One thing that all genealogists learn early on is that not everything that has to do with genealogy is free. It costs money to get copies of vital records, to access some online genealogy resources, and to be a part of a genealogy or family history club or organization. Wouldn’t it be great to find a way to cut down the amount you spend on genealogy? Here are a few ideas that could make your favorite hobby a little more frugal.
Look for the “Freebies”
Type the phrase “free genealogy templates” or “free genealogy charts” into Google. You will be presented with a series of websites that offer free to download (and print out) charts, templates, and pages to record research on. You can print out exactly what you need, without having to buy an entire package or book.
FamilySearch is a popular genealogy website that can be used for free by everyone. It is an excellent resource for genealogists who are trying to do research on their family tree, but don’t have a lot of money to spend on it.
Libraries often have a free version of Ancestry.com on their computers. It is a special edition that has been designed for patrons of the library to use for free. You may need to have a library card in order to use it. This option is not ideal for genealogists who love to spend hours and hours using Ancestry.com, but could work for those who just need to check one or two things.
Skip a Cycle
There is a money saving technique that people who subscribe to online video games use when their budget is tight. Genealogists can use it, too. Instead of paying for a year’s subscription to a genealogy website, choose a smaller span of time. Let it lapse, and take a break. Come back later and renew your subscription when you have more money to spend and more time for research.
Share the Load
Team up with another genealogist in your family and work together. Share the genealogy information that you have, and receive the research that your family member has discovered. Plan out a research strategy that does not overlap. You will both save time and money.
Split the cost of a subscription to a genealogy website, or the cost of obtaining vital records. Will both of you be attending the same genealogy conference? You and your family member might be able to share a hotel room and save money.
Image by 401K (2012) on Flickr.
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