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How to Research on Ancestry.com for Free




We all know that Ancestry.com is one of the leading and largest databases for researching your ancestors. It can save you a lot of time in obtaining information about your ancestors and the documents you require. But it comes at a cost. No matter how you shake it out, there is a cost to researching whether it's time or money. I realise not everyone can afford an ongoing yearly subscription to Ancestry.  If funds are tight, here are 4 ways you can access Ancestry without spending a dime. 

Visit Your Local Library

Many local libraries offer free access to Ancestry. While not convenient as sitting in your pyjamas at home it certainly can help you save some money. Give your library a call and make sure they have Ancestry.com available for patrons. You might find they also have access to other genealogy databases in addition to Ancestry.com. Make sure you download any information you find to a jump-stick to take home with you.

Watch for Free Weekends

Ancestry.com often has free research weekends. You can research for free all weekend without having to pay a dime. Best to be organised and have a research list ready so you can make the most of your weekend. Most times these free weekends fall on holiday weekends, Thanksgiving, July 4th, etc. Keep your eyes open for them.

Take Advantage of the 14 Days Free Trial Period

When you sign up for an ancestry account, you get a free 14-day free trial period. You will have to offer up your credit card information to get the free 14 days. However, if you can’t afford the subscription fee you can cancel the account on say day 12 or 13 you won’t be charged and you will have researched for 12 days for free. Again, I recommend having a research list ready so that you can make the most of your time. Perhaps, after using Ancestry for that length of time, you’ll see its value and scrape a few dollars together. By the way, I’m not an affiliate of Ancestry, so I get nothing out of singing their praises.

Free Index Collection

One of Ancestry’s best kept secrets is their Free Index Collection. In the Free Index Collection, you can search for your ancestors for free, and you don’t need to hand over your credit card information.  I haven’t been able to come up with an accurate count of how many indexes are in the collection, I’ve seen anywhere from 1400 to 2000 individual indexes and collections. That is quite a bit to get you started.

 Their Free Index Collections page offers you the ability to search for free.  The page provides a section to put in your search criteria followed by a long list of indexes it will search. Note that some indexes have beside them “free index” while others say “free.” The difference being, the “free index” will only allow you to access to the index to see whether your guy or gal is listed. To view the image you will have to subscribe. You will not have access to the original image. However, those listed with ‘free’ beside them will provide access to scanned copies of the documents.

There you have it, 4 options for researching Ancestry.com for free. Happy Researching.