The following list has ways you can learn to research your own family tree, starting at the top with the easiest and cheapest ideas, down to the most expensive and time consuming at the bottom of the list. All can be done from home or nearby to Londonderry, New Hampshire. Almost all these ideas can easily be found in any state or area of the country. If anyone else has ideas or additions to this list, please leave a comment:
1. FREE online videos at www.familysearch.org, the website run by the Church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). At the page https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/home.html you will find over 300 video tutorials on topics such as “Basic Italian Genealogy Research” and “Getting Started with Family History”. Use the main website for access to millions of FREE online records from all over the globe.
2. Visit the Family History Center at the LDS church on Concord Street, Nashua for FREE (there are more in NH, Mass and all 50 states). There is a small fee for ordering microfilm from Salt Lake City. Knowledgeable staff to answer your questions. To find a Family History Center local to you please check the website www.familysearch.org
3. Consult your local library’s reference department to see if they run genealogy classes for free. Most local libraries have the institutional version of Ancestry.com on their computers, for FREE use by patrons, saving you the subscription fee you would have to pay on your home computer. Many libraries also have subscriptions to GenealogyBank.com or newspaper archives online for FREE, too.
4. Join a local genealogy club, such as the Hudson, NH Genealogy Club that meets every 2nd Friday of the Month at the Rogers Memorial Library or the Chelmsford, Mass Genealogy Club that meets the first Tuesday night of each month at 7PM in the Chelmsford Public Library. Going to regularly scheduled meetings gives you the chance to ask questions and hobnob with more advanced genealogists. FREE.
5. Visit the Department of Vital Records on 71 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire. There are staff and volunteers to assist in searching for birth, marriage, divorce and civil union certificates going back to the 1600s. FREE but there are fees for obtaining certified copies of records.
6. Visit the NH State Library at 20 Park Street in Concord. FREE. There is an online catalog at www.nh.gov/nhsl/
7. “Attend” an online “webinar” for free or for a low cost. See the calendar at www.blog.geneawebinars.com Most of the webinars are free. Dozens of webinars every month ranging from beginners to advanced level genealogy courses.
8. Join the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists www.nhsog.org and attend two general meetings. The Quarterly journal New Hampshire Genealogical Record will inspire you to do more advanced work, and provide tips. $20/ year for individual members. By the way, there are also societies in nearly every state, including Maine and Massachusetts.
9. Join the American Canadian Genealogical Society in Manchester www.acgs.org for $35.00/ year for an individual member. This gives you access to their large library in Manchester, individual assistance from a very knowledgeable staff, a yearly conference and a subscription to the Society’s journal American Canadian Genealogist. Hanging out at the library in Manchester is only $5 per day, and you will have the chance to meet genealogists of all levels of expertise. And they love to answer questions! Free parking, too.
10. For $40/year for an individual membership you can join the New Hampshire Historical Society and have access to their large library and also their museum. Free or discounted lectures and workshops. The staff is very good at helping with genealogy requests and research, and the card catalog is available online, too. The library is open to non-members for $7 day fee. www.nhhistory.org
11. Join the New England Historic Genealogical Society www.americanancestors.org and have access to their six floor library in Boston, and a large online database, as well as a quarterly journal The New England Historic Genealogical Society Register and a quarterly magazine American Ancestors. Frequent free workshops and more advanced classes and courses for fees of various amounts. Visiting the library at 99 Newbury Street in Boston gives you the chance to mingle with genealogists of all levels, and to consult with some of the best staff genealogists informally for FREE or more formally in scheduled appointments for a fee. $79.95 yearly for an individual membership.
12. Join Ancestry.com for $22/95 month, $77.70 for six months or for a free trial membership. This is a large online database, with town, state and federal records, trees submitted by members, newspapers, military records and lots of other online goodies. It costs $24.95 per month for access to international records.
13. Boston University offers a certificate in Genealogy Research, both online and on campus in Boston. This class is an intensive way to develop the skills needed to become a professional genealogist or for those who work in libraries, law, research or related fields. http://professional.bu.edu/programs/genealogy/ Tuition is $2695 for the fifteen week, non credit class on-line.
Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo