Researching your Family Tree needn't be expensive. In fact many
of the best sources of information are completely FREE!!!!
first and most important free genealogy resource to access is your
own relatives.They will have memories, photos,
documents and stories to tell. Photos can have vital information
noted on the back. Useful sources to look out for include birth,
marriage, and death certificates, family bibles, newspaper cuttings,
identity cards, scrapbooks, old letters obituaries wedding and engagement
announcements. Take a careful note of any anecdotes and memories
that they have, this will bring your research to life, and may even
reveal a long kept family secret! Genealogy is not just about researching
names and dates in old archives!
The Church of Jesus Christ Latterday Saints (LDS
/ Mormon) website "Family
Search" has a huge free genealogy database of births, deaths
and marriages, and also free census lookups for certain years and
countries. These records must however be treated with caution. Many
have been submitted to the database with no verification, others
are transcriptions from original parish records,some of which may
contain errors. However, they are an excellent starting place with
their easy to search records. You are sure to find some of your
ancestors there. Once you have found them its time to check your
findings against the original Parish Records, this is very important.
One of the first rules of genealogy is to always check the original
source - don't rely on a transcript or someone elses research.
Another good free genealogy resource for family tree information
are graveyards. If you know where your ancestor
or relative lived and died a visit to the churchyard in their
town or village can reveal much. Monumental Inscriptions on
headstones often contain a wealth of information, including
details of spouses, parents and children. Often members of
the same family were buried close together and you may discover
relatives whom you previously knew nothing about
Parish Records, including Baptisms, Marriages and Burials can be
accessed for FREE at County Record Offices
who will also hold microfiche images of local census records
for 1841 - 1901. They also hold archives of old local newspapers
and many historical documents relating to families in the
county. These free genealogy records are invaluable. The Record
Offices will also hold other documents which you may have
to pay to access, but which are free to search. You can find
a lot of information on the summary report for these documents.
The summary usually contains most of the information thatyou
need, and someone else has already managed to transcribe these
difficult to read documents.
A new FREE genealogy resource which is growing in popularity are
Online Parish Clerks. These, where available, often
contain many transcriptions of Parish Records, Monumental Inscriptions,
details of Hearth taxes and other records not found elsewhere online.
These websites are maintained by enthuastic Family History researchers
who are often happy to do a free look up for you. To find an online
parish clerk in the area you are investigating do a search in Google,
or other search engine for "online parish clerk" plus
the name of the village, town, or County you are interested in.