DIG: A Great Free Starting Point For Family History Noobs

FYI: Noob means "newbie" or being brand new to something.

I remember when I first started my research: I was so green, I thought ancestry.com was all that was out there. I thought that after I put all my information in my tree and my free trial ended, I'd need to pay what I felt were absurd prices (which have gotten more reasonable in the past few months if you buy a subscription BTW) to keep working online. Truth is, there are many FREE resources out there that provide a vast amount of free records to search and you just need to know where to start looking from.

My personal workflow (now this is my preference and not the only way) is to use Ancestry.com's online tree and attach all the records I find to it. This way, not only am I collecting records for myself, I am also making my information available for distant relatives to search and from there hopefully make new family connections and continue growing your tree.

If you are confused, signing up for an account with Ancestry and creating your family tree is a FREE service. You would only have to pay them if you wanted to view their collection of records or search other member's family trees (that's if they share their tree and haven't marked it as private). You also need to be a paid member to contact other members.

When I've exhausted all the information I already know, I start the search for new family members!
My favorite place to begin is at FamilySearch.org. FamilySearch is a FREE website associated with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT. They make all their indexes, digital records and transcriptions available at no cost to search and view. An account isn't even necessary unless you find a record with a photo, only then would you need a login to view that image. They have millions of records available and more are added by volunteers every day.

On top of records to search, they also have an amazing learning center complete with tons of free resources. Whether it's their Wiki that provides everything from beginner information to advanced tips & tricks or a video presentation explaining the history of available documents for a country. Whether you're looking for records in Ohio, Germany, Austraila, or some foreign country most folks have never heard of, chances are they have something to help. That link is www.familysearch.org/learn


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