FamilySearch.org is a free genealogy search website for anyone to use. It has several different features available on it. This site is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but does not contain any religious information on it.
You can do a basic search without registering on the front page. The site has information from seventy different countries. It has old parish reports as well as census information available for you to use. The information can be used and submitted for storage and back up on their site. If you choose to store your information in the vault they may share it with others on request.
Familysearch.org also offers articles and tips to help you when you are having a difficult time finding or verifying family members. These articles cover the basics of how to start to more complicated matters, such as how to trace an immigrant ancestor’s back to the original country to proceed with your research.
Familysearch.org also offers PAF (Personal Ancestral File) as a free program to download to track your genealogical research. This program is currently not compatible with MAC unless you use a program such as BootCamp or Virtual PC to run it on an Intel Mac. There is also a free add on program that allows you to download and create color charts to display your research.
FamilySearch.org also offers the opportunity to index records so that other records can be made available online. This is a volunteer service, but if you enjoy doing this type of thing and you are looking for a way to help and serve others you may want to take advantage of this opportunity.
The site also lists the address and hours of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This library offers extensive free classes on doing your genealogy. It may be worth a trip out to Salt Lake City in order to take advantage of the free classes or the library. The library is staffed with volunteers who can help you in your search. You can also search for a Family History Center in your area. These are also staffed by volunteers who can help you begin your research.