When I first began my researching, I was told that genealogy was an expensive hobby to maintain.

Being the person that I am, I was determined to prove that statement wrong in every way, if possible. So far, I have been able to do it. Even though I have in the past made copies, bought notebooks, etc I have never spent exorbitant amounts of money on my research. I believe that there were two times I actually spent what I consider alot of money.

The first time was in ordering items from the library such as obits, news clippings, etc. The second time was in buying a book on genealogy in New Jersey for my maternal lines. This was an out of print book, so my only alternative was to purchase it. Other then those times, the most I spend on my research is in reimbursement fees or postage fees to someone sending me something. I work mainly on the barter system popular among most researchers.

I have recently being talking with a man who is very willing to make any purchase necessary and it is difficult to make him see that this is not always necessary. It is not that I am necessarily cheap or anything, but why spend money that you don't need to?

I feel that this money is better spent on items that cannot be bartered for or for out of print publications that can be gotten no other way. Or perhaps for film at the cemetery or copies at the library. Why on earth would anyone purchase a book for a high price, and some of these can get very high; when their ancestor might only be covered in one paragraph and the rest of the volume is absolutely useless?

Any competent researcher has just tons of information lying around that doesn't always pertain to their direct lineage. It is like we are packrats afraid to discard something, so we hang on to it. Why not trade that info with someone else, who also has data that is unusable to them? Makes sense to me.

Most all of the researchers I know of are on a mailing list of some sort. What is the point in being on these lists, if we cannot take advantage of another persons close proximity to an area we are researching in and vice versa? There are a lot of people residing in areas that their ancestors never lived and they are most happy to look something up as I would be happy to look up for them. I have never failed to receive a most gracious and helpful response when asking for this type of assistance for other researchers; but many persons just never think of this for some reason.

In summary; before you think about buying that book or CD, just stop and think if there is another way to obtain that info without having to make that purchase.