How to find biological parents and distant ancestors online

Who's interested in genealogy? Tracing your family tree? Learning how to find your birth parents? Identifying distant ancestors?
With the abundance of online information available now, it's easier than ever. You'll be able to journey back in time and discover your own particular history using the genealogical websites mentioned in this article. 

These sites can help you unearth your family's deepest secrets because they have millions of records, including birth, marriage, and death certificates, as well as immigration and military papers.

List of Genealogy Websites

While there are numerous ancestry websites available on the internet, each one has its own collection of resources and records, making it a significant resource in and of itself. This post will assist you in navigating the greatest genealogy websites available.

The USGenWeb Project

The USGenWeb project, which has been functioning since 1996, is another volunteer-based website. It's a directory of available sources by location, comparable to the Family Search wiki. 

You begin by selecting a state, then a county, and then, in certain situations, a town. Unlike the FamilySearch wiki, this site links to thousands of separate `microsites' that go into greater information about specific counties and towns.

When starting a new project, the USGenWeb Project should be one of your initial stops. Sites like these are helpful in the early stages of any genealogical study because they let you know what sources are available and where you can get them. 

Other features of this collection of websites include chat forums and educational resources to aid in the growth of your family tree.

Olive Tree Genealogy

Olive Tree Genealogy is a fantastic genealogical website for anyone looking to trace their ancestors' genealogy all the way back to their arrival in America. Since 1996, it has made ship passenger records for German Palatine, Mennonite, and Huguenot immigrants available online.

Naturalization documents, voter registration records, and recorded vows of allegiance are also included, making it a comprehensive early American history collection. Among the more general records available are military databases, orphan listings, asylum registrations, and a Canadian immigration component.

While its design isn't the most beautiful or clean of all the free ancestry websites on the internet, it does include a genealogy education section where beginners can learn how to put their family tree together.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns this well-known, free website (commonly referred to as the Mormons). There are tens of millions of free digital documents from all over the world available here.

You can search millions of records using the Advanced Search tool, which allows you to search by surname, record type, and/or location. Even beyond FamilySearch's huge databases, the FamilySearch Wiki is a "go-to" site for finding out what exists for a wide range of family history problems.

In truth, the service is quite identical to a free version of, save for the DNA and the opportunity to contact other members. Despite the fact that has more records, FamilySearch has some that does not, and vice versa. You might be able to fill in the gaps in your genealogical study by combining the two sites.

My Heritage

MyHeritage has a large database, enticing features, family tree building capability, and DNA testing, but it is slightly less expensive than MyHeritage charges an annual fee rather than a monthly fee, and it lacks Ancestry's database breadth and coverage.

If you have more recent immigrant roots or are really interested in discovering cousins abroad, consider subscribing to MyHeritage, which contains over 5 billion historical records and DNA testing. For continental Europe, Scandinavian countries, and Jewish studies, this Israeli website is the best. You can pay for either family tree-building tools or historical documents access separately, or you can pay for both.

Users like being able to search for information as well as animate and colorize old family photos and collaborate with other users.

Access Genealogy

Hundreds of connections to genealogy data categorized by state and topic are available. This is a very useful and practical website. Census records from all 50 states, military records from the 17th century, cemetery records, and a variety of other databases are available to researchers.

It also features a sizable Native American collection as well as a sizable African American collection. These documents span from American Indian school records to slave trade records, allowing you to learn more about and identify your ancestors.

HeritageQuest Online

HeritageQuest Online is one of the largest online data sets for genealogy research currently available, and it was created exclusively for library users.

It includes US censuses from 1790 to 1930, 26,000+ family and local history books, Revolutionary War pension files, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), which indexes 2.1 million-plus articles in genealogy and history periodicals, former slaves' bank records from 1865 to 1874, and petitions to Congress dating back to 1789.

You can't subscribe to this service yourself, but your local library can, and with a library card, you can get free access. HeritageQuest has teamed with to include several of that site's collections, which were previously only a half-dozen.

This is, without a doubt, the most popular genealogical website on the internet. You may search millions of genealogy records from around the world, as well as millions of other people with whom you may have shared ancestors and with whom you can communicate.

Although it is a premium subscription service, you can test it for free to determine if it is appropriate for you. Nonetheless, it will be valuable to almost everyone. Although the majority of documents are indexed, those that aren't can be viewed, and the majority of records have been digitized. This website even has vintage photographs of your relatives. There is something for everyone here, regardless of your family's heritage.

A free "virtual cemetery," has hundreds of millions of burial records. It's a crowd-sourced website that bought in 2013. These entries are actively indexed by sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry, so you may have previously encountered links to FindaGrave when doing research on other sites.

This website makes it simple to locate your ancestors' gravesites, right down to the plot number. And, if you're lucky, someone may have photographed the burial monument, allowing you to see inscriptions or see who else is buried in the same plot. 

Because this site is crowd-sourced, you can add images, obituaries, or any other relevant genealogical information to someone's "memory page." You may also conduct keyword searches for the entire cemetery to see who else is buried there who might be able to assist you with your quest.


This pioneering site is home to the WorldConnect Project of uploaded GEDCOM family trees, as well as transcripts, how-tos, email lists, and information from the defunct Ancestry Wiki, such as The Source and Red Book.

Beginner genealogists believe that RootsWeb is a good place to start, but it shouldn't be utilized as a stand-alone genealogical resource to fill in the gaps in a family tree. How-to articles, message boards for making connections, mailing lists, family trees, and surname research are all available on RootsWeb for family historians.

RootsWeb was purchased by in 2000 and continues to provide useful information, although it pales in comparison to some of the other free family history sites available.

Family Search

Family Search is the world's most comprehensive free genealogy database. It is also the place to go if you're looking for a suitable spot to start studying your family's history as well as a place to organize the material you've unearthed.

It enables you to design a digital family tree in order to keep track of all you've learned along the way.You can keep updating it as you go with whatever you've learned about your family thus far.

You'll also get access to a database where you can find out more about the relatives you've named, as well as anything else you can find. They also offer outstanding genealogical webinars and seminars.

They recommend going back at least four generations in your family tree to achieve this properly. You just must do so.

Visit Your Local Historical Society for Genealogical Research

Another place to look aside from the website, but it should be close to where you reside. It's the historical society in your town.

Depending on where your ancestors resided, you may be able to find genealogy information by visiting the local historical society. This is because these establishments are accustomed to receiving visitors who are researching their ancestors' past.

Most historical organizations will have a collection of materials on display within the structure. These can take the shape of tangible documents or electronic slides in some cases. Depending on your local historical society, you may be able to see their documents online as well.