Free Genealogy Resources and Research on the Web

Posted by Aaron on

Young women researching genealogy with papers and computer

Both experienced and beginning genealogists can get overwhelmed with the amount of information on the Internet pertaining to genealogy research, local history and public records. In the “old” days, genealogists would have to painstakingly write to courthouses, libraries and archives to try to find out which resources might be available to them for their genealogy research or to request that the research be done for them at a hefty price. They would often have to plan trips to explore the archives (and search through dusty tomes).

This still happens today, but on a much smaller scale, due to the accessibility of the Internet. Many genealogists are now able to do a lot of their research on the web. A lot of resources are at least indexed for free online and some provide a link to a digital image of the original document; however, some online databases may require a subscription fee to access the images. There are also many how-to guides available.

Here is a break down of what databases are available at the Fauquier County Public Library and what is available categorically on the Web.

Free Fauquier County Public Library Genealogy Resources

Unless otherwise indicated, the following resources can be accessed at any Fauquier County Public Library or from home using your Fauquier County Public Library card. They can be found on the library’s Local History and Genealogy Page.

How-To Books for Online Genealogy

The Online Genealogy Handbook book cover

Other favorite genealogy research resources for specific types of records

NOTE: most of these have free indexing, but may require payment for the actual record

General – Locality Specific Records

  • Family Search: Census, vital records (U.S. and International), and local records
  • US Gen Web: Local, vital and cemetery records arranged by locality (state, county)
  • American Local History Network: Local, vital and cemetery records arranged by locality (state, county)
  • DAR Library: Book indexes, local, vital, military and cemetery records


Vital Records

Newspapers / Obituaries

Military Records

Cemetery Records

Digital Book Resources

Maps and Migration Trails


Virginia Research


How-To / Forms and Charts Websites

Top Genealogy Websites recommended by Family Tree Maker and Family Chronicle (not all free):
Family Tree Maker Magazine cover

101 Best Websites for Genealogy (2015)

25 Best Genealogy Websites for Beginners

Happy researching!

Mary Sue, Reference, Bealeton library

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