Top 40 Free Online Genealogy Websites You Should Be Visiting Now

Do you like to search for genealogy records for your ancestors for Free? Duh. I have about 40 websites that I frequently use. Some have digitized records in their collections. Some have links to collections that can be searched or browsed. Some include transcribed records. And some have useful genealogical educational information.

All of the 40 websites in this QuickSheet are free to use to your heart’s content.

To obtain the one-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference of these websites. You can download it by clicking on TOP 40 FREE Online Genealogy Websites

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

Historical Jewish American Newspapers Online

For those of you who have Jewish ancestry in your family tree, there are lots of Jewish-American newspapers that have been published over the last hundred or so years that may help you find some information and stories about your ancestors.

The first part of the list are titles that are available from many different collections and are presented by state.  Many of the titles are provided by the National Library of Israel.  At the bottom of the links presented by state are over 100 titles from this library, sorted alphabetically.  Some of the titles in the library list are not on the list by state.

Listed are only those that are available online. As always, there are tons more available via microfilm and in the original form via libraries and archives.

Please note that most listed below are free and some require a subscription or a login from a university library. Some are indexed, and some are not. 

Please be aware that there are several titles that are available from more than one online collection, and the range of available dates may be different, so you might want to research all the sources.

(Updated November 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Free Collections:

Arizona

California

Colorado

Connecticut

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

​Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

Nebraska

Nevada

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Virginia

Washington

Free from Libraries with a ProQuest Subscription:

Genealogy Bank (subscription):

Newspapers.com (subscription)

Other Excellent Resources:.  

  • Compact Memory is a digital collection of about 300 Jewish periodicals from German-speaking countries, 1806-1938. All in German.
  • Several university libraries have purchased parts of the ProQuest collection and may have Jewish newspapers available. You might check with your nearest major university library to see what they have in their collection or have easy access to.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Historical Nordic American Newspapers Online

For those of you who have some Nordic in your family tree, there are several Nordic-American newspapers that have been published over the last hundred or so years that may help you find some information and stories about your ancestors.

Listed are only those that are available online. As always, there are more available via microfilm and in original form via libraries and archives. They are separated by Nordic country of origin and then by the state in which they were published.

If there are duplicate titles, they are offered online by more than one collection. It is always a good idea to search both, since the date ranges may be different.

(Updated November 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Swedish

California

Colorado

Illinois

Iowa

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Nebraska

New York

Oregon

Texas

Washington

Norwegian

Multiple States

Illinois

Iowa

Minnesota

Oklahoma

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin

Danish

California

Illinois

Minnesota

Nebraska

Wisconsin

Finnish

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Oregon

Wisconsin

Icelandic

Minnesota

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Historical U.S. and Canada Free Online Catholic Newspapers

For those of you who have Catholic ancestry in your family tree, there are lots of newspapers that have been published in the past that may help you find some information and stories about your ancestors.

​I recently became aware of the Catholic Newspapers Programwhich is a result of a project started in 2011 by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance. From their website: “The goal and scope of the program is to provide access to all extant Catholic newspapers published in North America.”

They have created a list of free links to historic and current Catholic newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. As a result of contacting them and reviewing their project and website, they have allowed me to re-sort their list by location and publish it here. I highly recommend that you visit their list, as it includes some useful notes about each newspaper, as well as publishing institution and other info that will help you.  It can be found at Catholic Newspapers Online. My thanks to Pat Lawton, the Catholic Research Resources Alliance Digital Projects Librarian for her help in this effort.

The list below is a combination of those found from the Catholic Newspapers Program as well as many that I have discovered myself, from many other collections.

Although the majority of the collections on this list are from more recent publication dates, there are quite a few that are from the more distant past. Take a look at these sites and search them for info about your ancestors. I have also added other online Catholic historic newspaper sites.

(Updated November 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Canada

British Columbia

Nova Scotia

Ontario

Quebec

Saskatchewan

United States

All States

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Arizona

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

Mississippi

Montana

North Carolina

North Dakota

Nebraska

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Vermont

Washington

Wisconsin

West Virginia

Wyoming

Thanks again to the Catholic Research Resources Alliance.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Historical American Farming Newspapers Online

Over 35% of American families were involved in agriculture in the late 19th century. It is down to less than 5% today and certainly higher than 35% prior to 1899. Obviously, the stories of farmers and their families were recorded in local and county newspapers. As researchers, we also need to look to Farming newspapers to find our ancestors.

Farming and ranching had specialty newspapers throughout the country, whether they be advertising-oriented, journals, or just informing readers about the science of agriculture and new methods and tools to enhance the farmer’s ability to grow more and better crops.

The list by state is below. Please note that I have excluded subscription databases from the list below.

(Updated November 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Alabama

Arizona

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida 

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

 

Wisconsin

Wyoming  

Good luck finding articles about your farming ancestors!

25 North Carolina Historical Newspaper Titles Added to DigitalNC

DigitalNC just announced the addition of 25 newspaper titles that were added this week.

Also, it was announced that millions more pages that were available on newspapers,com, will be added to Digital NC in the coming months.  Read the entire announcement HERE.

The 25 titles now available are:

Historical German American Newspapers Online

For those of you who have some German in your family tree, there are several German-American newspapers that have been published over the last hundred or so years that may help you find some information and stories about your ancestors.

Listed are only those that are available online. As always, there are tons more available via microfilm and in the original form via libraries and archives.

Please note that some are free and some require a subscription or a login from a university (or local) library. Some are indexed, and some are not. In the Free Collections, you may see some duplicates – this is because the newspaper is provided on multiple online sites, so you may wish to search or browse each of the duplicates.

(Updated November 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Free Collections:

Note: in some cases, the city is provided and in others, it isn’t – the same is true of the date range of the title in the online collection.  Also, many states are not represented – this may be because: 1) there are no German newspapers in that state; 2) they have not been digitized; or 3) this author has not found the link.

California

​Colorado

Delaware 

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa  

Kansas

Louisiana

Maryland

Michigan

​Minnesota

Missouri

​Nebraska

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

​Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Virginia

Wisconsin

Library Access Only:

Readex/NewsBank Titles

From their Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971, there are quite a few German American newspapers available. Check with your nearby library to see if they have a subscription for this collection.  Clicking on the link will provide you with a list of titles.  Please understand that all of these titles listed are not German.  There are French, Irish, and other ethnic groups contained in this collection.

Subscription Sites:

Genealogy Bank has over 30 German language titles available at their site:

GenealogyBank German American Newspapers

A terrific resource for German-language newspapers throughout the world (including the U.S.) is German-Language Newspaper Access in North America.  It has a database, sorted by city, that identifies German-language titles and whether they are available in paper, microfilm or online.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Bi-Monthly Newsletter from The Ancestor Hunt – November 15, 2021

Hello to The Ancestor Hunt readers! Here is the latest Bi-monthly Newsletter. It includes links to all of the articles published since the previous newsletter, as well as articles that I think you might find interesting from other authors. It also includes research tips, a joke or two, and other interesting genealogical stuff.

It is published on The Ancestor Hunt website and shared on The Ancestor Hunt Facebook Page, Twitter, Linked In, and Tumblr.

I hope that you find it useful. And Thank You for being a loyal reader and visitor.

To download the file, click on

FamilySearch New and Updated Collections – November 1-15, 2021

FamilySearch continues to add or update its records collections at a fast pace for us to search. ​​For the period of November 1-15, 2021, the added/updated collections are:

For a complete list of all added/updated collections, go to https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list

I hope that some of these are what you have been waiting for!

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Historical Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Newspapers Online

BACKGROUND (per Wikipedia): “The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. Originally for young men ages 18–25, it was eventually expanded to ages 17–28…The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 (about $570 in 2017) per month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families)

In June, 2017 The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Newspaper Project announced their collaboration to make available online, many newspapers published in Virginia from the various Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps throughout the commonwealth from 1934 to 1941. The complete announcement of the new collection is available at VNP ANNOUNCES THE CCCAt the time of this publication, there are 158 newspapers available from 12 states.

Because of the outstanding recent efforts of the Center for Research Libraries, there are well over 1,000 of these CCC titles available online. The titles listed below are available to the general public. There are hundreds more that are restricted to CRL member institutions and hundreds more available in microform. You can read about their project HERE

There also are a few of these newspapers that have been digitized by a state and the digitized versions are available online. They are included as well.

Here is a list of the current CCC newspapers available online, with city and state of publication (African American companies are indicated with “AA” at the end of the listed title):

(Updated November 2021; This update now totals 1,702 Camp Newspapers)

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Many thanks to the Center for Research Libraries and the Commonwealth of Virginia for this outstanding collection!

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!