This section covers the basics of how you can use free available websites to get started searching from home at no cost. In just a few minutes you can be searching for your relatives.
If you are just beginning your search you may want to start with some basic steps that will allow you to make some forward progress. For example, you may want to find an obituary, census record or social security death record. We provide some examples of each and in just a few minutes you can be on your way to your first search!
Obituary Records – Obituary records are a great starting place and can provide many clues including childrens’ names, church names and hints to name chages, marriage and divorce.
Census Records – Another great starting place is census records and there are a variety of approaches you can use. We give you the details on the basics so you can start searching today.
Death Records – A variety of local, state and national services and private service providers can help you locate death records. As with many other items you may need to use different approaches depending on the time period. Our site will help get you pointed in the right direction.
Immigration – Ports of entry like Ellis Island and Castle Garden help when searching for immigration records also referred to as passenger arrival records.
Resources by State – We have identified several good webpages which maintain listings of local genealogy resources categorized by state.
Military Records – There is a good deal of Military research you can do from your home at little to no cost.
Search Considerations – For your very first search, I would recommend searching for someone you know you can find. For example, pick someone who lived in 1930’s in a city that you know. With this approach you could use the 1930 census as a starting point and hopefully have quick success finding a match. This enables you to become familiar with how the search screen operates and gain a sense of confidence prior to searching for a hard to locate person in a city that you may not know.
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