Last fall, we asked you via a Family Tree Magazine E-mail Update questionnaire how the downturn is affecting your research. The good news: Youre not giving up your hobby. Of the 581 respondents, 66 percent spent less than $500 on genealogy last year, and half expect to spend about the same this year. Twenty-six percent think theyll spend more.
In addition, they may view subscription sites as a savings opportunity. I complain about the cost, a respondent commented, but look at the savings in travel and access to records that I wouldnt find otherwise.
Our survey indicates youre borrowing instead of buying books, getting microfilm through interlibrary loan and using libraries databases, including Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest Online and NewsBank. Im doing more research at local repositories in databases and books, wrote one respondent.
For what its worth
But 61 percent of those surveyed thought most genealogy businesses and repositories charge appropriate fees. Many of you said non-genealogy prices squeeze your budgets the tightest. The general cost of living has gone up, wrote one person, which means I have to cut into my genealogy funds to pay for food, gas and everyday expenses.
Heres what genealogists pay for commonly used records and services:
Civil War pension file from the National Archives: $75
Social Security application: $27
state vital records: average $13 each (New York is highest at $30 per record; Florida is lowest at $5)
Family History Library microfilm rental: $5.50 per roll
Ancestry.com US subscription: $155.40 per year
Ancestry.com world subscription: $299.40 per year
Footnote subscription: $79.95 per year
World Vital Records US subscription: $39.96 per year
genealogy software: $20 to $100