RootsWeb, part of the Ancestry.com community, contains information guides on starting to research your family tree, a soundex converter. metasearch of multiple web sites and databases, the SSDI (Social Security Death Index) and much more.
The WorldGenWeb Project is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites
Cyndi's List is a categorized index to genealogy resources on the Internet. It is, in essence, a jumping off point for online research.
Access Genealogy is a free site covering the 50 states, Native American and even some world genealogy data. This site also has free charts for use in genealogy research, courtesy of Ancestry.com.