Genealogy Basics

Learn more about how to do genealogical research with free library and internet resources.

Handouts for Genealogy Basics:

Research Tools: 

Ancestry for Libraries -  Available for *free* at all Great River Regional Libraries! -  Requires a *free* account to access records. Expanded availability if you are using this website inside a GRRL branch

Find A Grave - The World's largest gravesite collection, volunteer and crowdsourced cemetery information

St. Michael Historical Society Research Page - A great collection of research sources tied to European Minnesota roots

USGenWeb Project - An award-winning nationwide site that offers *free* genealogy sources; searchable by state, county and city


Minnesota Specific Research Tools: 

Minnesota Birth/Death Index - Through the Minnesota Historical Society 

Minnesota Marriage Index - Minnesota's Official Marriage System 



To search the St. Cloud Times Index:

Other Obituaries: - Search for obituaries from more than 1,500 newspapers and 3,500 funeral homes

Chronicling America - Historic digital newspapers through the Library of Congress 

Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub - Through the Minnesota Historical Society


General and Country Specific Search Sites: 

Cyndi's List - A massive, cross-referenced list of links for every genealogical research sites online

Freedman's Bureau Records - United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands records

Stephen Morse's One-Step Immigration - contains tools for finding immigration records, census records, vital records, and more!

U.S. National Archives 

U.S. First Nations - Native Indian Law Library

Canadian National Archives 

Danish Demographic Database

Foundation for East European Family History Studies 

French Ancestors on GeneaNet

German Genealogy Server

Ireland National Archives

Hispanic Research

Norwegian Digital Archives

Somali Genealogy Resources 

United Kingdom


Translation sites: 

Google Translate

Bing Translator 


Looking for more?  Reach out to your local county historical society!

Benton County Historical Society:

Morrison County Historical Society:

Stearns History Museum:  

Sherburne County Historical Society:

St. Michael Historical Society:

Todd County Historical Society: 

Wright County Historical Society: