Free Access to American Ancestors

From the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

From 12:00 a.m. (EDST) on Thursday, June 29th, through 12:00 p.m. midnight (EDST) on Thursday, July 6th, you’ll have complete freedom to roam through all of the online databases on—with only a Guest Registration. These databases include vital records (state, church, cemetery, and more), U.S. census records, genealogical journal articles, probate records, and other collections which can help advance your research.

Are You Missing the Best Genealogy Websites for Finding U.S. Ancestors?

We published our annual list of 75 top US state genealogy websites in the December 2016 Family Tree Magazine.

These state-focused genealogy websites stand out for their digitized historical records, searchable indexes to vital and other records, and how-to advice. But our list is just a starting point. There are many more state-focused genealogy websites to mine as you research American ancestors. Nonprofit and government sites don’t have a lot of money to market themselves, so it’s easy for them to slip under a genealogist’s radar. Here are five types of state-focused genealogy websites you should look for in every state where your ancestors lived: State Archive

You’ll find details and the list at the Genealogy Insider.

No, You DON’T Need a Paid Subscription to Do Genealogy Research

If you have been doing family history research for a while, you are probably fully aware of the fact that there are many free genealogy sites available to you. But for those that are just starting out, it can be very hard to see past the well-promoted paid subscription sites and many people become frustrated when trying to locate records and resources that are actually free.

Learn more at No, You DON’T Need a Paid Subscription to Do Genealogy Research

250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives

Hundreds of libraries and archives exist online, from university-supported sites to accredited online schools to individual efforts. Each one has something to offer to researchers, students, and teachers. This list contains over 250 libraries and archives that focus mainly on localized, regional, and U.S. history, but it also includes larger collections, eText and eBook repositories, and a short list of directories to help you continue your research efforts.

This list is organized by state, making it a very useful resource for family researchers.

Source: 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives |

Research Military Records at Fold3

Fold3 is the primary archive for US military records. Even though it is a subscription-based archive, it also has freely-accessible areas where the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served can be found. In addition to these memorial pages, Fold3 also hosts the Interactive Vietnam Wall and the USS Arizona Memorial.

The Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world.

Premium subscribers ($79.95/year) have access to the continuously growing collection of military records which begin with the American Revolution. Even free members have impressive access to search, browse and spotlight images and documents. They can create Memorial Pages to honor individual members of our armed forces. These pages can include personal images along with stories and comments. Fold3 has several record archives that are always freely available and often they will make certain premium archives available to all for a period of time – usually to commemorate an historical event.


As you can see in this example from the Browse area, it’s not unusual to find several free record sets available. Some are permanently free and some only for a short period so it’s worth checking in regularly.