Amateur genealogists hoping to uncover a link to Abe Lincoln can easily turn to the web to dig in their ancestor's closet. But taking the commercial route doesn't come cheap.
People curious about family history spent a whopping $2.3 billion on genealogy products and services last year, according to a study by market research firm Global Industry Analysts. They took most of their work to sites like Ancestry.com, which charge between $22.95 and $34.59 per month for access to billions of pertinent records. One-on-one consultations set them back $2,000 to $5,000 per session, depending on the length and complexity of the project, a spokesperson told Mashable.
Despite those sites' popularity, “it’s perfectly possible to do everything without spending a dime,” says Terry Koch-Bostic, a Mineola, N.Y.-based director of the National Genealogy Society, a non-profit education, training and records-preservation group.
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