Unless you plan on waiting until Black Friday, which I’m going to do, there are two special offers available for DNA kits in honor of Father’s Day:
2. MyHeritage DNA is $69.00 – ends June 19th.
Unless you plan on waiting until Black Friday, which I’m going to do, there are two special offers available for DNA kits in honor of Father’s Day:
2. MyHeritage DNA is $69.00 – ends June 19th.
On April 25, 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick’s article, “The Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,” was published in Nature.1 Thus began the DNA revolution.
In honor of that anniversary, Thomas MacEntee has deemed April 25th as DNA Day and other organizations have come forward to offer sales and specials that may be of interest to you (Think of this as a genealogist’s own President’s Day sale!)
Ancestry.com’s price is $79.00. The offer ends April 26th. AncestryCanada price is 30% off ; AncestryUK is 25% off
MyHeritage is also offering kits for $79.00 but will bundle a kit with a subscription for even greater savings.
23 and Me is offering free shipping on their $99.00 autosomal kit with 10% off an additional kit
FamilyTreeDNA is offering Family Finder kits for $59.00
The last time these prices were this low was during the 2016 Holiday shopping season.
1 Watson, James D., and Francis Crick. “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid.” Nature 171, 4356 (25 April 1953): 737-738.
Tis the Season to Merrily Spend! Here’s some things that I requested Santa get me this year:
Recently I attended a workshop by Dick Eastman on Cloud Computing provided by my local genealogy society. Dick spoke briefly, a lunch break was given and then the workshop resumed. Although his information was interesting, it was the side conversations I overheard during lunch that piqued my interest.
I need to offer a disclaimer first – one of my children is employed by a large laboratory in the U.S. and part of the job responsibility is to trouble shoot and then correct problems that individual labs are encountering. The troubleshooting my child does is regarding equipment and not results. To my knowledge, none of that organization’s business is in DNA analysis. Even so, this proud momma often hears from family and friends who got results back that there must have been some mistake – how could whatever level that was being measured be so high, etc. It was with this background that I brought to eavesdropping on the conversation at the next table…
A woman was explaining that she had recently had her DNA results returned and she wasn’t matching with anyone in her family. She is unmarried and has no children so none of them tested. Her parents are deceased and she had no siblings. By matching, she was referring to cousins. A man at the table conjectured the lab had made a mistake and mixed up the samples. Another attendee reported that his results matched with his children, siblings and first cousins but not with relatives from 3 generations back. He, too, originally thought the lab had erred. Then a match occurred with a surname which he was not familiar. He thought he had somehow missed that line in his research so he went back over his records and low and behold, discovered that the matching surname lived in the same boarding house as his 2x’s great grandmother. Hmm. And yes, great grandma was married to who he had assumed was his great grandfather at the time. There went all of his research on that great grandpa’s line!
Could a lab make a mistake? Absolutely! The likelihood, though, is not as great with the processes and procedures that are in place as is the entanglement of human relationships.
The following day I was reading a list serv to which I belong and an individual had posted how she had inadvertently given a female DNA test kit to a male relative. The lab caught it and asked for clarification.
My advice if your returned results give you unexpected findings – get the test redone at another site. Prices are dropping for the holidays so the cost is negligible. There are “rumors” that Ancestry will run a special beginning November 25th for $69.00 to beat the FTDNA price of $79.00. I don’t have that in writing so check around on the 25th to see what happens.
When the test results are returned, if they’re similar, well, you know you need to explore other lines to determine who’s the daddy. If they are not the same, I’d contact the lab and share your findings. You’d probably get your money refunded if the lab made the error and an offer for another test as a thank you for letting them know there is a quality control problem. Personally, I’m betting on the relationships and not the lab as the culprit.
My goodness I accomplished a bunch last weekend with that hour of extra time! I’m taking the advice I preach and cleaned out my emails, making sure that I saved everything that was important to my desk top and if it was super important, to the Cloud. I use the free Dropbox. For information that may someday be important, I save the link to an Excel file I keep in Dropbox. For example, if there is a particularly interesting blog about clues from old photographs from Ancestor Cloud or Genealogy in Time Magazine, I copy the link in the Excel spreadsheet. One column is Topic, next is the link and the third is comments, if any. That way, if I ever have a brick wall or a client comes to me with a difficult quest with an area where I’m not an expert, I can quickly find useful information.
One email I had received from last month was for a special on Roots Magic. For my faithful readers, you know I dearly miss the simplicity of the old PAF that Family Search once provided for free. I switched to Family Tree Maker when PAF was dying and was happy until it stopped synching with my Ancestry.com tree. The many calls and emails I made between both organizations were pointless so I gave up and went to the Standard free version of Legacy. I liked it so much several months later I bought the Deluxe version. IMHO, Legacy has the BEST charts of any genealogy software product out there and is a bargain for the price. But back to the Roots Magic email, there was a special offer for $29.95. I thought I could do better so I hunted around and found I could get it for $20.00, along with an instructional ebook. I decided to make the purchase, download my GEDcom from Ancestry and upload to Roots Magic in preparation for when Ancestry.com and Roots Magic are able to synch like Family Tree Maker failed to do. I got my $20.00 price from the Association of Professional Genealogists but I also found it by looking for special offers. Here’s the link if you’d like to purchase it – ROOTS MAGIC SPECIAL.
Another special for the upcoming weekend – November 12-13 – is Arkivdigital will be free for everyone. If you have Swedish family it’s a must use. Yes, the records are in Swedish but there are helpful hints on their site or you could use Google Translate. Happy Hunting! Now back to Roots Magic…
I was pleased with how quick the upload was; Legacy takes a whole lot longer. After updating both Legacy and installing Roots Magic, I saved to the Cloud and to a stand alone hard drive as I am paranoid to lose the information.
While I was doing that, Hubby was working at his desk beside me. I looked over and what did I see but visions of holiday shopping appearing on his screen! So I gave him my gift list for this year – a new sewing box and three genealogy books. I did have to have him log onto my National Genealogical Society account to get a discount on the books but that was a good savings, too.
All that took up my extra hour but I felt so good about cleaning up my data I decided to move on to finishing the Canvas project I started in the summer. I’m just about done with our family poster. I think it’s a bargain for $34.95. Granted, I’m going to have to get it framed.
Haven’t checked out how to make one? If you click on EXTRAS on the Ancestry ribbon and then click on the drop down menu for Photo Books and Posters you leave Ancestry and go to MY CANVAS. To make a poster, click on their ribbon FAMILY HISTORY. You can import your Ancestry.com tree to their template and get creative from there. It’s an awesome holiday gift.
If only I could have an extra hour every weekend!
Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 4 Jun 2016.
This is the last in a series of posts about keeping the costs down on our very expensive practice. Our running total for the frugal (accumulated in Parts 1 & 2) is less than $100.00 per year. Granted, that sum is based on using your local library for much of your research which could be problematic if your facility limits your time, has shortened hours due to budget cuts, and is difficult to reach, transportationwise. That amount also does not include costs for renting microfilms from Familysearch or obtaining vital records. Those two prices are set and non negotiable. The best way around that is to find others who are researching your lines and are willing to share what they have found. You may even get lucky and find that some kindhearted researcher has scanned and posted the vital you needed, thus saving you time and money.
The sites below are FREE and are good ways for you to connect with others who share your interest areas:
Ancestor Cloud – although it costs to hire their researchers, it does not cost anything to obtain their weekly emails or to view and post requests on their website. They saved me the cost of traveling overseas and I would use them again if the situation arises. If you do need to pay for assistance, you negotiate the price so it will fit nicely in with your budget as opposed to other companies out there that have standard fees.
Blogs – geneabloggers is one of many that give helpful advice and resources without any cost to you. Just check out the main page and you’ll see that founder Thomas MacEntree has loads of discounted genealogy related services listed. Subscribe to their newsletter and you’ll get the deals emailed to you as they become available.
Crestleaf will email a newsletter weekly with the updates to their records. Scroll down to check out their surname index, or browse by decade or location. Lots of good free info for you to explore!
Cyndi’s List – for the most comprehensive genealogy sources on the web. This site will point you in the right direction, thus saving you time and money.
Genealogy in Time is another email “magazine” with helpful information. Their website has a search engine that is powerful and there are lots of articles to help you find those elusive ancestors. Sign up for their Sunday email, “The Genealogy News” which includes links to genealogy news that occurred in the past week. I love starting my week off by reading the “News” with my morning coffee.
Geneanet – is more than just a place to search; the community forum is a place to post your queries and if you have French ancestry, you must check out their searchable collection. You can specify a surname you’re interested in and receive an email when more information becomes available on their site.
Legacy – download the Standard edition family tree and view their training videos. Although some do have a cost attached, their weekly webinars are free if you are able to watch them shortly after they’ve posted.
I’ve only scratched the surface of genealogical savings. Deals are out there and the wise genealogist uses resources that give the most bang for the buck. Happy Hunting!
Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 2 June 2016.
Last blog we looked at ways to cut costs on genealogical memberships. We’ll keep a running tab of expenses; for full membership in genealogical organizations the cost would be about $409.00 annually and on a limited budget, less than $100.00. Today we’re going to explore how to cut costs for those must have online databases.
AmericanAncestors.org is a database offering “hundreds of millions of valuable records.” For home access, the cost is $89.95 annually but it is free through many public libraries. Check out the link I’ve provided – it’s to the 453 databases in the collection. I have found this site very useful for my New England and Long Island ancestors but if you aren’t researching those areas or are on a tight budget, save by using it at the library.
Ancestry.com is most likely available at your local library, too, but I must caution you that not all records are available on the library edition. It is also only available for use in the library so you are limiting the time you can spend searching. That’s okay if you’re on a tight budget as there are other sites you can use while you’re at home. If you are a member of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) you can get a one time discount of 30% off an annual Ancestry membership. You must have your AARP card number when you call Ancestry Customer Service and it will extend a current membership so wait until a day or two before your expiration before you renew to take full advantage of the offer. Call Member Services at 1-800-ANCESTRY. Cost depends on what membership you’re purchasing (U.S., World., or All). There’s always the 14 day free trial but if you do that, make sure you’re saving what you find on your computer so you can access it when the trial ends.
Billion Graves is FREE so check it out. Personally, I’ve never found anything different than what is available
elsewhere but I still look and so should you.
Familysearch.org is FREE and if you haven’t created a login you need to. The caveat here is if you are building
your tree on this site ANYONE can change what you’ve entered. Wikis are wonderful and in a perfect world this would not be an issue. I have had well meaning but not knowledgeable folks change data and make links that are not right. I know of the changes because they nicely email you when someone has done something to what you’ve entered. I don’t have the time to keep undoing what someone else does so my skeletal tree is going to remain that. That’s not to say that the rest of the website is a wonderful FREE source for you to use at home.
Find-a-Grave.com is affiliated with Ancestry.com but remains FREE. Not all information on the site is accurate so be careful, just as you would if you were researching anywhere else!
FindMyPast is awesome if you’re researching Great Britain. They boast 8 million records and I have found some info but not enough with the lines I am currently researching to make it worthwhile if money was an issue. They do have a blog and send lots of emails a week with updated news. Like every other competitor, they want you to save your tree to their site. This increases the number of records they can claim they have while you do all the work. The benefits, though, are that you can connect with others who are interested in the same lines and you can access the information anywhere you have connectivity. Fourteen day FREE trial available.
Fold3 -now part of Ancestry.com, has a basic membership for free. That allows you to search and browse but not access all images. Kind of like letting you look in the bakery window but not enter to taste! Specials are offered frequently, such as join for 7 days for free or $49.95 for a premium yearly access. Fold3 is mostly thought about in regards to military records but they are building on other areas, such as Project Blue Book (I believe this is the first genealogy website to include nonearthling alien information!) to African and Native American collections.
GenealogyBank – I call it the newspaper place. Check out where they have records before you buy; with over 100 million records you most likely will find something valuable here, especially obits. Free 30 day FREE trial that’s well worth it so give it a try.
MyHeritage is a not only a place to save your tree online but you can scroll all the way to the bottom of their longggggg page, click search, and use their database. They have a Nordic Census that I’ve found helpful. It’s FREE.
Today’s costs – if you are using a library for Ancestry and you’ve taken advantage of the free trials – $0.00. Our running total for the budget concern – still less than $100.00/year. Next time we’ll look at free additional resources available.
Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 29 May 2016.
Genealogy is expensive! There’s costs for membership to associations and online databases, travel, research supplies, vital records, mailing, and conferences. When doing our taxes earlier this year the reality of the expenses hit me. When I received an email recently from a reader who mentioned how the costs were pinching her lifestyle I decided to investigate ways to save.
I’m open to suggestions so please readers, comments are welcome on ways you’ve found to be frugal! The focus today is on association dues because one of the benefits of belonging to a group is discounts on related items.
Most likely your local and state association’s yearly membership dues are reasonable. I believe it’s important to support your local group, if you can afford to do so. My local group costs $17.00 annually and provides a weekly email of free classes offered and genealogy tips. If the cost is prohibitive for you, speak with the group about ways you can take part without paying dues. Volunteering at events, assisting with the newsletter or transcribing local records may all be needed and appreciated more than the amount of the annual dues. It can’t hurt to ask!
My state society costs $25.00 per year. I have access to a monthly free webinar, archived journal and newsletters, and access to a members only forum where I can post questions or ask for help with lookups. There are also occasionally special offers; the current being Fold3 for half price ($49.95). Adding the cost to join the state society with the Fold3 discounted membership is less than the cost for Fold3’s regular price, however, Fold3 offers discount premium memberships all the time so that alone would not be a reason to join the state association. For me, the webinars and journal are well worth the price of $25.00.
Regional societies offer specialization and if you’re looking to cut costs this may be where to do it. For example, I do a lot of research in the midwest, mostly Indiana-Ohio-Illinois. There are many local societies and historical groups in the areas that I mine for records, along with larger groups, such as the Ohio Genealogical Society, which costs $35.00 a year. I tend to not join these groups because I don’t live close enough to benefit from the local events they offer. Before you join, check out the groups website and contact members for their advice on where to find what you’re looking for. I have found the majority are knowledgeable and willing to share their expertise. If there is a record you need that is in their holding, discuss the cost involved for you to receive a copy. I try to pay it forward by also sending them the information that I have collected at the end of my project. This allows their resources to grow and benefits the whole group. If you find that the society won’t assist you unless you become a member, contact the local library instead by emailing through the Ask-a-librarian link. For a quick look up, direction in which to research, or knowledge of where a record may be housed these folks are the best and it’s free!
If you research in primarily the New York or New England area you may want to join the New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B). NEGHS is $89.95 annually; I love their quarterly magazine, journal (The Register), weekly e-newsletter and using their library for free. I find their AmericanAncestor.org database powerful, too. I’ve attended two of their workshops in the past six months (one in Boston and one in Florida) and weren’t all that impressed, though. They also have an Ask-a-genealogist service that’s free but I’ve never used it so I can’t attest to how it works. I have asked for help in person and found some of the genealogists to be extremely helpful. I’m trying to limit my book collection so I haven’t taken advantage of the 10% discount on what they publish. If you’re going to save check your local public library. Mine has access to the database and the journals so I really don’t need to pay for this membership but having the resources at home is worth it for me.
NYG&B is $70.00 per year and offers a quarterly journal (The Register) and review of genealogy news (The New York Researcher), monthly e-newsletter, free FindMyPast US-Canada subscription, access to records in special collections, and discounts on other promotions. My library does not have copies of The Register but another library in my area does. If my budget needed to shrink, I’d cut this and read the superb journal in the library.
National societies have many benefits of membership. The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is a bargain at $65.00 a year. Members receive access to free online courses, a quarterly journal, (NGS Quarterly) and magazine (NGS Magazine), digital monthly newsletter, and access to Bible records, ancestry charts sent in by members, and a marriage and death notice database from early American newspapers. They also offer some partnership discounts. There are additional fees to attend conferences, however, members receive a discount. I, personally, would not cut out belonging to this group.
I realize the hobbyist is not going to join the Association of Professional Genealogists as a professional member for $100.00 a year. A subscriber only member price is available for $45.00 annually and provides a paper copy of the Quarterly journal. If you’re a professional, though, this organization is well worth the cost; the members only listserv alone is an extremely valuable resource, along with professional development webinars, conferences and discounts, such as a 25% off a JSTOR pass, 10% off Legacy Family Tree software and webinars, $20.00 for Rootsmagic and book, and 10% off BYU online certificate in genealogy program tuition. There’s more deals then I listed but subcribers only do not have access to them. So unless you’re going pro, you won’t have a cost savings here.
The Board for Certification of Genealogist (BCG) has a free website that is of value to everyone interested in genealogy, whether you want to become certified or not. The free Springboard blog is informative regarding methodology, links are given to educational programs so you can continue to grow and the skillbuilding and sample work sample areas are important for all levels of genealogists. Most importantly, The Standards are a must and only $6.99 for a Kindle edition.
Notice I haven’t mentioned lineage society memberships? That’s because the application fees and membership dues vary. With all the added costs, such as luncheons, travel to events, and highly encouraged donations for philanthropy, if you’re on a budget it’s best to avoid them. Their members may volunteer to help newbies though, so you might want to check that out. Some groups, like the Daughters of the American Revolution have very helpful information for free online to everyone.
Here’s the rounded cost if you’ve joined all – $407.00. On a fixed income, my recommendations are paying for your state and NGS membership and definitely purchasing a copy of The Standards if you don’t have one already – that cost is less than $100.00 a year.
Next time we’ll explore cutting costs for online databases.
Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 14 Feb 2016
Did you know if you are an AARP member you can receive a 30% discount on your Ancestry.com membership? That’s a huge savings!
Last fall I received an over sized postcard in the mail from Ancestry.com informing me about the discount. I’m up for renewal soon so I called to have the offer applied. All I needed was my AARP number which, of course, I didn’t have in front of me. The Ancestry Customer Service Rep recommended I call back a day or two before the expiration of my current account so that I could take full advantage of the offer as it is applied immediately to the day you call. I won’t work if you call AFTER the renewal date. The offer is one time only and is applied as two six month concurrent memberships. Works for me!
Since this is a sizable savings for my most expensive genealogy membership I began looking around at my other organizations to see if they offered Ancestry.com discounts – checked Association of Professional Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Florida State Genealogical Society, National Education Association and even Angie’s List. No one else had an offer. Usually when Ancestry runs a special it’s not applicable to current members so I was really pleased to be able to take advantage of the AARP offer. If you didn’t get the post card and you are an AARP member, call Ancestry.com when you receive your renewal email and tell them that you’d like the discount applied. All you need is your AARP number. Love those Senior Citizen privileges.
Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 20 Dec 2015.
Last post was my 12 most favorite free genealogy sites and today is my 12 favorite paid sites. I have placed these in alphabetical order and not by preference:
1. Ancestry.com – since they own just about everything in the genealogical world it’s very hard not to subscribe to them. I do have issues with their new website, phantom hints, relationship help that comes and goes, removal of records and not adding new databases but for now, I still use them. Just learned there is an AARP discount and I will be going after that when I renew in 2 months. Complete access is $389.00 per year. OUCH!
2, Association of Professional Genealogists – “an international organization dedicated to supporting those engaged in the business of genealogy through advocacy, collaboration, education, and the promotion of high ethical standards.” Subscribers are $45.00 annually, Professional Members $100.00. Well worth it for the webinars, journal and eNewsletter! Additionally, members get discounts to many paid sites.
3, Board for Certification of Genealogists – Even if you have no desire to become a Certified Genealogist this site is valuable! Check out the Skillbuilding, Work Samples and Genealogy Standards which are free. If you decide to become certified, the cost is $75.00 initially, followed by $300.00 when your portfolio is submitted (1 year deadline).
4. FindMyPast.com – Similar to Ancestry with different records. Cost varies depending on plan purchased. I got a year free due to being a member the National Genealogical Society but it would have cost me $99.95. Since I’ve had trouble uploading my tree I won’t be purchasing this anytime soon but it was nice for a year.
5. Fold3.com – an ancestry.com owned site, currently I’m not a member but I join periodically. For military history it’s a must have. If you’re an ancestry member it’s currently $39.95 a year – half the regular price. So maybe, I’ll upgrade….
6. JStor – is a digital library with books and journals (about 1700) that are intellectual in nature. Many libraries and educational institutions are members so check out if you get an alumni password. If not, some access is free (but not much) and you can purchase an article if you have to, cost varies.
7. New England Historicand Genealogical Society – the database, AmericanAncestors.org is free, however, if you are planning to visit the library in Boston, it is not free. This is a nonprofit organization that also offers research assistance (for an additional fee but discounted), an awesome magazine, journal, weekly email update and seminars. Well worth it for $89.95 a year.
8. National Genealogical Society – the journal, the magazine, the conference, the discounts, the store – wow, that’s a lot of genealogy goodness. Annual membership is $65.00.
9, Radaris – the place to find the living! “Radaris is a universal people directory and an information indexing system about people.” Trying to find long lost cousin Joe – this site will help. If you just want a report it will cost .95. Premium memberships can cost up to $49.95 per MONTH. I only purchase a report if I’m desperate as I usually can find people through other methods – Facebook, Linkedin, etc.
10, Spokeo – a more inexpensive way to find the missing – A 6 month membership is $4.95 per month. They do offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee that I’ve never tried so I can’t attest to what that offer is. I don’t currently belong to this, either, but I’ve gleaned info from this site to help me locate free information in the past.
11 Your Local Genealogy Society – because you need to hang out with people who get excited about your finds. Mine offers trainings and research help for novices. Cost is $17.00 a year.
12. Your State Genealogy Society – or whichever state your ancestors’ resided. My state offers a wonderful journal, newsletter, links to sites around my state, posting for help and webinars. For $25.00 a year it’s the best deal around!
Bonus – The sites mentioned above are not the only for pay genealogy sites around but the ones I use the most. Every couple of years I join newspaperarchive.com but until they add some new newspapers, I’ve maxed them out. I would highly recommend them, though, if you haven’t ever been a member.
Yikes! I totaled the amount and I’ve spent $776.85 this year. Guess when I retire Ancestry will be accessed only from the library.