No Time No Money for Genealogy?

Four Inexpensive Ways to Do Genealogy

A recent discussion caught my attention.  History Forum members were discussing NBC’s newest TV show. “Who Do You Think You Are”.  This show takes the viewer on a journey with various celebrities as they discover their family tree and has sparked a lot of interest in genealogy and family history.*

Many of the members on the history forum wanted to research their family tree but were concerned they would have:

a) No Time

b) No Money

I couldn’t let that go by without comment!

Researching your family tree doesn’t need to be expensive to get started. I’ve been doing my own genealogy and my husband’s for about 20 years and it hasn’t cost that much.

Researching your family tree doesn’t need to take up all of your time. It certainly doesn’t take up all of my time. (unless I want it to!)

I share with you 4 inexpensive ways to get started in genealogy and my comments about managing the time.

1.  Join a Genealogical Society

Membership in my local genealogical society gives me free access to and a whole library of great genealogical books, and expert advice from others.  Cost is minimal to join.

2. Check out the local public and university libraries

The public and university libraries have a wealth of great genealogy/family history resources and librarians that will help.  There is also the option of interlibrary loans and programs such as, a service that lets you search many libraries at once and find the item you are seeking at a library nearby.

3. Check out the LDS (Mormon) Family History Libraries

The LDS (Mormon) church offers free access to their Family History Libraries to non-members as well.  The one near where I live allows visitors free access to all the large expensive online genealogy databases.  They also offer a lot of free resources on their webpages

4. Cyndislist

Cyndislist is a FREE database of virtually every genealogy resource one could think of.  Start there.

Don’t let the cost stop you. There are even free family tree programs to manage the data.

Managing the Time

1. Don’t let the time aspect stop you either.

There are organizational techniques that can speed up your research.  Also joining a genealogical society can speed up the learning curve and provide you with research tips.

I’ve been researching my personal family tree and my husband’s for 20 years.  I certainly don’t do this all the time.  I enjoy the sleuthing, the detective work and the fun but I do have a life outside of genealogy too.

2. It is not something that has to be done all at once

Researching one’s family tree is an evolving process that can be done over the years.  It is fun and if you find you enjoy it, you’ll make time.  Enjoy!

Please comment below.


*Genealogy Gems Podcast Interview with Lisa Kudrow of “Who Do You Think You Are”.