Ancestry® is a family and a community, even when we’re not together - which is why we will be sharing resources for people at home.

For nearly a decade, Ancestry® has been offering its AncestryK12® services, a no-cost program for K-12 schools and teachers in classrooms nationwide that includes access to content from the U.S. collection of Ancestry, and With school closures in effect across the U.S., Ancestry is offering support to parents by making its AncestryK12 lesson plans available for free for anyone to download while they are educating children at home.

Also, starting today, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and its long-term digitization partner Ancestry will make it even easier for people to explore their own family history stories from home by providing FREE access to search nearly 500 million records and images on Ancestry.

In addition, Ancestry is continuing to provide free online tutorials and video courses to help people get started with family tree building. We’re also developing live learning sessions on our social channels for our community.

At-Home History Lesson Plans

Family history projects for K12 students allow them to build powerful inquiry skills while learning from home. The sources and documents found on Ancestry gives students across the nation the opportunity to make connections to their ancestors, historical places, and events throughout time. Their research journey will provide powerful insights into their own family and bring their curriculum to life in relevant and exciting ways.

The lesson plans that Ancestry has created target a number of core subjects, with educational topics ranging from the American Revolutionary War to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. They have been written by teachers according to the History Standards administered by the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles under the guidance of the National Council for History Standards. Available lesson plans can be accessed below:

1940 Census Lesson
The Census and the Constitution
The Census and the Depression
Immigration Over Time
Civil War
Military Lesson (Civil War)
Personal Side of War (American Revolutionary War)
War of 1812 - Privateers
Mobilization for War (WWI)
Battles (WWII)
Local History is Your Community History
Historical Crime
Haunted House
Suffrage Movement
How Life Influences Art
African American Congressmen Lesson
Trail of Tears Lesson
Free Access for At-Home Family Tree Building

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has teamed up with its long-term digitization partner Ancestry to provide FREE access to search nearly 500 million records and images on Ancestry starting today, making it even easier for people to discover their own family history from home. Exploring the records is completely free - just create an account by entering your email to start your search.

The almost half a billion digitized and searchable records being made available to all for free are comprised of nearly 300 different collections, including ship passenger and crew lists, naturalization and citizenship records, immigration records, and key military collections such as WWI and WWII draft cards. A sampling of the collections include:

WWI and WWII U.S. Draft Cards
New York, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1957
California, Federal Naturalization Records, 1843-1999
U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925
U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775-1783
U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960
Free access to these collections from The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration provides rich, detailed records that make personal and educational discoveries simple. Whether you want to find your own family story, or take a peek into a moment in history, a discovery on Ancestry can be as easy as entering a single name.

Tools To Get Started

For those new to Ancestry, several videos are also available on Ancestry Academy™, a free program offering online courses to help families get started on their family tree building. A library of educational videos can be found at:

A sampling of the courses include:

Your Family History Online: Laying the Foundation
Beginning Your Search for Irish Ancestors
What Is a Census Record?
Whiskey, Farming and the Choices to Move: Understanding Family Migration
Getting Started on Ancestry: Starting Your Family Tree
German Genealogy: The Basics