Friday, November 16, 2012

The Price of Family History

This article caught my attention recently:

Genealogy Hot Hobby Worth $1.6B, Not Just For Mormons - ABC News

While the article discusses the industry as a whole and how Ancestry.com is worth a ton of money right now, it got me thinking more about the individual cost of genealogy to those who are interested in finding out more about their family's past. How much does it really cost to get all the information?

Personally, I have not spent much money on the pursuit of genealogy. The only things I purchased were Family Tree Maker and access to an online archive for a single obituary. Other than that, I have managed to get what information I have for free. The reason I try not to pay for the access to information is because most of what you pay for is the convenience to not have to go to every county across the United States to gather vital records and other documents. I know that it may take the rest of my life to get the information I need, but if there is a free way to get it, I would rather do that. I do realized that some costs will be incurred, especially when it comes to processing or copying fees, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

How much money do you spend per year on your pursuit of family knowledge? Do you drop big bucks to attend conferences, or do you try to get as much free information as you can?