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Genealogy – What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free?

Here at Legacy Family Tree we give away a lot of stuff - free webinars, free technical support, even free software. Many genealogy societies, websites, libraries, universities and even speakers do the same. So the question is, should all genealogy be free?

Every genealogist, webinar viewer, and blog reader should read today's article published by Thomas MacEntee. He did a masterful job of explaining the topic. He begins with the parable of "well, you pay your plumber, don't you?"

Please read his article at http://www.geneabloggers.com/genealogy-free/.

Dick Eastman also wrote a fantastic article about this topic a little over a year ago. Please read his article by clicking here.

Here at Legacy Family Tree, we will continue offering our free webinars, free technical support, and even our free software. But we are only able to do it because of the great people and organizations we partner with, and especially because of the support of our wonderful customers - you!


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When I teach genealogy classes I encounter the moaners and groaners about the cost of Ancestry, Footnote, World Vital Records etc.

I always ask how many have someone in the household who plays golf. I then ask how often they play golf and how much a round of golf costs? If I spent $300 (the cost of world Ancestry) I could have played golf at $75 for 18 holes for 4 times for about 4 hours each time. Total of 16 hours at $18.75 per hour.

A World Ancestry subscription which costs about $300, is available 24/7 and would cost me 82 cents a day. I call that a real bargain!

Yes, a bargain for you, Diane, or for another person who does a lot of intense genealogical research. But for a casual researcher, or someone who's just getting into it, $300 is a lot of money -- and we don't all play golf, either!

I see both sides of this issue. Anytime I can get something free, I'll take it. But I do believe in paying for value received. I work in a library and we supply the subscriptions for Ancestry, Vital Records, etc. to our patrons for free. We welcome those researchers to come in and use our services. And we gladly help when we can for free. But we do request donations when we spend a lot of time doing research for those patrons who can't come to the library. I also do the programing for the local genealogical society and I know what good programs cost and we have a hard time staying within our budget. But a good program is worth its weight in gold. Only once or twice have I felt we did not get a program that lived up to its cost.

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