Free e-Book: 48 Search Tips

By Rachel Fountain
Ancestry Search Tips

No genealogy website is better-known or more visited than More than 11 million people use resources each month. Yet the number of descendants logging on to is dwarfed by the billions of ancestors documented within the “world’s largest family history resource.” likely holds answers to at least some of your family tree questions. The key to finding those answers is learning how to sift through the massive amount of ancestor data on the subscription genealogy website. Whether you want to use your paid subscription more effectively, make the most of a free trial subscription or eke out whatever information you can for free, the pointers in our free e-book 48 Search Tips will help you.

*By providing your email address you will begin to receive our newsletters, special offers and more free content from Family Tree.

What’s Inside Your Free E-book?

Download your copy of 48 Search Tips for tricks, hints and hacks to unlock new family tree discoveries. This free e-book contains helpful guides to using the genealogy website, including an exclusive excerpt from the Unofficial Guide to by Nancy Hendrickson.

Guide #1: Quick Start Guide

Jump-start your access with this complete breakdown of the links and resources available from your home page. This Quick Guide, illustrated with screen shots, serves as your map for accessing’s tools, records and searches. You’ll learn how to navigate the interface, customize elements, quickly access your family tree, survey recently viewed records, sort through your Shoebox and get started searching. Print out this guide and post near your computer for fast reference each time you visit

Ancestry freebie screenshot

Guide #2: 10 Easy Ways to Use

When you first delve into, its enormity can be mind-boggling. The world’s largest genealogy website encompasses some 31,000 databases with more than 12 billion historical records. subscribers can access all publicly available US census records, along with many Canadian, English and Welsh censuses. You’ll find military records including databases of soldiers from the Revolutionary War, Civil War and both world wars.

Vital records cover many US states, Canada and the United Kingdom, and immigration records range from passenger lists for most American ports to border-crossing files. Plus, you’ll find more than 20,000 digitized family and local history books, along with city directories and yearbooks and scanned and searchable newspapers dating back to the 18th century. This guide provides 10 simple ways to use to advance your family history, including some you don’t even need a paid subscription for. As you work your way through these ideas, we bet you’ll uncover even more ways can help you branch out and document your family tree.

Ancestry free ebook screenshot

Guide #3: Card Catalog Crash Course

For many users, searches result in too many hits to wade through. Sifting through pages of search results can feel much like that old adage: “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” How do you make your ancestors float to the top in’s vast sea of genealogy data? One secret to success is shrinking that ocean into a smaller pool that’s easier to wade through: Limit your searches to the records most likely to mention your ancestors. You can do that using the Card Catalog. This guide will show you how to filter your searches in a way that’s impossible if you use only the global search.

Ancestry free ebook screenshot

BONUS Quick-Reference Guides

48 Search Tips also features these helpful one-sheet references for using the genealogy website:

  • Vital Statistics: at-a-glance facts about the genealogy website’s content, collections and user community
  •   Public vs. Private Family Trees: quick comparison of differences between’s two options for your online family tree
  • 5 Steps to Immigration Records: detailed example search showing how to locate an ancestor’s passenger list

Download your FREE Genealogy E-book on 48 Search Tips: Free E-book on the Biggest Genealogy Website

*By providing your email address you will begin to receive our newsletters, special offers and more free content from Family Tree.