Friday, 15 May 2020

Can't Pay? You Don't Have To!

British History Online offering free research content to all users

Last time I posted about the free digital records you can download from the National Archives.  There are a number of other useful websites which normally charge for access, but have made their online resources free at the moment.

British History Online  Many collections of state papers and English court documents (quarter sessions) are included here. The Victoria County History, which covers some of England, is a useful resource for family historians.  The site's subject guides are a handy introduction to what they have.
The Genealogist – First Steps   This subscriber site is offering 3 months’ trial of their “most useful record sets for beginners”.  The main records are BMDs and 1911 census returns for England and Wales.  No payment details are required.

Legacy Webinars have extended their “one free webinar a day” offer from April to the end of May.  Free webinars are always available, but usually quite a limited selection.  The one-a-day offer includes some interesting topics and speakers.  Just click on the title of the presentation you want to watch on that day and you'll be taken straight to it.

This one may sound a bit niche, but remember that newspapers don’t just publish local stories – they may report news from all over the country and around the world as well.  The Isle of Man Museum is providing free access to their newspaper collection, 1792-1960. 

A few free magazine issues you can download are

Family Tree Magazine (US version) 

It’s also worth investigating what your local public library is presently offering in the way of free online resources for tracing your family tree.  Many local authority libraries in the UK already provide access to Ancestry for visitors to their premises.  You may find that yours has extended that resource to anyone with a library card/account to use at home.  The same may apply to other services that libraries subscribe to, like FindMyPast, newspaper databases, or the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 

Tip: Sign up for free e-mail newsletters with family history websites or magazines, or check their social media channels for announcements, to get news of the latest offers and freebies.

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