Free Resources

DNA Testing:

Gedmatch: The best website out there. Period. So helpful and it does what none of the testing company websites do. Upload your raw DNA now. Truly.

DNAAdoption: You’re not adopted? Read it anyway. The info and tools you’ll read about here are invaluable to any genetic tester looking for family.

DNA Basics: Videos explaining basics of DNA from the University of Utah. Here are the two to start with: DNA and Inheritance.

My 5 minute video on Youtube: “Ancestry.com DNA kit unboxing.”

Newspapers:

Library of Congress – Historical Newspaper Archive: The search function is a little clunky, but you can’t argue with sheer numbers.

New York State Libraries – Historical New York Newspapers: For immigrants in the past 125 years, most came through New York. An individuals first record in the U.S. may be here.

Virginia:

Library of Virginia – Historical Virginia Newspapers Archive

Library of Virginia: It’s the archival repository for the entire state for all time. I visit their website before every visit to their buildings.

Minnesota:

Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS): Every marriage in Land of 10,000 Lakes. Every one. Just names, dates and locations, but enormously helpful.

Dalby Database:  No frills. Easy. Info no one else has.

Languages:

Type It – Typing in other languages made accessible.

German Language Type – From old beer steins to German document, you must first translate the “German font” called fraktur into German, then into English.

What does that mean?:

Definitions – Are you sure you know what a “chain carrier” is?

Occupations – Are you sure your know what a “gauger” is?

Maps:

Map Of US – Each State page contains rotating animated maps showing all of the county boundary changes & all of the county boundaries for each census year for each year. Past and present “maps of US” are overlaid so that you can see the changes in county boundaries, downloadable County D.O.T. Maps, and state atlas maps.

Bureau of Land Management – find exactly where your ancestors lived on a map.

Immigration:

Ellis Island Database – These have become some of my favorite records. I get all patriotic when I think about it.

Castle Garden – Many don’t know that Ellis Island wasn’t always there. First there was Castle Garden. The search function is a little frustrating, but can lead to great clues.