Not everything on subscription sites is behind the pay wall. See 10 free things to do on Ancestry.com at and search free documents on Fold3. And of course, FamilySearch’s historical records are free.
Do this for both first and last names, and always search for them. Spelling of names wasn’t uniform in the past, even on official records, and online databases may contain transcription errors.
- Ancestors missing from passenger lists may have changed their names after arriving in America. Search lists using their birth names.
- Mark key events in your ancestors’ lives on a map. You may gain new insights on where to search for records or uncover a pattern to help your research.
- Gain access to local researchers and records by joining a genealogy society in your ancestor’s hometown.
From the February 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine
More great genealogy resources from Family Tree Magazine: