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How Much Does Your Genealogy Hobby Cost?

hands holding moneyThose who love genealogy realize that it is a hobby that comes with many benefits. It helps you learn about your ancestors, connect with living relatives, and explore your heritage. What isn’t always noted is the cost of genealogy. It turns out genealogy costs more than a few nights of sleep as a genealogist stays up doing research. Genealogy is a hobby that could be costing you a lot of money.

It turns out that “genealogical enthusiasts” in the United States are spending between $1,000 and $18,000 a year on their genealogy hobby. This information was revealed by a research report that was announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. which was titled “Genealogy Products and Services: A Global Outlook”.

Some say that you can do a lot of genealogy research for free. FamilySearch, for example, can be used for free (without any hidden fees or charges). It is clear that FamilySearch is a reliable source of genealogy records. That cannot be said for every free genealogy website that exists online. Genealogists who seek a copy of a vital record will almost always find they will have to spend money in order to obtain it.

What do genealogists spend their money on? For many, part of the answer to that question is that they are spending it on an subscription. A “U.S. Discovery” monthly subscription costs $19.99 per month. Or, you could spend $99.00 on a 6-month membership.

That should work well for those researching ancestors who lived in America. To research ancestors who lived outside the United States, a genealogist will need to buy a “World Explorer” subscription. It costs $34.99 a month (or $149.00 for six months).

Genealogists also spend money on obtaining copies of vital records. Courthouses charge fees for copies of documents. Those that want more than one type of vital record, on several ancestors, are going to need to spend what could add up to a lot of money. Those who want to put together detailed family trees often need to spend money on the software that will enable them to do it.

Genealogy conferences also cost money. RootsTech is the most well known genealogy conference, but there are plenty of others. Genealogists who wish to attend a conference need to pay for a ticket. In addition to that ticket, they also need to spend money on travel, hotel bills, food, and other things (such as t-shirts and other souvenirs.) It all adds up!

Let’s not forget about the various direct-to-consumer DNA tests that are available. Genealogists can spend money for the opportunity to send some of their genetic material to a lab where it can be tested. They may, or may not, be required to also pay for a subscription to an online site that can teach them more about what the DNA test revealed.

Image by 401(K) 2012 on Flickr.

* Cost of That 19th Century Photo

* Family Tree Maker for Mac

* Best Subscription or Fee Genealogical Websites

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