Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Money saving tips for requesting records

I had no idea having genealogy as a hobby would cost so much money...

If you're like me you don't buy anything unless it's on sale or there's a bargain. For me, genealogy is no different.

Luckily I have discovered some money saving tips for obtaining my ancestors records.

After a year of genealogy research I have only spent money on the following:
1) ancestry.com world subscription (but only after I got a coupon to pay the same rate for U.S. Edition as world edition
2) $20 for four death certificates
3) gas for cemetery visits
4) family tree maker software (although this was a gift so I didn't have to pay for it)

As a newbie in the field these tips have helped me tremendously. I hope it will help someone else as well:

My money saving advice:

*look on ancestry.com message boards or raogk for people who will either search for a record for free or a discounted price. In my case, I saved $14 for 4 death certificates ( $56 ) by finding someone on the ancestry.com message boards obtain them at a discounted price.

*Offer services in exchange for records..since my library has online access to the Chicago Tribune historical newspaper archive from the mid 1800's to present, I do look-ups for free. My information and available services are listed at RAOGK. I usually get 15-20 requests per month. Every once in awhile a request will come from someone in a location I am researching (like Arizona or Ohio). I'll do a few extra look ups for them in exchange for information about their county's resources, a cemetery look-up, etc. It's fun to talk to genealogists across the country who share the same passion for genealogy.

*look for specials, especially around holidays, where some genealogy websites will give you temporary free access to records...such as footnote giving free access to revolutionary war records during 4th of July weekend

*visit familysearch.org on a regular basis as they keep uploading new images daily. Most early to mid 1900 Chicago birth and death records are now posted with free access

*remember to do data entry and filing! You don't want to request the same record twice because you couldn't find your original copy.

I'll post some more tips soon...in the meanwhile what are some of your genealogy money saving tips?

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