Genealogy Resources and Money-Saving Tips

Genealogy research can be an expensive hobby, as you probably know if you’ve researched your family history recently. From buying actual physical books to paying money to access online databases, your wallet can take quite a hit before you even get started on the actual research itself. If you’re looking for genealogy resources and ways to save money on your research without having to resort to the most expensive option, here are some genealogy resources you should consider: 


Free genealogy resources can be hard to come by, but GEDmatch is one of the best free tools out there. If you’re not familiar with our website, we are essentially an open-source database where you can upload and store your DNA information, and then compare your data with other users. You can use GEDmatch to find distant relatives who may have shared a recent common ancestor with you or to gain insight into the ethnic makeup of your DNA in order to connect with genetic communities around the world.

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As you may know, DNA tests can be quite expensive. However, many companies offer discounts on their tests, especially around holidays. For example, you can often find AncestryDNAs and MyHeritage DNAs autosomal tests for $59 or $69 during sales. Companies such as these typically offer discounts around Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as on “DNA Day” (April 25th). To make sure you don’t miss out on any deals, it can be helpful to sign up for each testing company’s newsletter and follow their blog. Additionally, many companies offer discounts to those who attend genealogy conferences – so keep an eye out for their booths when you’re at events!

Watch Free Webinars and Tutorials

Many genealogy websites have free content on how to build your family tree or research your family history.  Watching free webinars and tutorials on genealogy can be a great way to get advice and tips from experts. There are so many different ways to learn about family history, so it’s important to be as informed as possible before starting any project. Webinars are a great way to hear from professionals who know their stuff. Plus, some companies offer discounts or special deals for those who attend a webinar in person! Even here at GEDmatch, we have an education page where you can learn about genealogy for free! 

Join Genealogy Groups Online

If you’re on the hunt for new ancestors to add to your family tree, you’ve probably already heard about the importance of joining genealogy groups online. Genealogy groups can be an amazing source of information and support, but it’s important to choose one that meets all your needs. Genealogy groups online make it easier than ever to connect with other people who share your passion for genealogy, and this can save you lots of money! Not only do these groups help connect you with other people who want to exchange information, but they can also provide great tips on new products to use and ways to save money while doing so. If you’re a GEDmatch user, for example, you can join our massive GEDmatch community on Facebook! 

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Use Free Archives

The United States Census Bureau provides detailed information on all federal census years, including access to original forms and questions. The site also includes links to state censuses, research tools, and calculators to convert the year of birth. 

The Library of Congress and New York Public Library have a directory of all known copyrighted newspapers and historical materials. 

Research Guides for Ship Passenger Lists and Immigration Records has links to passenger lists from the 1820s to the 1950s with useful suggestions for finding ports of arrival and immigration records.  

WorldGenWeb Project is a volunteer-based project for research resources around the world. 

Freedman’s Bureau is a federal agency that helped slaves who were set free after the Civil War, you can find names in their records. 

Allen County Public Library in Indiana has a collection of African American and Native-American military records and surname databases.  

JewishGen has a good surname-based search facility for Jewish and Eastern European surname searches. 

BillionGraves and Find A Grave have gravesite and memorial collections, photos and even GPS locations of graves. 

Legacy is a fantastic source of online obituaries and they partner with funeral homes all over the world. 

Afrigeneas is a great resource for African American genealogy with directions on finding slave data, communities you can join and a guide on African American record search. 

Genealogy is a fun hobby, but it can cost a lot of money. There are some things you can do to save money on your research, like using online databases or buying books or joining GEDmatch for free!

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