Is there any sweeter word in the English language than “free”? Marketers and spammers, robocallers and politicians all understand the appeal of “free,” while scolds ranging from science fiction author Robert Heinlein to economist Milton Friedman have long warned, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
But in the world of genealogy, “free lunches” abound. To prove it, we’ve assembled a list of 101 of the best family history websites that don’t charge a subscription or pay-per-view fee. That’s right—exploring this year’s annual 101 best won’t cost you anything except electricity and internet access. (True cheapskates even can go to the library and log on for free from there.) Just because these sites are free, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. You’ll find vital records and census data, maps and history lessons, high-tech tools and expert advice—all while keeping your credit cards tucked in your wallet.
Use these links to peruse the 101 best free websites for genealogy in 2017: