Genealogy can be a great adventure and it can also be a costly one. With the new found popularity of finding out about your Family History there are plenty of sites where you can find information. Unfortunately most require a fee. There are some sites that are free still and that is great, but not all the information available on the internet can be found there. So what do we do?
I currently do not have any paid subscriptions. I do most of my online research with Family Search, Google, Google books, Heritage Quest (through your local Library online), USGenWeb, Cyndi’s List, NARA, and some of the States websites that have free genealogy information. I can actually glean a lot of documentation from these sites. I do have several trees on Ancestry.com and even though I do not have a subscription, there is some information that can still be found on it. Of course I can still add new content to my trees.
So, what can someone do to be able to still find what we are searching for without having to pay the big prices? One thing I do is take advantage of the free trials offered by some of the sites. I make sure I cancel the account before I am charged though. I look over the information provided about the site and see what records they may hold. I then go through my trees and find the names of persons that I need documents and info for and then I make a detailed list with each person’s name, date of birth and death and where they lived. Then when I have my free trial period I can make the most of it. I also save all documents, etc to my computer or I print them out so I have them for my files. Another thing I may do is to pay for just one month of service from a site and I use the same method as above to get a list together before I pay for it.
One of the best ways to get help with your Family History is to join Genealogy groups on Facebook. There are a lot of really wonderful people from all over the world who are willing to look up information for you. I have had several Obituaries and Death records found for me and I even had one person mail me the copies. Of course, you should be willing to do look-ups in your own area for others in return.
However you choose to do your research, just remember, this is not a race. Take your time and thoroughly document your findings. Take advantage of all the sites that are available and most importantly, just have fun.