Mostly Free Resources Every Genealogist Needs

Whether you’re a casual enthusiast or a serious genealogist, tracing your ancestry and preserving your family’s legacy can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be. Here’s a short list of free and low-cost resources.

A Libray Card
Libraries have books (duh!) and much more. Invaluable free resources for accessing online databases likely include Ancestry, MyHeritage and digitized newspapers, mostly at a library branch. Most offer inter-library loans for obscure books and archival microfilm. Many libraries have knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance. Just ask.

Registration with is a free, extensive genealogical resource to access a huge range of resources online from home, and even more online when at FamilySearch Centres and Affiliate Libraries. If you don’t use the Wiki, you’re missing out.

Membership in a “Local” Genealogical Society
Local can be where you live and/or local to areas of ancestral research. Access local knowledge and databases. Leave if the Society no longer meets your needs. No Society wants disgruntled members.

Genealogy software or a robust online family tree builder
There’s no lack of options. Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, and the latest (free) Legacy Family Tree are the best known. Also free is Gramps. Build your tree online using facilities available from major companies such as Ancestry, Findmypast, and MyHeritage. Don’t overlook collaborative trees from FamilySearch and WikiTree.

Social media, blogs and online forums
Provide platforms for connecting with other researchers and seeking help with brick walls. They offer opportunities to share knowledge, collaborate on research, and stay updated on genealogical news and resources.

5 Replies to “Mostly Free Resources Every Genealogist Needs”

  1. Excellent list of (mostly) free resources, starting with the most important of all — a simple library card. As a long-time librarian I still cannot believe how many people do not use public libraries for all their information needs.

    The others listed here intrigue me and I will try out a few. Again, thanks for promoting useful information to family historians.

  2. I would like to join the Bruce County Genealogical Society. Let me know the procedure. Thanks.

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