Family Research Resources

The general public’s interest in genealogy has increased tremendously in recent years and as a result, there are many websites, databases and other media sources devoted to family history research. Here are just a few places to continue your research journey.

Subscription Services:

Ancestry: Subscription service offering access to billions of documents. Ancestry is the largest online genealogy repository.

Fold3: A subscription database of historical military records.

Newspapers: A subscription database of historical newspapers.

Family Tree Templates:

National Genealogical Society: NGS has free templates of family tree and ancestor charts on their website.

Websites, Blogs, and Magazines:

Census: The Census Bureau website includes more information about the census and a detailed list of every question asked on each census.

FamilySearch Research Wiki: The FamilySearch Research wiki is a helpful and specific database of location-based background information and resources.

Family Tree Magazine: Includes resources for people at any stage of research.

JewishGen: With links to dozens of databases focused on Jewish research, this website’s mission is “To preserve our Jewish family history and heritage for future generations.”

Lowcountry Africana: A website dedicated to African American genealogy and history in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The Polynesian Genealogist: Miya Jensen runs an active Instagram and Facebook page about finding Polynesian ancestors.

Through the Trees: Shannon Christmas, genetic genealogy specialist, blogs specifically about genetic genealogy.

Who Is Nicka Smith: Nicka Smith, founder of Black ProGen, has a regularly updated blog focused on African American genealogy

Free Databases:

Access Genealogy: A website with several databases and lots of free resources, including a long list of resources for those researching Native American family members.

Ancestry Library Edition: Ancestry Library Edition is a free version of the Ancestry subscription and is service offered through many local libraries. Contact your local library for more information.

FamilySearch: A large, free database featuring millions of documents, maintained by the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.

FindAGrave: A free, crowdsourced database of cemeteries and cemetery records.

HeritageQuest: HeritageQuest is a free database filled with records and family histories from around the world. It is offered mostly offered through libraries and other institutions. Contact your local library for more information.

National Archives: database for many federal documents held at the National Archive.

Slave Voyages: This site houses a Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database, an Intra-Aerican Slave Trade database and an African names database.


Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center @ NMAAHC: The Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center at the National Museum of African American History & Culture presents regular public genealogy programming on topics relating specifically to African American genealogy

Black Pro Gen Live: Extensive video library of different topics pertaining to Black genealogy hosted by Nicka Smith, featuring many different guest lecturers.


In Those Genes: A podcast all about genetic genealogy

Genealogy Gems: Family Tree Magazine’s sponsored genealogy podcast

Extreme Genes: A nationally syndicated radio show and podcast about genealogy

Genealogy Guys: A long-running podcast featuring genealogy companies and experts