Are you looking to find ancestors for free? Having a last name is obviously a good start to finding your ancestors. Luckily for the internet, its easier to trace your ancestors. It's good to learn the history and locations of your ancestors. It's easy to find ancestors for free by last name through your father and grandfathers. How you're be able to trace your ancestors is usually done by birth certificates, death certificates, military records, census records and marriage certificates. There are records kept. These records are public information allowing you to find ancestors for free.
1.) Gather all details possible. You'll want to get all details when finding ancestors by last name. For example, you'll need to start with your mother, father, or grandparents. You'll need to gather information on any birthday's, relatives residence, dates of marriages, deaths, anything to help make finding ancestors easier. How you'll be able to trace last name ancestors is actually easy. Usually when someone gets married, or there's a birth certificate, the next of kin's name is on those certificates. Marriage certificates are public, and useful ways to track down the history of your ancestries. The county courthouse where the ceremony took place in the particular area is who to find free marriage certificate records.
2.) Census records. The best way you can find ancestors for free is by census records. State libraries or state archives contain census records which are free to look up. Census records are dated back from 1790. All you need is a name of your ancestor, state, and then you can start tracking your ancestors through their last name. Ancestry.com allows you to search through federal census records.
Census records can include those who live in the household, address, birth certificates, marriage certificates, occupations, year of immigration, and parent's birthplaces. Census records make it easy to confirm info on relatives, since a lot information is documented. The only down side is that census records have been closed off for 72 years after the year 1930. If you're looking to trace ancestors you'll probably need to start with grandparents.
3.) Search obituaries. If you know the date of death, search old newspapers from local libraries to find information on ancestors. If you're not sure the date of death, ask older relatives of yours. Local libraries contain microfilms of newspapers.
4.) Search online ancestry sites. According to an article in digital genealogist, the top 5 genealogy sites to use are ancestry.com, rootsweb.com, myheritage.com, genaology.com, and family search.org in an article by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens. Some might not be free to use, but basic searches are usually allowed on most of them.
Ancestry.com is a paid site, but you can still find ancestors for free by doing a search on their site. You can a search by birth, marriage, death, or military service. Ancestry's site also has census records available. You can search relatives by last name, first name, and provide details like birth, death, and other family members to narrow your search. Ancestry.com does offer a 14 day free trial to provide detail information and makes it helpful when creating a ancestry family tree.