Save money while discovering generations of family history

By Mark Connolly

Until recently, researching verifiable family history could take years of painstaking and frustrating research – not to mention barrel loads of money. Modern technology has changed all that. Online research skills can now deliver a quality of verifiable family information previously limited to those with very deep pockets and massive amounts of time on their hands.

So where do you start? The best chance of success comes from knowing key moments in the lives of your grandparents and/or great grandparents – birthdays, marriages, and death. You no longer need to visit some stuffy archive far from home or overseas to begin your research, an internet connection will do. It certainly isn’t easy – few things worth doing are. Here are the two basic things you can do today that were impossible a decade ago:

  • Almost everyone in the English speaking world with accurate information on their grandparents can trace back to the early 19th century online using their ancestors official records.
  • DNA tests can verify those records and find others across the globe who genetically share ancestors up to 500 years ago.

These two facts – online research and the explosion in DNA tests- have revolutionised family research within the last few years. You can learn how to make the most of that information yourself or you can hire a professional to do it for you. But the big players cost serious money.

Ancestry’s professional genealogists start at $2,500 for 20 hours
‘Basic’ Genealogy from MyHeritage’s LegacyTree is $2,500 for 1-4 generations on 1 family line

It gets even worse if you want a family heirloom – a book – so you can pass the information on for generations.

Ancestry’s Family History Book starts at $20,000

Ancestry employs Alexander’s MyCanvas to provide their books.

You can build your own 120 page version for $220

If you have the time and skills to properly research your ancestors, build a family tree, design and write your family book’s content, then go for it! If you don’t and can’t afford the type of services listed above then a standard A4/Letter typed genealogical report from the majority of reputable genealogists will cost a minimum of between $300 and $600.

These expenses are why do-it-yourself services like Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindmyPast have become so popular. These companies charge fees that add up individually to the same kind of price range as a typed genealogical report but they host your information on modern online websites. You do have to keep paying an ongoing subscription if you want to maintain access to records on theses services, so the cost does rack up. You can however store documents and your family tree for free.

If you can do your own tree accurately, there’s nothing more rewarding. But expect to spend many a day-and-night learning how to do it before you get down to the relentless thrills and heartaches of actual research.

This is where I can help. uses all access world memberships to Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindmyPast to build and verify family trees as far back as they can be legitimately traced. I can also find records not on these sites in official archives in Britain and Ireland. When the research is done, you’ll know everything there is to know about your ancestors, the times they lived and their living descendants worldwide.

What I do is state-of-the-art, I won’t be giving you typed sheets. You’ll get services every bit equal to the top dollar ones listed above but at a much more reasonable price because I do all the work myself.

Why are my rates so reasonable?

I’m still a full-time working journalist with 3 decades experience in world news. BBC trained I’ve lived and worked worldwide, including years spent in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

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My years of genealogical research and global reporting, documentary making, writing and investigative journalism will combine to track your ancestors down and tell their stories. If you want to learn more click here. You can also contact me directly for a free initial consultation.