When you are considering subscription websites I would recommend you do your research first in order to get the most value for your money. If you have limited funds to dedicate to your genealogy addiction, then perhaps my insights may be helpful. Here is what I have come to understand:
- Many subscription websites have a working relationship with other subscription websites. If it looks like a subscription website has an overabundance of newspapers, for example, then they may have a working relationship with a subscription newspaper website. So you only pay for one subscription instead of two or three. That saves money in the long run.
- FamilySearch, which is free, has working relationships with subscription websites. So what you actually find on a subscription website, may be free on FamilySearch! Both Ancestry.com and Findmypast have working relationships with FamilySearch. Working partnerships between websites benefits everyone.
- If you have a library card with a local or university library, see what they subscribe to as part of their electronic references. You may find that they have the Ancestry Institution edition, which is different than the personal subscription. Once again, you save money as these institutions already subscribe for their patrons.
- How often do you use particular databases? As a professional, working on numerous cases each week, I use many databases every day! However, if you are not a professional, will a subscription be worth your investment? If not, use free databases first, judge the benefits, and then make the decision whether a paid subscription is worth your investment.
- Some websites will sell subscriptions by the month, semi-annual or annually. RootsIreland.ie is a perfect example. If you don’t know how often you will use it, then try a month subscription. Do the same with any website which gives you an option or promotional deal. If you have a positive experience, then you may want to consider an extended subscription, typically priced at a cheaper rate.
I frequently tell people that a subscription website is much cheaper than plane tickets, lodging, car rental and gas to just about any place. It is all how you look at it. I find that a properly researched subscription, which fits your needs, actually saves you money and time in the long haul.
If you would like help with your genealogy please call 385-214-0925.