My purpose for this blog is to help family and friends getting started on their family tree.
http://www.ancestry.com.au/ - have a 14 day free trial to get started on your tree - they are hoping you get hooked (this is definately the case) You need to supply your credit card no. but I trust them and have never had any problems. Make sure you have plenty of time during those 14 days AND make sure you cancel before day 14 so your credit card doesnt get charged. After that time you can do a monthly subscription - I do the $24.95 one as it provides extra UK info. Once again, cancel your subscription after a few days, then it will only run for the month and your wont get an ongoing charge on your credit card.
You start your tree (with yourself) and then add parents and any other information you know. It will give you links to others trees and records, bear in mind though the other trees may not necessarily be correct. It will also tell you who else is researching your family member and provide a private message to them without revealing who you are. I have met some fantastic people on this site AND 2 cousins!!! Would you believe my tree meets my husbands?? The common denominator had actually written a lengthy story about my great, great, great grandfather and sent me the CD!!!
Once you are not in a paid membership (or free trial) you can still access your tree and it will show part of the suggestions, however to go any further you need to pay. I pay twice a year or so, just to keep up with my hints.....
Another great activity on this site are the message boards - some of the readers have the BMD records on CD and are happy to do look ups for you.....you just need to ask the question!
http://www.familysearch.org/ - have the UK 1881 census for free, together with trees submitted by their Latter Day Saints members. Make sure you also look at the pedigree links if you should find a family member. WEA run a course on using this website..
http://www.findmypast.com/ - I use this mainly for shipping into South Australia - 1890 - 1960 just searching surname to start with and the port of Adelaide as a search item http://www.findmypast.co.uk/passengerListPersonSearchStart.action?redef=0
They also have the 1911 UK census which has been great assistance to me. You need to purchase credits and use them within a certain time, but browsing is free. I recently paid for a Australian 12 month (around $50) membership which has trade directories, cyclopedia of South Australia, Police and Government gazettes and the like - now to search all my hundreds of people!!!!
http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/ I have a basic tree here and pay $19.95 for 6 months - to see others trees and talk to others. Once again, met a long lost cousin on this site (in the UK) and she sent photos over....together with a Christmas card......
There are many more sites, and as you can imagine, a lot of time to be spent!!!!