Resources for Genealogists

Though we do not have family trees or documents showing lineage of your ancestors and their descendants, we do have many documents you can research to construct your family's history.

For example, if your relatives:

  • lived in the U.S. sometime from 1790-1930, they may have been included in the census.
  • were veterans of an American war, beginning with the American Revolution, they may have military and pension records.
  • arrived in a boat at an American port or crossed borders from Canada or Mexico, they may be listed in immigration records.
  • became American citizens through the Federal courts, they may be found in our naturalization records holdings.
  • were members of an American Indian tribe, you may find them in our Native American records.
  • was of African-American descent, you may find them in post-Civil War records.
  • obtained a United States Government passport, their passport applications may be found.
  • received a land grant from the United States Government, you may find a land entry case file for them.
  • and many more circumstances that generated records ....

Genealogical Resources at the National Archives

Using the NARA web site:

Very few records are online, so doing actual research on your ancestors is very limited here. However, this web site can help you prepare for your visit to the National Archives. This includes finding microfilm roll numbers for records you may want to search or order copies of. You can also read articles about the records, and perhaps get ideas for new types of records to investigate.

What Information is Available Online Here:

Free Genealogy Research Tools

Unlimited access to these services, free-of-charge, is available from any National Archives facility nationwide. Visit the National Archives

To use these web sites from outside of the National Archives, you will have to subscribe to the respective service. These links are provided for your convenience; they are not endorsements of the services.

Links to other genealogical resources.

What's Not Online Here:

  • Family trees
  • Genealogical databases or search engines for ancestors listed in NARA records
  • Records of individuals, including pages or images from the census, passenger lists, military records, or maps.

Ways to Conduct Archival Research

If the archival materials you are seeking aren't available on the web, it may be best to visit an archives to conduct your research. Archival research sometimes is difficult and can take many hours to complete. If you cannot visit us at one of our research facilities nationwide, you can:

If You Are New To Genealogical Research

If you are new to genealogical research or you need a "refresher," see Start Your Genealogy Research.


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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272