Favorite Free Family Research Tools

A list of family research sites could be endless! Here we provide some of our main, free favorites–not to be missed.

Family Trees

Search for free, or post your own tree!

U. S. Census Population Information

  • FamilySearch.org
    (Arguably the best free searchable U.S. Census access, plus many other records. Worth setting up the required login; they will not contact you if you check the appropriate boxes.)
  • Browse census records from Internet Archive.
  • Check county or state GenWeb pages
  • Check your local public library or historical society library for Ancestry.com or other subscription access. Kansas residents can sign up for a Kansas Public Library Card for online access to HeritageQuest Census search.
  • Wondering how to interpret the answer to a census field? You can read the Instructions to the U.S. Census Taker here!

U.S. Census Agricultural & Manufacturing Schedules


Cemetery Listings

Local History and Genealogy Books

  • Search Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center with your county name (or family name) as the keyword. (If you don’t see the search box, click the “collection” tab.)
  • Search Archive.org (Internet Archive) for texts with the county name and the word “history” or “biography.” Search the text for family names or other key words. To filter to book and text documents only, select “Advanced Search” and set “Media Type” to “text.”
  • Search keywords at Genealogy Gophers. (Good image previews; three free full-text views per month, or $3 for unlimited views per month.)
  • Search PERSI Periodical Source Index. (See this webinar video for an introduction to PERSI.)
  • Search Google Books. (You will have to sort out many books for purchase only.)
  • Check your county USGenWeb pages.

Tip: Once you have located a book, use Ctrl+F or a search box to search the text for family names or other keywords.

U. S. Military Records

U.S. Naturalization & Immigration

Other Lists of Free Resources

Is your free favorite not on this list? E-mail us your suggestion!