Find Genealogy Records by Searching These Free Surname Databases
One of your primary focuses as a genealogist or family historian should undoubtedly be searching for surnames. Concentrating on surname searches is one of the most important ways of connecting our ancestral dots in order to identify relatives.
While the origins of surnames can help you uncover clues about your heritage and even where your ancient ancestors may have lived, researching surnames can also help you discover long-lost family members to add to empty branches on your family tree.
The following surname databases can aid you during the surname search process — and they’re free to use!
Top Genealogy Websites from the RootsTech Innovator Showdown
Online genealogy research has come a long way in recent years. In this digital age where you can find genealogy records with just a few clicks of a mouse, and even collaborate with family members on virtual family trees, beginner and seasoned genealogists alike seem to have higher expectations when it comes to new advancements in genealogy research tools.
Recently, top genealogy and family history developers from all over the world have come together at RootsTech 2016 where 46 teams introduced their new and innovative genealogy websites, apps and tools to the masses. And while there can only be one winner at this year’s RootsTech Innovator Showdown, all of the finalists are winners in our big family history book.
The following list of some of our favorite, new and emerging genealogy websites from the RootsTech Innovator Showdown are as innovative as they are helpful!
Find Family Maiden Names Using These Top Resources
If you’re like most genealogists, your female ancestors have given you a hard time when it comes to locating their maiden names. But don’t be too angry or hold a family grudge! More often than not, we run into family maiden name brick walls because we aren’t searching for information in the best places.
So, don’t fret! You can find your ancestors’ maiden names and surnames. It just takes patience and searching through the right records in order to determine these vital pieces of your family’s history.
Where to Find Your Scottish Ancestors – Guest Article by Christine Woodcock, Director of Genealogy Tours of Scotland
For those of us fortunate enough to have ancestors with Scottish heritage, researching is a fairly easy task. Knowing where to look is usually where we get tied up. Following these hints should help.
A Comprehensive Collection of Jewish Genealogy Resources
Researching your Jewish ancestry can be a much different venture than that of studying your Irish, Russian, German or African roots (to name just a few). In addition to surname research, vital records, archives and gravestones, there are a few other topics you’ll want to look into when conducting Jewish genealogy research. Because Judaism has been described as a religion, race, culture and nation, the Jewish people are like one big, extended family — making Jewish genealogy quite popular. Due to the large number of people who are studying their Jewish ancestry, there are many fantastic Jewish genealogy resources available on and offline to help you fill in your family tree with some newly discovered family stories.
Guest Article by Lisa Lisson, Genealogist & Family Historian
Genealogists have embraced technology in their research. The use of smartphones and tablets by researchers is the norm these days. I find I use my smartphone frequently in my “on the go” research. When I research in the North Carolina state archives, I move around…a lot! You might find me in the main research room, the microfilm room or the genealogy library one floor down. Moving my laptop and setting up a workspace multiple times is just not an efficient use of time when researching.
A Collection of African-American Genealogy Resources
If you’ve hit a brick wall in your African-American genealogy research, you’re definitely not alone! You’ll likely find it more difficult to find certain records than with other types of genealogy research if you have African and slave roots since record keeping for African Americans prior to the Civil War just wasn’t thought of.
But don’t get to frustrated just yet. There are plenty of great African-American genealogy resources available on and offline, so we compiled a list of 80 African-American ancestry links to help you fill in some genealogy research holes and add missing stories to your family tree.
From African-American surnames, to Freedmen’s Bureau records collections and helpful blogs, you’re likely to find a long lost family member by utilizing our list below.
Interview with Founder & President of Genealogists.com, Jim Heddell
If you think your genealogy research can be done solely online — think again. Seasoned genealogists will always debunk this all-too-common misconception and tell you that family history research is much more involved than that.
In actuality, it’s a pastime that requires quite a bit of research conducted outside of the digital research realm. Pertinent information about your ancestors can be found all over the country in libraries and paper documents that have yet to be digitized. Plus, some information may even require a trip outside of the country! Yes, genealogy research is that involved, and if you don’t have the chops to give it a go alone, you should consider hiring a professional genealogist to help you delve deeper into your family’s history.