Family search.org must be about the biggest resource of free family history. It is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.
For the new researcher it is ideal.It covers online births, marriage, death and census records from resources from around the world.It is free to search and view the records.
For the Irish researcher there is something new for you. The Irish Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958 have just been included for online search. No doubt this will be a source enjoyed by many.
Take a look