Explore your family history for free on Ancestry while cooped up at home

There’s a real sense lately that we’re living in unprecedented times. However, if you want to dive into the earlier times and learn about your family history, you can now do so for free.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Ancenstry, the popular online genealogy platform, has made hundreds of millions of its digital records free to access.

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On Tuesday, Ancestry announced that along with its partner, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, they have now made 500 million records and images available to search for free. The move will “make it easier for people to explore their own family stories,” the site notes.

Access to the records is free, but those interested in searching will have to sign in with an email address to get started.

The records include “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,” according to Ancestry.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

The site notes the collection is meant to offer “rich, detailed records that make personal and educational discoveries simple.”

In addition to the newly available records, Ancestry is offering support to K-12 students and educators (or parents).

“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,” according to Ancestry.

The learning tools can be found here.

Additional ways to stay occupied when you’re at home:

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» Use time at home to take free Ivy League courses online

» 7 ways to stay physically active when you’re stuck at home

» Metropolitan Opera launches free live streams following coronavirus closure

» Take a virtual trip to the zoo, aquarium with livestreams

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