Honestly, if you are not careful, genealogy research CAN bust your budget! Genealogy research can also be FREE!
As I have stated before, I love free sites, and although you made need to do a little more “leg work” by choosing free sites, you can also have the reward of finding what you need by yourself and being able to prove for yourself that you are on the correct family line. * check out my Favorite Research Sites tab to see my list.
When you are involved in genealogy research, there are so many options to choose from and oh, so many research help sites. Many of these search engine sites are subscription based and you will be asked to pay for the use of these sites (This can be extremely frustrating when you do an online search for free searches and you are directed to a fee based site- Pet Peeve!!!).
Once you get serious about your family research, it may be worth your time and money to subscribe to a fee based site. When you are ready for this, please do your research! There is a great site that has reviewed several popular sites and from looking into it, I consider the information found here to be reliable. http://genealogy-search-review.toptenreviews.com/ I would suggest choosing one of the sites listed and then sticking with it. I would not recommend subscribing to more than one genealogy search site.
Choosing a genealogy site wisely will help you to be able to set your own research budget. If you cannot afford the highest priced site, you can choose another that has the information that you would like to look into.
Many times it is free or low cost to do research at a local library, cemetery, public records office, or history center. The cost for these places may simply be the cost of gas and parking, and whatever they charge for plain paper copies or certified copies. I tend to stick with plain paper copies, as I just want the information from it. I don’t want to pay for the certified copy. It is also free to do research at a LDS history center. Many of these centers have computers and microfilm readers (some that allow you to print).
You may also have resources in your state that could help you find more clues into your family’s past. For example at the university of MN library I was able to find papers (journals) that were kept by the Italian priest who was sent to service the Italians living on the Levee in St. Paul, MN during the time my ancestors were living there. This provided so much valuable information to me, even though the majority of it is written in Italian. The only cost to me besides time (which I didn’t mind, because I love searching), was the cost of the copies! A subscription based site was not able to help me discover this “mostly” free information.
Most of us are on a budget and don’t have lots of extra cash to pour into our genealog
y hobby, do your research before jumping into a subscription based site. Make sure this genealogy stuff is for you before you jump in with both feet. Use free options as much as possible! You don’t have to bust your budget just to learn about your family’s past.
Some of you may have hit a road block in your research and are considering hiring someone to research for you. This may or may not be a good idea. Stay tuned to my next blog post for some insight as to whether hiring someone may be a right fit for you.
Thanks for reading! Happy searching!