google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html 10 Free Genealogy Downloads | The Armchair Genealogist

10 Free Genealogy Downloads

I’ve compiled a list of various eBooks and software downloads from across the web that are free and aimed to help you with your family history research. Most require an email address sign-up in exchange for the free information.

     1. Family Tree Tips, 23 Secrets to Organize Your Genealogy  by Family Tree Magazine
This guide provided tips for organizing your family history. It offers space-saving ideas, organization habits, sample filing systems and ideas for how to arrange your genealogy workspace. Also included is a research calendar form a biographical outline.

2. 48 tips by Family Tree University
This eBook contains information to help you use the popular website It includes an exclusive excerpt from the Unofficial Guide to by Nancy Hendrickson.

This guide offers tips on basic surname research strategies, tips for seeking ancestral maiden names, what your surname reveals about your ethnic heritage, how to refine Google surname searches, and what you can learn by understanding surname meanings.

4.  Sharing Your Family Tree by Thomas Jay Kemp on Family Tree Magazine
 This download will show you how to communicate your genealogy findings with the rest of your family. It provides the basic tools needed to share and distribute your family history research online.

5.  Legacy Tree Software, Standard Edition  by Legacy Family Tree - Legacy is a family history computer program for storing your genealogical information. This is the standard edition; there is a paid deluxe edition also available

Family Tree Builder is a family history program intended to help you store your genealogical information. It is free and offers a premium version. 

7. The Complete Guide to the Family History Interview  by The Armchair Genealogist
This guide will help you set the stage for a successful family history interview. Filled with over 100 questions this guide offers suggestions for handling a variety of interviews styles.

8.Family History: A New Start by Robin Foster at Saving Stories
In this free eBook you receive advice on how to manage the time you spend on family history research. You will also learn how to find resources to identify missing information, make your family history available instantly for all your relatives and make sure you are not overlooking helpful information right within your reach. 

9. RootsMagic Essentials by Rootsmagic
A free software download, this program offers the core features of their award-winning paid family tree software.

10. My Time Machine Children’s Activity Book by Family Chartmasters.
This is a free 35 page activity book to help children record their childhood.

And...shortly after posting this I discovered one more to add to the list. Brought to my attention through Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blog. Randy shared a pdf download from Social Media Genealogy, Historical/Genealogicial Society Groups on Facebook. Wow! This is an impressive list. 

Do you know of another free software or eBook download to help family historians with their research?  Feel free to share it in the comments below. 


Jana Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

Steve said...

Another resource that has just "opened up" in a big way is genealogy books in ebook format.

Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows you to borrow and read as many Kindle ebooks as you like, for $9.95 a month. I wonder if genealogists have grasped what a godsend KU may be. Here's why:

In the genealogy section of the Kindle ebook store on Amazon, along with the how-to-climb-your-family-tree books, there's a huge number of reference and raw-data collections, from histories of specific families to ships' records, newspaper abstracts, etc. The problem with such books in the past has been that you didn't know until after you purchased one (whether a print or a digital copy) if it contained information relevant to your own research.

With Kindle Unlimited, this pig-in-a-poke problem vanishes.

Here's what you could do to further your research without gambling on books that may or may not have anything of use in them (to you). With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you could borrow ten genealogy ebooks (the maximum allowed at one time). Then you could flip through them, or use your Kindle device's search feature, to find any information of use to you. If you don't find anything, then you can simply return them and borrow ten more.

I know that these days, there are tons of information for ancestor hunters available for free or for a subscription fee at the dedicated genealogy websites such as

But there's still a lot of data locked up in various small-press books and books by individuals writing their own family's story. Kindle Unlimited gives us genealogists a virtually cost-free way to unlock those books -- at least the ones that have been committed to ebook format (and you might be surprised how many there are).

By the way, you don't even need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your smartphone or laptop that will do the trick. (Also BTW, I do NOT work for Amazon.)

Katherine R. Willson said...

Thanks, Lynn, for mentioning my Genealogy on Facebook list! Guess I better get busy and add those additional 400 links I've been holding onto for the next revision! :-)

Robin Foster said...

Thank you for mentioning my free e-book!

Diane Hall said...

Lynn - Wanted to let you know that I linked to your post in my blog today and also gave you a shout out on the Geneabloggers FB page.

Lynn Palermo said...

Thanks Diane, appreciate the shout out.