3 free web ideas for family history research on a budget


30 April 2019
Delve deeper into the past, get more organised, and have family history fun without spending a fortune

Save money on your family history

There are so many ways to trace your family’s story. It’s a quest that means as many different things as there are people who set out to learn more about their ancestors and their origins. Yet what all of us will very likely have in common is that we won’t want to spend money that we don’t need to.


It’s easy to think that with some big ticket items  – such as DNA tests and website subscriptions – being so valuable and widely used for family history, that tracing your family tree is sure to be an expensive process.


Yet there are many workarounds and alternatives that can help you save on the process – while still making exciting strides on your journey back into the past.


Before you go whizzing off to the web, however, ask your family members for clues they may be holding in their own homes, such as old photos and certificates, newspaper clippings and so on. These can all provide you with a wealth of family history information – without you having to part with a penny.


Then you can start exploring the free online resources. Here we select 3 of our favourites from Helen’s expert choices.


1) Free family history software

There are several free software programs available, if you know where to look, to help you store your family history research. Try the free versions of Legacy Family Tree, TreeView Lite, Family Tree Builder or RootsMagic Essentials.


2) Growing your tree online

There are numerous family history websites on which you can grow your tree online free of charge, many with an app so you can access your tree on the go. We’ve compiled a list of free family history software and online tree builders here.


3) Free databases & indexes

Don’t just go straight to the commercial genealogy websites, there are a wealth of sites with free databases and indexes that will prove invaluable for your family history research, such as FamilySearch, FreeBMD, FreeReg and FreeCen, Irish Genealogy, Genealogy – National Archives of Ireland, GENUKI, National Library of Wales (for free digitised newspapers, journals and wills) and many more!



Read Helen Tovey’s full article, How to do family history on a shoe-string: find out more for less, in the May 2019 issue of Family Tree