Free Ancestry Record Collections Online


Another idea for #FamilyHistoryMonth is to check out the free Ancestry record collections online.


Free Ancestry Records

Free Ancestry Records


There are hundreds of free record collections available at for those without a subscription membership. They’re listed in alphabetical order and you’ll need to use the right column scroll feature to see all available collections.

Some of these record collections are indexes and some include an index and images. “Index only” collections are labeled “Free Index”.

You may need to create a free account after using the free databases but this account will be free, limited, and not require a trial-membership to continue looking at the free records. Don’t submit credit card information or you’ll be signing up for a free trial that will auto-renew. And if while searching, you’re asked for a credit card number, you’re trying to search a subscription-only collection.

Happy Hunting! #FamilyHistoryMonth

October 25, 2016 |

Internet Archive for Genealogy


Internet Archive is a great free resource for genealogy and family history. It’s a “non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.”

Internet Archive for Genealogy

The Internet Archive library offers over 10 million fully digitized books and texts. And the OpenLibrary has over 300,000 modern eBooks that can be downloaded. *If you’re going to type in the url instead of hitting a link, remember it’s “archive.ORG”.

  • You can Search by Collection, if you know a particular library, say Brigham Young University Library or the Allen County Public Library, has great genealogical holdings. There are over 4,000 collections so unless you’re going for something specific, you might not want to limit your search this way.
  • They have a specific collection: Genealogy, that pulls resources from several different institutions.
  • You can look at the Microfilm Collection within the Genealogy collection.
  • They have almost 3,000 Compiled histories/Family Genealogies in their Family Genealogy Collection.
  • The Wayback Machine has over 510 billion pages of archive internet websites if you try to find a site that’s down-look up the url in the Wayback Machine and you might find what you need. Note: some websites specifically prohibit crawling and won’t be archived here.

I like to do repeat searches for county and town histories, genealogies, and surnames at Internet Archive. They are continually growing their collection so it pays to search their site every few months. Happy hunting! #FamilyHistoryMonth




October 12, 2016 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Idea 3 – Create a free FamilySearch family tree


#familyhistorymonth free family tree


You may have a family tree on another website or home computer so why make a tree on FamilySearch?

There are a lot of great websites and apps that pull their data from FamilySearch (as needed, only with your permission) so without a free FamilySearch tree, you’ll miss out on a lot of family history leads.

For most people, the FamilySearch tree will practically build itself. You’ll add your name and any living ancestors, then when you add your first deceased ancestor, you’ll ask FamilySearch to try to find them and there’s a good chance they will. It will probably take 2 -3 generations to link up to family that are already in the system and Voila! you’ll have a free tree at FamilySearch.

And at FamilySearch, free means free. There’s truly no subscription fee ever. Why? FamilySearch is owned the by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and they believe it’s their duty to help connect people to their ancestors so they always offer this as a free service. They do their religious duty, you get a free tree, win-win!

Here’s a Quick Start Guide for FamilySearch Family Trees. If you’re at all familiar with family trees, scroll down to page 4 and start reading where it says “Add a Person.”

#FamilyHistoryMonth will be so much more fun when you have your FamilySearch tree!


October 4, 2016 |

The Imelda Marcos of Golf Shoes


The Imelda Marcos of golf shoes

Tell the story of your belongings

Snap a pic and write up a story about the items you treasure. My 85 year-old uncle calls himself the “Imelda Marcos” of golf shoes. I visited him last week and tried to convince my him to move in with us, or at least move nearer to family. He said he couldn’t move because he had too many “things” and he didn’t know what to do with them. I realized it’s not the belongings he can’t part with, it’s the memories. The stories need to be told. He brought out shoes and told me which brands were his favorites and which brands had fallen off in quality through the years. He told me stories about his french horns (he owns four). Stories about the art hanging on his walls. As we got talking I realized he really can’t part with any of these things until he’s told their story and why they matter to him.

One new company,, has an app in the works that helps you do just that. It’s a simple idea and can be done in your free time. If you’re not a believer in the importance of storytelling, do it for estate planning or insurance purposes. With recorded pictures and stories, your life history continues on, regardless of your possessions’ final resting place.


So for #FamilyHistoryMonth consider telling the story of your belongings. If you’d like to help beta test the StoryBarrow app, select “Let me tell you what I need” on their homepage and fill out their survey. Just get the stories down because “why I own this belonging” is a better story than the oft untold “why these belongings owned me.”


October 3, 2016 |



#FamilyHistoryMonth ideas

October is #FamilyHistoryMonth

One quick and easy idea is to buy inexpensive, colored folders (these were 10 cents a piece during Back to School sales) and put the surnames you’re working on in different colored folders. We mainly use the large storage boxes for our family history, but for the individuals we’re actively researching and need handy, these folders are great!

Put paternal lines in the blue spectrum folders and maternal lines in the red (alas, no pink) spectrum.

Genealogy research isn’t so daunting when you can find what you’re looking for and pick up where you left off. Happy hunting!






October 1, 2016 |
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