Following on from April, where we were all self distancing by staying at home as much as we can, and numerous genealogy organisations offered free access, or special offers, while to the COVID-19 lockdown is on. Well now it’s May and many are continuing to do so, and in fact the list has grown since last month. Here’s those that have been announced recently:
Ancestry Library Edition
Many societies and libraries are offering at home use of the Ancestry Library Edition if you are a member. Check with your local genealogy societies and libraries to see if this is an option they offer.
Ancestry.com US Records and Tutorials
Ancestry has collaborated with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to offer temporary free access to almost 500 million historical records and images from the federal government. And we will continue providing free online tutorials and video courses to help people get started with family tree building. You will need to create an account (which is free), to get started. For more information, click here.
British History Online
The British History Online website has made ALL of its records free to access, including the Calendar of Close Rolls (1244 to 1509) and the Calendar of State Papers Domestic (1547 to 1704). This offer runs until 31 July 2020. More information about it here.
Family History Daily
Family History Daily provides most of their content free, including hundreds of helpful articles to help you with your research. However, they also offer paid online courses for those who are looking for a more structured and detailed approach to learning. To help out genealogists who are stuck at home, they are offering “those who have lost their main source of income, either temporarily or permanently, or those who are essential workers in any field, you can register for the courses at no cost. Once registered, courses are permanently yours (including updates) and are available all year, even when registration is closed (25 May). If you qualify, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a 100% off coupon now. All readers who do not qualify for free courses can instead receive a 50% discount until this date. To register for any course level at this reduced rate use code help50 after selecting a course level on our courses page“. This offer is valid until 25 May 2020.
Family Tree Magazine (US)
Family Tree Magazine (the US one, not UK one of the same name) is offering a free download of their March/April 2020 issue to give those stuck at home some great reading. You can download a copy of the magazine from here.
Free First Steps by TheGenealogist
Begin a lifetime of discovery with the FREE First Steps package. Free Genealogy Records are the ideal way to research your family tree and start the journey to find your ancestry.
The Free First Steps package includes:
– Complete Birth, Marriage & Death records index for England and Wales 1837-2005
– English & Welsh Census Records to see where ancestors were living in 1911
– TreeView, the online family tree builder
– Image Archive of churches, places and people from the past
– A high quality monthly digital magazine packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice
This First Steps package will give those beginning their journey on the compelling road to discovering their ancestors some excellent family history resources. No card details, no subscription, just completely free. You can get started here https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/first-steps/
Internet Genealogy Magazine
With the COVID-19 situation, and with the majority of people being quarantined to their homes, we thought we would take this opportunity to offer you this FREE issue download of Internet Genealogy magazine so you would have something to add to your reading collection. There are no strings attached. Click here to download your FREE issue today.
Isle of Man Newspapers
The iMuseum are giving everyone FREE access to the Manx newspapers from 1792 to 1960 and other publications. You can find a full list of the newspapers and publications on their website www.imuseum.im/newspapers/. During the period of free access, there will be no need to subscribe or create a login account. For more details click here.
Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Legacy Family Tree Webinars wants to do its part to help genealogists across the world who are self-isolating at home right now. So they figured that genealogy class each day during the month will help as a diversion. This worked well in April, so they’ve decided to continue it throughout May as well. So each day they are unlocking one Legacy Family Tree webinar from the membership library to be available to watch for FREE. here’s the schedule for the rest of April, so you know what’s coming up… (remember the date/day is US time, so Australia is basically a day ahead). Click here to see what’s free to watch today.
May 1 – Mistakes I Have Made: Confessions of a Repentant Genealogist by Cheri Hudson Passey
May 2 – Maintaining an Organized Computer by Cyndi Ingle
May 3 – How I Built My Own Brick Wall by Rebecca Koford
May 4 – 3 Genealogy DNA Case Studies and How I Solved Them by Roberta Estes
May 5 – United States Colored Troops Civil War Widows’ Pension Applications: Tell the Story by Bernice Bennett
May 6 – One Step to Remove that Photograph Scratch by Geoff Rasmussen
May 7 – Quebec Civil and Parish Registers by Michael Leclerc
May 8 – Secrets in the Attic: Break Down Brick Walls With Home Sources by Denise Levenick
May 9 – A Month’s Worth of Must-Have Tech Tips To Start Using Today by Gena Philibert-Ortega
May 10 – Analyzing Probate Records of Slaveholders to Identify Enslaved Ancestors by LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
May 11 – Foundations in DNA 1 of 5: Genealogy and DNA by Blaine Bettinger
May 12 – Full Circle: Tracing the Descendants of a Slaveholding Ancestor by Nicka Smith
May 13 – 3 Ways to Use Gmail Smarter by Marian Pierre-Louis
May 14 – How to trace your UK ancestry by Kirsty Gray
May 15 – Time and Place – Using Genealogy’s Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler
May 16 – Advanced Googling for Your Grandma by Cyndi Ingle
May 17 – 50 Records that Document Female Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega
May 18 – DNA Rights and Wrongs: The Ethical Side of Testing by Judy Russell
May 19 – Lessons in Jewish DNA: One Man’s Successes and What He Learned On the Journey by Israel Pickholtz
May 20 – The Best Built-in Windows 10 Storage Hack by Marian Pierre-Louis
May 21 – Emigration via Hamburg by Andrea Bentschneider
May 22 – Getting Started in Family History – 6 – Census Records by Cheri Hudson Passey
May 23 – Seven Steps to Manage Digital Files – Denise Levenick
May 24 – Quality, Time and Completion: Developing a Research Plan (Part One) by J. Mark Lowe
May 25 – Which Spot Does X Mark, Anyway? X-DNA Testing in Action by Debra Renard
May 26 – Jewish Genealogy for the Non-Jew: History, Migration, DNA by Schelly Dardashti
May 27 – Need a Fillable Form? Word Has Your Back! by Amie Bowser Tennant
May 28 – Effective Use of GENUKI: England’s Largest Free Genealogy website by Paul Milner
May 29 – 1910 – 1940 Federal Censuses & State Censuses to Fill in the Gaps by Amie Bowser Tennant
May 30 – Microsoft Word Series – #1 Getting Started with Microsoft Word by Microsoft Word Series – #1 Getting Started with Microsoft Word by Thomas MacEntee
May 31 – Ten Tools for Genealogical Writing by Harold Henderson
Not sure that this is a COVID-19 sale, as these prices have been the same for a while now, and there’s no date given as to when they end … but grab them while they’re on sale.
– Ancestry Kit – Normally AU$169, on sale for AU$129 BUY NOW
– Wellbeing Kit – Normally AU$199, on sale for AU$139 BUY NOW
– Ancestry & Wellbeing Kits – Normally $259, on sale for AU$179 BUY NOW
London Topographical Society
All the London Topographical Society’s newsletters are now available to read for free. The archive dates back to 1975 and is packed with fascinating information about the history of London’s buildings. You can view them here.
Ontario History Journal
If your ancestors emigrated to Ontario, Canada, here’s one for you. The Ontario Historical Society don’t miss this opportunity to discover more about the province’s history with free back issues of the 2005 to 2018 issues. Click here to see the list of back issues.
Society of One-Place Studies
The Society for One-Place Studies are offering the latest issue of their quarterly journal, Destinations, free of charge to everyone – not just members. You can download the journal from here.
The National Archives (UK)
TNA are making digital records available on their website free of charge for as long they are closed to visitors. Registered users will be able to order and download a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The records available to download include:
– First and Second World War records, including medal index cards
– Military records, including unit war diaries
– Royal and Merchant Navy records, including Royal Marine service records
– Wills from the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
– Migration records, including aliens’ registration cards and naturalisation case papers
– 20th century Cabinet Papers and Security Service files
– Domesday Book
Read more about how to access these records here https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/digital-downloads/.
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine
This one isn’t a freebie as such, but it’ll give you an activity to do while you’re at home. In the past Who Do You Think You Are Magazine has organised a big-once-a-year-event called “Transcription Tuesday” with the aim of choosing several types of records, which people from around the world, sign up to participate in transcribing them. This years event was held in early February, but due to the Coronavirus and so many people being at home, they are currently holding “Transcription Tuesday” every Tuesday (UK time). So keep an eye of their Facebook page to see what records are up next, and sign up for it if you’re interested. https://www.facebook.com/whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine/