How to Find My Ancestry Free & Easily

Finding out where you come from is a desire many Americans have. Because America is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures, the search for the top branches of a family tree may take more than a visit to Grandma's attic. Fortunately for the web savvy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints offers free Internet assistance to anyone, including those not involved in the church, eager to learn about their ancestry. The church has collected the records of an estimated 3 billion deceased individuals.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Birth and death certificates of family members
  1. Preparation

    • 1
      Parents and grandparents can be a wealth of information when researching your family tree.
      Parents and grandparents can be a wealth of information when researching your family tree.

      Talk to parents, grandparents and other family members to get information about their ancestors' countries of origin. The Mormon online archive divides regions of origin as follows: Africa; Asia and Middle East; Australia and New Zealand; Caribbean, Central and South America; Europe; Pacific Islands; and the United States, Canada and Mexico.

    • 2

      Collect as many important documents as possible, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates. If you know the U.S. state or territory where the birth, death, marriage or divorce occurred, you can find out where to obtain these documents at the Centers for Disease Control website. You will need the name, date of birth and date of death when you search for information on your ancestors.

    • 3

      Search for any other additional information your family may have gathered over the years to indicate areas in which they settled in the United States, like property deeds or county records.

    Online Research

    • 1

      Visit the website, the online research tool for the Mormon church's collection of records of roughly 3 billion deceased people.

    • 2

      Click on the link for "Family Trees."

    • 3

      Enter the names of the ancestor whose information you are looking for. You will need his first and last name, the date of his birth and death, as well as the first and last names of his parents and their birth and death dates. After you enter this information, the website will list all of the names in its database that match the information you entered. When you click on a particular name, all of the information the database has on that person will appear, such as who her parents were and her spouse's name.

    • 4

      Fill in the names and information you've learned in one of the free blank templates of a family tree available on the website. The website recommends you start with your own name, and work backward to your oldest known family members.

    • 5

      Print out the filled-in form. You've now got a copy of your completed family tree.

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  • Photo Credit family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from woman with parents image by Pavel Losevsky from

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