A lot of sites compile links to different sources of public records that can be searched online. One of the best of these that I know of is the Public Records and Public Information page at Virtual Chase.
Though the site is geared to legal researchers, there's no reason we family history researchers can't make use of it as well. There is some interesting materials to be found here, like:
I hope there are no family members listed here.
- Canadian bankruptcy (insolvency) filings back to 1978
- INTERPOL wanted ciminals
- Car Crash Reports in various states
- Political Donors in federal and state elections
- Inmate lookups
- Court Case lookups
- Workplace Accident Reports
- Sex Offenders
- Aircraft Owners
There's even a Lost and Stolen jewelry website.
And mixed in with all these modern-day records, you'll find a few oldies as well, such as state genealogy sites with birth certificates and death records back to the 1800's.
Don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and NewspaperArchive. These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.