of course Genealogy and Family History.
Peel’s Prairie Provinces > http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/index.html
Ontario Historical County Maps Project > by County this includes scanned images with the land owner’s names from the 1800s. http://maps.library.utoronto.ca/hgis/countymaps/maps.html
Canada’s Home Children > https://bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=4#Canada’s%20Home%20Children
The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project > http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/
Nova Scotia Genealogy – Births, Marriages and Deaths > https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/
OTHER FAMILY SEARCH AND FAMILY TREE SITES
I use these sites to search for Military Records as well as BMD records (birth, marriage, death records) for my Barnett family line.
Family Search > https://www.familysearch.org/en/
Search tons of Free Family History and Genealogy Records on this site. This is one of my favorites. The have records from all around the world.
AllCensusRecords > USA, Canada, England, Directories, Tax & Assessment Lists, Voters Registrations, Veterans Census, Census Indexes and Transcriptions, Blank Census Forms.
Ships Lists Online > Passengers on Ships to America and Canada
Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild > https://www.immigrantships.net/
Ancestors At Rest > Death Records in the USA and Canada
Cyndi’s List > There are many resources here. This site has been around for more than 20 years (I remember searching this in the very beginning when I was researching online). https://www.cyndislist.com/categories/
WorldGenWeb > This is a world wide initiative to provide free genealogy resources. https://www.worldgenweb.org/ Even if a link says it is currently not available, many of them have become available again. (Rootsweb was down for some time but some sites are back again.)
USGenWeb > Lots of transcribed records for different States as well as online resources and query boards (where you can request help!). https://www.usgenweb.org/
Genealogy Trails History Group > transcribed genealogical and historical data for the United States. http://genealogytrails.com/
When I started doing my research I used the free version of RootsMagic to track my data. I love this product and over the years I have tried a few different genealogy programs and I always return to RootsMagic. It is just easy to use. You can get the free version here: https://www.rootsmagic.com/essentials/
Find A Grave > https://www.findagrave.com/
Ellis Island Passenger Records > https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/
Google Free Newspaper Archives > https://news.google.com/newspapers
New York State Historical Newspapers > http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/