Where can I look at public records of someone for free?

I ask this question becuase I want to learn about what my father did. I can’t exactly ask anyone, so I decided to look online. But every time I do, they always ask for you to pay up. If they’re public records, I don’t see why I should have to pay $20.00 or whatever to look at them. Does anyone have any way I could go about looking at my fathers public records for free? Sorry if this is a dumb quesion to ask, I just dont exactly know what to do. For those wounding why I can’t ask anyone, it’s because my parents divorced when I was a kid almost 30 years ago.

Ted Pack: https

https://www.familysearch.org/search/hr/search has some. At best you'll get his address at the time and his birth date. Old city directories in the public library may tell you who he worked for and what his job title was. They may not. When he dies, his obituary may tell you about him. > I don’t see why I should have to pay $20.00 or whatever to look at them Most young people don't. It's a common misconception, one we see here in the Genealogy category every month or two. "Public" means the public can buy copies if they come to the right office during business hours. The opposite of "public" is "sealed", which means no one can buy a copy.


First of all 'public records' just means records ABOUT the public, it doesn't mean free to see, even those which are free to see several public records are sealed for years eg 70-100 years before the public can see them, several ( birth/marriage/death certs) you have to purchase copies of and are restricted to certain people who can purchase a copy of.... and others are free to see/research in National Archives and local records offices, like parish records. If a website sets up the purchase the rights to show records that are free to see online, they pay to have them photographed/scanned as it is a business they charge people to join the site. If you are wating to start researching you start with YOU and the records you already hold at home, your own birth cert, that should show your parents, their jobs and other information research is like a jigsaw puzzle you find what you already have get additional info from that before you can look for more using the info as clues about where to look......... but MOST online info is 100yrs old or more meaning you have to get back to then before it 'could be' useful https://familytimeline.webs.com/ and a list https://familytimeline.webs.com/recordsinyourownhome.htm and the weblinks will help.....but you need to find more before researching online or off line in records offices


go to a public library and use Family Search or Ancestry.. Public records are not necessary "free" and if you are talking about social security records they are not and never have been free and are the only direct records that is a record of employment.

ron h

if it was over 20 years ago, the records may not be available on line, for no money. Try to google " bob jones chicago" using his name and likely locations. If you can contact any of your father's family, try that. You're old enough to try to learn about him--don't let your mother or her family stop you.


Courthouses. Only Physically travel to them, not online. trust me tried it and failed.spectacularly


The internet 😱