By Whitney Ransom McGowan
This year one of your New Year’s resolutions may have been to set a budget and stick to it. Here are ten ideas to help you save some money on your family history research:
1. FamilyHistoryLink.com – FamilyHistoryLink.com is a free site that allows you to connect with other genealogists to do your research. Using FamilyHistoryLink.com, you can find other people who are searching the same surname you may be searching. You can also be connected to people who are researching in the same city or area you are. Individuals using FamilyHistoryLink.com can also list on their profile page if they are willing to do a free lookup for you. This can, for example, save you the cost of flying to Maine to get a picture of your great, great, grandfather’s headstone. Currently FamilyHistoryLink.com has more than 111,000 members. To sign up, go to FamilyHistoryLink.com.
2. Subscribe to free newsletters -Subscribing to free newsletters can give you access to great content ranging from the latest genealogy news stories and products, to genealogical tips, upcoming events, and even some freebies. In addition to the free WorldVitalRecords.com newsletter, try other free newsletters such as. Dick Eastman’s standard edition newsletter, Family Tree Digest, About.com: Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine’s Free Weekly Email Update, Gould Genealogy – Taking Genealogy Into the Future – Newsletter, and much more.
3. Purchase Google Your Family Tree - As you may have heard, Google Your Family Tree is an excellent, new genealogy book from FamilyLink.com, Inc. Once you purchase the book, you will be able to learn how to use the Web’s largest search engine to find information about your ancestors In the book you will learn many new tips that will save you money, and that will help you find links to your ancestors. Click here to purchase Google Your Family Tree.
4. Free databases on WorldVitalRecords.com. – WorldVitalRecords.com currently offers more than 500 free databases. Plus, all new U.S. content is free for ten days at WorldVitalRecords.com.
5. Familysearch.org – FamilySearch.org is a non-profit service sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch.org encourages all people to find their ancestors and preserve their family histories. To help in this pursuit, the Church has been actively gathering and preserving genealogical records from all over the world for more than 100 years. The site is contains an ever-growing amount of free genealogical resources.
6. Book conferences early – Although genealogy conferences may not be considered “cheap,” the information one can glean by attending a conference is well worth it. Many conferences also offer vendor booths, free demonstrations, networking opportunities, and more. Plus, when you register early you often receive a discount. Decide which conference(s) you will attend early in the year, and then book the conference. You can also often save on airfare if you book early.
7. Collaboration – Collaborating with others is a great way to cut down on costs because you can split the costs among those with whom you are working. Plus, you have the opportunity to work through brick walls together, while sharing resources and ideas.
8. We’re Related – We share an article about We’re Related in the News section of this newsletter edition. We’re Related is free and is a great way to stay connected with your family. You can even find relatives you may have lost contact with, or even some who you didn’t know exist.
9.Go to the library. - When was the last time you went to your local library? Libraries are treasure troves for many genealogical resources including family histories, maps, city directories, genealogy books, and much more. You may even find microfilm collections containing vital records of your ancestors. Some libraries also offer free access to large Web databases.
10. Get free charts and demos online. Many Web sites offer downloads of free pedigree charts and family group sheets. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of free trials and demos on a variety of genealogical products and services.