Free Online Research Sites

There are many online resources for genealogy available as well.

Family Search

You set up an account, but it is free. It has some, but not all, of the same records as Ancestry and has some unique records. Highly recommended for researching documents. Trees placed on this site are not private and may contain unsourced information. Search > Records

Skidompha Collection

These non-newspaper scans are from our onsite collection and have been OCR indexed for ease of searching. New digital collections are always being added, so check back frequently to see what’s new! These archives are free to use and accessible to the public. Digitized materials are available here. Note: The date fields are not functional in this portion of our archives.

Online Learning – These sites have some free and some fee-based webinars.

Future Learn Genealogy Course

Six-week free introductory course from the University of Strathclyde’s continuing education program started last week, but you can catch up!

Family Search Research Wiki

This site has nearly 100,000 articles to guide you to websites, research strategies, records & resources! You set up a free account at and then can use the above Wiki site directly with this link or from the main page: Search > Research Wiki. Keyword search by location, record type, etc.

Chronicling America

Search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1756-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. The link will bring you to their “Help” page so that you have an overview of how to use the site.

American Ancestors

Run by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, whose goal is to help genealogists of all skill levels improve their knowledge and understanding of their family and its place in history. This is an amazing collection of resources.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Tracing People from Our Past

A Genealogist’s Guide has been recommended as a good addition to our resources list, saying, “it’s loaded with information from beginners tips, a wide variety of documentation tips, and preservation tips.”

New York City History: Ellis Island

This page includes some background history on Ellis Island and then compiles a list of wonderful links regarding Ellis Island and other topics related to immigration history. A lawyer created this page. Including this link to his New York City History: Ellis Island page and its links does not constitute a recommendation of any sort by Skidompha Library or staff, past, present or future, about this law firm or its partners and employees. Also, be aware that not all immigrants came through Ellis Island; many came earlier than it opened and may have come through the earlier immigration and processing center, Castle Garden in New York, which operated from 1 August 1855 – 31 December 1891.