3 excellent money-saving tips for family history fans

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08 January 2020
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New year, new decade, new ideas to save money when you're doing your family history research!

Saving the pennies is never a bad idea, especially at the start of the year when many of us are feeling the pinch.

Follow the advice of genealogy budget whizz Alison Spring this New Year and you’ll save a small fortune – and still have fun researching your family history!

Decide on a budget

Alison says: 'Whether or not you favour making New Year resolutions, this can be a good time of year to reassess your family history budget and decide how much you want to spend on growing your family tree in the months ahead.

'To help with that, here are some of my top money-saving tips that will enable you to research, record and organise your tree as well as hone your finding skills – without spending anything at all!'

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Free & searchable online resources

These resources cost nothing at all to search, and while some of them are indexes to paid images, you’re not obliged to buy the images – but you may be able to access them via alternative means. So, for instance, if you use ScotlandsPeople to search for an entry in a parish register and find a match, you can consult the entry itself on microfilm in a library or family history centre.

Perhaps while at the library you decide to make use of their subscription to Ancestry. In so doing, you identify a census record for the United States in 1940 but aren’t able to see the image. However, this dataset and its associated images are freely available to view in FamilySearch centres run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so you can make an appointment to visit your nearest branch or one of its affiliate libraries (find a list here).

Some datasets are available via more than one provider. For example, the 1939 Register can be accessed via MyHeritage, Ancestry or Findmypast. Check that it’s not included in a package you already subscribe to before signing up to another service; or even better, find out if a free website has what you’re looking for.

For many of these free resources, you’ll need to register or open an account, but you shouldn’t be required to pay anything (if you are – go elsewhere!).  

Here are 3 of Alison's favourite free online resources:

FamilyRelatives.com
For records of British citizens overseas & BMD indexes

2 Online Parish Clerks
For resources for parishes in English and Welsh counties, including links to FreeUKGenealogy sites

3 Irish Genealogy.ie
For free indexes AND images of Irish civil & church records

Alison Spring gives lots more brilliant tips in her full article, published in the January 2020 issue of Family Tree (buy your copy here).

QUICK LINK: The best free of charge websites for finding your British ancestors

Image from Pixabay