Ancestry.com is a premium subscription-based genealogy website with over 8 billion genealogy records, most of which are online images of original documents. In addition, Ancestry has more than 35 million user-submitted family trees, which include photographs, written stories, and scanned documents.
One of Ancestry's best kept secrets is that they also have over 1,300 always-free databases. To view these free records, you may be asked to sign up for a free account, but the account is free, no strings attached. You do not need a free trial to view these records.
The free databases are available to search at the Ancestry site at Ancestry.com Free Index Collection.
Although this database is called the Free Index, it actually includes indexes as well as images. This Free Index Search contains all the free Ancestry.com record databases but does not include the very popular Family Trees.
Below is a list of the most popular Ancestry free databases. Scroll down to see some of the the free Ancestry databases that are listed by country and state.
The Most Popular Free Ancestry Databases
FREE Family Tree Online
Record your family history by creating a FREE family tree online. Start your tree by entering what you know about yourself and your family. Ancestry.com will use what you enter to try and find more about your family in the world's largest online collection of historical records and family trees.
1940 US Census
Ancestry.com has put the newly released the completely indexed 1940 census images online
1880 US Census
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have worked together to put the transcribed 1880 U.S. Federal census online. Find family relationships, residence, and occupation.
1881 UK Census
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have worked together to put the transcribed 1881 UK Federal census online.
American Biographical Library
Contains over 75,000 full-text biographies of notable Americans.
Charts & Forms
Ancestral Chart, Family Group Sheet, Census Forms, and other charts that are helpful while doing genealogy research.
England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892
The criminal registers are a listing of individuals charged with crime. The registers provide information about the charged individual, their trial, and sentence (if convicted) or other outcome.
Last Name Meanings, Last Name Distribution in the US & UK, the top countries of origin for each surname based on passenger lists to the US, and much more.
- Civil War Service
- Immigration Year
- Life Expectancy
- UK Name Distribution
- US Name Distribution
- Name Meanings
- Newspaper Headlines
- Places of Occupation
- Ports of Departure
England and Wales, Civil Registration (Birth, Marriage, and Death) Index: 1837-1983
This Public member family tree database contains family trees submitted to Ancestry by users and available for public viewing. Many trees contain photos and stories.
- Public Member Trees
- Personal Member Trees
- Public Member Photos
- Personal Member Photos
- Public Member Stories
Family history how-to and genealogy learning materials. Have a question about an area of genealogy research? This is the place to get ancestors.
Over 130,000 message boards organized by surnames, geography, and research topics. Post or answer queries.
Quebec Vital and Church Records
The Drouin Collection of 1621-1967 contains over 14,000,000 baptisms, marriages, and burial records. These records include French immiagrants to Canada as well as other nationalities.
Member Connect will help you stay in touch with other members who also happen to be researching your ancestors.
U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885
Enumerates the individuals who had died in the previous year 1850-1885. This database also included the names of the slave owners whose slaves had died.
U.S. Historical Postcards
This database contains over 115,000 historical postcards with photos of places in the United States. Historical postcards of your ancestral homeland adds an interesting visual detail to your family tree.
U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992
Indexes to naturalization records. The states whose records are currently included in the database are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Washington, and Vermont.
World War I Civilian Draft Registrations
Index to 24 million men in 1917/18, (98% of men present in America), born between 1873 and 1900 completed draft registration cards
Ancestry Free Databases Listed by Location
Go to Ancestry.com Free Index Collection to see the complete collection
- 1940 US Census
- 1880 US Census
- American Biographical Library
- Biographical Cyclopedia of U.S. Women
- Biographical Directory of the American Congress
- U.S. House of Representative Private Claims, Vol. 3
- New England Irish Pioneers
- U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992
- Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots
- U.S. Naval Deaths, World War I
- U.S. World War I Mothers' Pilgrimage, 1930
- World War I Civilian Draft Registrations
- U.S. Seamen's Protection Certificates, 1792-1868
- JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry
- The Philadelphia Jewish Exponent Obituary Index, 1887-2006
- The Cleveland Jewish News Obituary Index, 1964-2007
- The Boston Jewish Advocate Index to Obituary Notices, 1905-2007
- U.S.: Selected Jewish Obituaries, 1948-2002
- USHMM: Czechoslovakia, Jewish Applications for Social Welfare After WWII
- Kankakee City, Illinois Directory, 1876
- Woodford county, Illinois, Illinois Prairie District library, obituaries, 1887-2000
- Kansas Post Offices, 1880
- Kansas Territorial Census, 1855
- Spanish American War Veterans, 1945 - 1970
- Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1718-1820 (Slave)
- Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820 (Free)
- Michigan Passenger and Crew Lists, 1903-1965
- Iosco County, MI, Iosco County Gazette Index, 1900-10
- Iosco County, Michigan Early Land Owners, 1841-96
- Iosco County, Michigan Glass Negatives, 1892-1905: East Tawas
- Iosco County, Michigan Naturalization Index, 1885-1910
- Iosco County, Michigan Obituaries, 1978-90
- Iosco County, Michigan Paupers, 1869-1934
- Iosco County, Michigan Plat Book, 1903
- Iosco County, Michigan WWI Veterans Index
- Iosco County, Michigan, 1892-1949: Tawas Herald Obituaries
- Iosco County, Michigan, 1901-99: Esmond-Evergreen Cemetery
- Northern Michigan, Newspaper Surname Index
- Marble Cemetery Records, New York City, New York, 1830-1937
- New York City Immigrants (Austria, Galicia, Poland), 1890
- New York City Immigrants (Austria, Galicia, Poland), 1891
- Hamilton College, New York Graduates, 1879
- Pennsylvania Naturalization Originals, 1795-1930
- Pennsylvania Biographical Sketches, 1868
- PA Oaths of Allegiance, 1727 - 1775
- Philadelphia Bank Immigrant Passage Records, 1890-1949
- Susquehanna County, Silver Lake Township, Pennsylvania, 1878 -79 tax rolls
- Aiken County, South Carolina Cemetery Inscriptions: Graniteville
- Aiken County, South Carolina: Cemetery Records
- Ellis County, Texas World War I Veterans
- Johnson County, Texas, Cemetery Inscriptions
- Johnson County, Texas, Marriages, 1854-72
- Australian Convict Transportation Registers - First Fleet, 1787-1788
- Australian Convict Index, 1788-1868
- Rebellion of 1837, Upper Canada (Ships Transporting Convicted Rebels from Rebellion of 1837 to Van Dieman's Land Australia)
- New South Wales, Australia 1828 - 1842: Bounty Immigrants List
- Maryborough, Queensland Australia Immigrants from the British Isles & Germany 1861-91
- ANZAC Memorial, 1914-1918 New South Wales Branch Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, 1919.
- Who's Who in Australia, 1921-1950
- Ontario Canada 1871 Census Index
- Kitchener, Ontario German War Graves
- Rebellion of 1837, Upper Canada
- Baden, Germany Emigration Index
- Brandenburg, Prussia Emigration Records
- German Leaders of Yesterday and Today
- History of Prussia, Vol. 1
- History of Prussia, Vol. 2
- History of Prussia, Vol. 3
- History of Prussia, Vol. 4
- Memoirs of the Queens of Prussia
- PA German Pioneers
- Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index
- 1911 England Census
- 1881 UK Census
- A history and lineage of descendents of a Scottish family by the name of Sinclair
- England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892
- London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1925
- Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834
- Kent, England, Tyler Index to Parish Registers, 1538-1874
The free Ancestry databases can be found in the Ancestry card catalog
- Go to Ancestry card catalog
Sometimes only the index is free and not the image, but in those cases, the data has been transcribed and is available to view for free. Sometimes, both the image and index are available for free.
If you want to view all of the Ancestry.com databases for free, pick a two week period when you have plenty of time, and get the Free Trial - two weeks of free access. Be sure to cancel your trial at the end of the two weeks.
View all Ancestry databases for two weeks with a Free Trial , or check to see if your local library has a subscription. Ancestry.com operates the largest historical record website with major record collection from the U.S. and countries around the world providing access to more than 6 billion genealogy records.
In addition to the Ancestry.com site, Ancestry operates Genealogy.com, MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, and Footnote.com, which provides images of historical records. Family Tree Maker software, developed and marketed by the company, is the largest selling genealogical software in the world. Ancestry.com has recently purchased Archives.com.
Ancestry.com has many always-free genealogy databases. Be sure to take advantage of these free Ancestry records to search for your ancestors and help build your family tree.
Related Page: Genealogy Freebies