Sites Like Ancestry Are Often Free Through Your Library

Published by Genealogy-Research on

Looking for a totally free way to access a variety of paid genealogy records, like those provided by Ancestry or MyHeritage, from your own computer?

Well there’s good news, you most likely can. And you might be surprised to hear that the solution is probably only a few clicks away.

Make Instant Discoveries in Your Family Tree Now

Imagine adding your family tree to a simple website and getting hundreds of new family history discoveries instantly. MyHeritage is offering 2 free weeks of access to their extensive collection of 12 billion historical records, as well as their matching technology that instantly connects you with new information about your ancestors. Sign up using the link below to find out what you can uncover about your family.

An increasing number of libraries are now providing access to genealogy resources free of charge. Many can be accessed directly on their websites — meaning that you can take advantage of the services they offer at home. Others can be accessed at the library itself by bringing along your laptop or tablet and using the library’s complimentary wifi and access portal.

Of course, many libraries are digitizing their own historic records and providing them online for members, which we love, but others are also subscribing to large genealogy research sites and then allowing active patrons to access these sites directly from the library’s website.

Partnerships with ebook services are also making more and more online family history books available, and it is easier than ever to borrow and read them on your tablet, phone or ereader.

Free access to sites like Ancestry, Fold3, World Vital Records or genealogy related ebooks are common and are a great way to save on family history research while supporting your library.

Of course, not all library offerings are the same, but many are providing a wealth of free digital resources as a way to keep the community connected to their local library and retain the funding they need to thrive. While some resources are usually only available when you are at the library itself (like Ancestry Library Edition), we were thrilled to discover that the vast majority of libraries we reviewed were offering access to expensive subscription services completely free of cost to members from their own home computers as well.

Dallas Public Library, for instance, has such a wide selection of genealogy services available online it almost makes you want to relocate to Texas. Smaller library systems may only offer a fraction of the free resources of a larger library–but any free access is helpful.

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And even if your library doesn’t hold a certain genealogy book on their shelves, you might find they offer it online. If your library has teamed up with OverDrive you can easily connect your Amazon account to your library account and read these borrowed books right on your Kindle, or through a Kindle app on your computer, tablet or phone.

If you’re not sure what free digital services your library offers, head over to their website and take a look. Make sure you have your library card handy through, because you’ll likely need your card number to access these types of member only benefits.

Free access to subscription services is usually as simple as finding your library’s genealogy section, following a special link and entering your library card number.

12 Billion Genealogy Records Are Free for 2 Weeks

Get two full weeks of free access to more than 12 billion genealogy records right now. You’ll also gain access to the MyHeritage discoveries tool that locates information about your ancestors automatically when you upload or create a tree. What will you discover about your family’s past?

Downloading ebooks is also straightforward once you’ve entered the online borrowing system your library has set up. In most instances, you will need to set up an account with Overdrive through the website link provided by your library and then borrow and download the book type you desire (ie PDF, EPUB or Kindle). Linking the account to your Kindle, if you have one, is a two-step process that is explained on Overdrive when attempting to download the Kindle edition.

read books free online library

And don’t forget, if your library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can request it! The more requests they get for these types of free genealogy resources the more likely they are to provide them.

Image: “Young African American woman,” 1899 or 1900, Library of Congress

Originally published Sept 2015.

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