Free sources

+7 votes
I currently pay for the premium membership on Ancestry and would like to know if there are any free sites that I could cross reference my sources with before adding them to wiki tree. Also if there are any site that I should stay away from. Thank you
asked in Genealogy Help by Alex Elliott G2G6 Mach 4 (43.4k points)

Whenever possible, I try to replace links to and with links to the same source on a free site. links are sometimes just a link to an index or database, you have to look elsewhere for the source. Often these sources are available on another web site. Here is a list of free sources that may help: 

Each source is grouped by location.

4 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Check with you local library, many offer access to Ancestry or another genealogy site with your library card. :)

This is what I use all the time and I love it!
answered by Sarah Rojas G2G6 Mach 6 (66.4k points)
selected by Kaylinn Stormo
+7 votes

The most comprehensive free site is

We can probably recommend other useful free sites if you tell us which countries you are researching.


answered by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (617k points)
Thank you Lynda. I am currently researching the US. Ireland, Scotland, France and Mexico
Where in Scotland are your Elliotts? It is a very common name in the border regions so you may find that some of them are from the English side of the border.
+5 votes

For Scotland you can search for free, but need to buy credits to view images on:

For Ireland, the government site which is free is:

answered by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (617k points)
+5 votes
For surname origin information try Surname Data Base at  They have 50,000 surname origins.


If you do and internet search for     surname origin     and page down to Ancestry, you can get information there.  It includes Ships to New York, county distribution in the USA, ENGLAND & WALES and in SCOTLAND  For example,
answered by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)

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