(+) The True Expense of Genealogy Research

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

The world has changed for genealogists in the past two or three decades. Anyone with a computer can now obtain more genealogy information online that what any public library in a town or a small city can provide. The online information is available quickly and conveniently, is usually faster to search, and (in many cases) is available for less money.

I hear many genealogists moan and groan because a particular online genealogy service costs money. The claim often is made that “It should be free!” Comparisons often are made that traveling to a nearby library or archive is free so we shouldn’t pay for the online databases.

I will suggest that such claims are the result of “fuzzy thinking.”

In fact, it is often cheaper to pay for two or three online genealogy databases than it is to travel to a “free” repository to search.

Perhaps the word “free” requires some clarification.

Of course, when speaking of expenses, we all think about admission prices at the front door. However, that is but one of the many expenses that must be paid to visit a physical library or archive.

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