Finding NARA Genealogy Records Online

Finding NARA Genealogy Records Online

Don't live near a US National Archives facility? This listing shows you where on the Web you can access the archives' most popular genealogy records.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the custodian of a range of popular US genealogy records. Rather than digitize and post these records on its own Web site, NARA has approached the records access part of its mission by partnering with sites such as FamilySearch, Footnote and Ancestry.com to digitize documents and put them online . Under these nonexclusive agreements, NARA receives copies of digitized records and makes them free at NARA facilities. (Read more about these partnerships on NARA’s Web site.)

We’ve put together the following ist of popular NARA records you can find on genealogy database sites, linked to the referenced databse. Footnote, Ancestry.com and World Vital Records are fee-based (your local Family History Center may offer Footnote access; your library may offer Ancestry Library Edition); FamilySearch’s Record Search Pilot site is free. HeritageQuest Online is accessible through subscribing libraries—check your library’s Web site or ask at the reference desk.

Also remember to check volunteer-run sites such as USGenWeb and run Web searches on the record type and county name to find indexes for your ancestors’ time and place that individual researchers or organizations may have posted online.

Civil War Pension Index Cards, 1861 to 1917
FamilySearch Record Search: index only
Footnote $
Ancestry.com $: extends to 1934

Civil War Widows’ Pension Files
Footnote $

Federal Census Records
Ancestry.com $: all available federal censuses
FamilySearch Record Search: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920 (no images for 1880 and 1920; databases are at varying levels of completion)
Footnote $: 1860 and 1930
HeritageQuest Online: some years have incomplete indexes.

Freedmen’s Bank Records
FamilySearch Record Search: 1865 to 1874 
Ancestry.com $

Homestead Records
Footnote $: Nebraska

Indian Censuses, 1885 to 1940
Footnote $
Ancestry.com $

Naturalization Records
Footnote $: records for various districts and years
Ancestry.com $: records for various districts and years

Passenger Manifest Lists for US arrivals
Ancestry.com $: all US ports
Castle Garden.org: Port of New York, 1820 to 1892
Ellis Island.org: Port of New York, 1892 to 1924
World Vital Records $: Port of New York, 1892 to 1924
FamilySearch Record Search: Ellis Island

Passport Applications
Ancestry.com $: 1795 to 1925
Footnote $: 1795 to 1905

Revolutionary War Pension Files
Footnote $
HeritageQuest Online (accessible through subscribing libraries)

Revolutionary War Service Records
Footnote $
Ancestry.com $

World War I Draft Registration Cards
Ancestry.com $

World War II Draft Registration Cards
Ancestry.com $
FamilySearch Record Search (database not yet complete)

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