These are some of my favorite Genealogy links. All of the following sites are free:
Family History and Genealogy Records – http://www.familysearch.org
The USGenWeb Project – www.usgenweb.com
Rootsweb – http://www.rootsweb.com
The National Archives – http://www.nara.gov/nara/nail.html
Ellis Island – Free Port of New York Passenger Record Search –
Ancestry is a site that has a ton of records, but charges for a membership. You can do a search and see what records your relatives are included in, but only a few of the records may be accessed without charge. If you’re willing to pay, it is a great site.