Wait to Pay: Use Your Free Trial

Tue, Jun 30, 2009, by T Deno


Utilize free trials at genealogy websites to spend less and get more.

Anyone beginning their search for ancestors will quickly realize that genealogy is an expensive hobby. Travel expense, memberships to online databases – these can all add up. But there are ways to make sound investments in genealogy without spending a lot of money. And it all begins with free trials online.

Hopefully, you know the names and birth dates of many relatives. This is the best way to begin your search for ancestors and distant cousins. Those with a computer will know that the next step is to look for their ancestors in newspapers, country records, and other historical documents online. There are a wide range of online databases for the novice and the expert genealogist.

The problem many people conducting research have with these databases is the monthly or yearly fee required. Most of the information is available for free in the first place – if you can find it in a local county courthouse or through a genealogical society. Researchers that scoff at this price must remember that they are paying for the convenience to research their family in their pajamas at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night. If you are still weary about paying for a whole month’s worth of access, most genealogy sites offer free trials. The free trials range from 7 days to a whole month and can be a lifesaver for those on a tight budget.

The best way to utilize a free trial is to do your research before you sign up. Genealogy websites have options when it comes to membership. Almost all of these sites offer a membership that is completely free. You will be able to search for records and sometimes also save these results to your account. The only restriction is actually being able to see the information on the record itself. This is a good way to do your research before you begin your free trial. It’s easy to gather up all of the records or suspected records linked to your family this way.

Once you have searched far and wide across the database for your relatives, sign up for the free trial. This will allow you to view, save, and print these documents without any cost to you. But make sure to pay attention to the time you have available. If you cannot access the website more than an hour or two during the whole trial, you will be wasting a lot of valuable research opportunities.

Another reason you should watch your time with a free trial is that you will need to cancel the trial before it ends if you do not wish to continue with a paid subscription. You can also avoid the hassle of canceling a subscription by finding completely free resources (check out this article for more info). If you are a smart researcher, you can find many free documents and historical records for your family.

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