Your passion doesn’t have to be expensive!
If you’ve spent much time researching your past, then you probably know that the associated costs can add up, and quickly. Subscription websites, genealogy software, travel expenses all can put a dent in you well-planned budget.
But it’s really not necessary to get a second job or mortgage your home in order to track down that most-elusive fifth great-grandfather Abner . There is a wealth of data available online, much of it in its original form, and it won’t cost you a penny to retrieve it. Free research sites such as FamilySearch and Chronicling America are adding more content everyday. Find-A-Grave contains 116 million grave records, often accompanied by photographs of cemeteries and headstones. Even Ancestry.com offers free databases and downloadable research forms and reports. RootsWeb, WikiTree and WeRelate offer free webspace to maintain and display your genealogical database. No computer or internet? Most public libraries provide computers and internet access at no charge, requesting only a valid (and free) library card. And many of those same libraries provide free access to Ancestry.com, as do Family History Centers across the United States and around the world. Even pay sites like GenealogyBank and Fold3 offers limited free trials, and military records site Fold3 frequently offers free access, coordinated with holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. What about a place of your own online to tell the world about your latest discovery? WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr provide web space, customizable themes, widgets, everything you need to be up and blogging about your passion in no time at all. And with WordPress you can create an entire web site, a Content Management System to publish your research. And, guess what: It’s free!
So you see, you can spend a lot of money on genealogy, but you don’t have to…
My Diigo Library contains bookmarks for websites, software, reports/forms and other goodies that are useful and of course, free for the family historian.
Are here are my reviews of some of these web sites and products: