Monday, May 2, 2016

April 27th Program Review - Ten Best Free Genealogy Websites

On Wednesday, 27 April, CVGS member Randy Seaver presented "The Ten Best FREE Genealogy Websites" to about 40 attendees at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium.  

He started with a Top Ten countdown, highlighting the free features of each website.  The ten free websites were:

10)  Family Tree Webinars ( -- 60 to 80 webinars each year, over 335 in the Archive, presented by noted genealogists on a range of topics.  You need to register for each webinar.  They aree to watch live or in the archive for one week, and then go behind the subscription wall ($50/year).

9) ( -- has over 700 FREE databases and indexes (see,   The Learning Center (see a Family History Wiki featured articles, the blog, and Ancestry Videos (on their YouTube channel).  Any registered user can create and edit an Ancestry Member Tree (but cannot attach records to it without a subscription).  Ancestry Library Edition is FREE to access at subscribing libraries and FamilySearch Centers.  Save  information to your flash drive or email them to yourself.

8)  Cyndi's List ( -- a free, volunteer driven website with over 330,000 genealogy links to websites in overv 200 categories.  Readers can report a broken link and submit a new link.

7)  Joe Beine's Death Indexes ( -- a FREE volunteer-driven set of websites with links to free and subscription sites with genealogy records.  Links are provided to Death records, birth and marriage records, military records, passenger list records, naturalization records, and German records.

6)  U.S. GenWeb ( -- FREE genealogy information by many volunteers, organized by states and counties. Information may be maps, text, lists, indexes, links, Has U.S. GenWeb Archives ( )

5)  RootsWeb ( -- FREE genealogical Information contributed by many volunteers; website owned by Content is Searchable by Search Engines ( ); Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Research ( ); User-Submitted Family Trees – WorldConnect ( ); Free Web Pages ( ); Mailing Lists ( ); and Message Boards (

4.  Chronicling America ( ) -- Directory of all U.S. newspapers published from 1690 to the present.  Over 2,014  newspaper titles digitized, 1836-1922, but not all issues of every newspaper (over 10.7 million pages digitized).  Advanced search engine permits Select by State, Select Specific Newspaper, Select Year or Date Range.

2)  Find A Grave ( -- 143 Million Memorials, many with gravestone photos, some with vital record information, biographies or obituaries.  Has a primitive search engine, users can search by name, location, birth/death years, with a specific cemetery.  Registered volunteers can create memorials, upload photos, etc.  Registered users can request photos.  They have a mobile app for iOS/Android.

1)  FamilySearch ( -- Over 2,091 Record Collections (all FREE) (; FamilySearch Research Wiki (ttps://; Family History Library Catalog – with Links to Online Collections (; Family History Books – over 200,000 volumes (; FamilySearch Family Tree – Photos, Stories, Notes, Sources, Discussions, Record Hints ( - Has a Mobile App; Learning Center – Videos and Texts (  Users need to register to use some features.

Attendees got a bonus - ten more FREE websites with great genealogy information.  The refreshments were excellent - thank you to Shirley Becker and Marcia Mautner.

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