Genealogy is a time consuming and also many times expensive hobby. For some people this is not an issue but for others it can make the difference in one’s ability to continue researching or not. A co-worker recently started working on her family tree. Expense is an issue.
As time allowed, I have been trying to help by looking at census records and online databases to give her a helping hand. Luckily several of her people where well known in their state and we were able to locate a vast variety of documents as well as previous posts on Family Search.org by distant relatives. Included in these files were photos and personal write-ups. She felt as though she had found the treasure at the end of a rainbow.
As you would expect, like all of us she wanted more. Unfortunately she hit the proverbial “brick wall”. If you have worked on your family history for any length of time you probably know how this feels. I was running out of time to assist her also. Things were looking a little sad for my friend.
Let me ask you, do you believe in serendipity? As luck would have it, her daughter had attended a church meeting with a friend. During this meeting, a young woman mentioned she would be working on classes and projects to receive her certification as a professional genealogist. Part of her requirements was to do a volunteer project for a required amount of hours and she was looking for someone to help. The daughter mentioned her mother was working on her family history and could use some help. The best part for my friend was that it would be free. She would need to pay for copies and such, but the labor would be done for her. As you might imagine she is thrilled. The project will start shortly and she promises to keep me updated. As I told her now the fun begins.
Unfortunately not everyone will experience that serendipitous moment when someone comes forward and offers to do the work for you. It can happen, but not often. First let me say you can always check with the local genealogy society or LDS Church Genealogy Library to see if there are volunteers or students that might be willing to help with your research.
There are online sites that list groups and individuals that are willing to assist you.
One site you might try is http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ .
Hosted Volunteer Projects
World Archives Project
Books We Own
FreeBMD (England and Wales)
Obituary Daily Times
Other Volunteer Projects hosted by RootsWeb
RootsWeb is also proud to host many of the websites for some chapters of major genealogical organizations and projects, including the USGenWeb Project, American Local History Network, American History and Genealogy Project, WorldGenWeb, and Daughters of the American Revolution websites. These are large organizations dedicated to gathering and uploading genealogical information region by region and cover locations around the entire world! These projects are not owned by RootsWeb, but are supported by RootsWeb because they are dedicated to collecting genealogical and historical information and putting it online free of charge. Contact the project you’re interested in for volunteer information.
Another site I have found helpful is: http://usgenweb.org/.
The site states: Welcome to The USGenWeb Project! We are a group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free genealogy access for everyone.
Organization is by county and state, and this website provides you with links to all the state genealogy websites which, in turn, provide gateways to the counties. The USGenWeb Project also sponsors important Special Projects at the national level and this website provides an entry point to all of those pages, as well.
Clicking on a State Link (on the left) will take you to the State’s website. Clicking on the tabs above will take you to additional information and links. You can also use the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner which will also take you to the State’s website of your choice
All of the volunteers who make up The USGenWeb Project are very proud of this endeavor and hope that you will find their hard work both beneficial and rewarding. Thank you for visiting!
The USGenWeb Project Team
There are other sites out there. Try doing a Google search “free genealogy help”.
Best of Luck!!!