It all boils down to having the tools and means to research one’s family history and for some, it can be a costly adventure i.e. subscriptions, software, online services such as newspaper articles and obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates from Government agencies etc.
In my view, Tasmania’s digitisation of records is up there among the best, more so with its ease of use and its availability, and that it is free, for the moment. The mere fact that Tasmanian online genealogical records aren’t exclusive to Ancestry, FindMyPast or MyHeritage is an added bonus.
However, if you still wish to access Ancestry or FindMyPast, there is an option of visiting the local library where you can access commercial genealogical websites free of charge. LINC centres providing online access to Ancestry and FindMyPast include Hobart, Launceston, Burnie, Devonport, Glenorchy, Kingston and Rosny.
And there’s the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family History Centres, which also provide free access to premium family history websites. There’s about half a dozen of them in Tasmania in Burnie, Deloraine, Launceston, Glen Huon and Hobart.
The LDS online content is strongest for the US, Europe and Australia and of note, there is a collection of Tasmanian civil registration records post 1900 (i.e. after 1900) that you would not find on a LINC database.
Sometimes being creative helps such as writing to the local parish where your ancestors came from. One such church in England promptly provided me with the requested information and a lesson in Latin 101 to boot.
Another option is to contact the local archives. Despite the costly subscription to access Irish records, one County archive not only gave me the requested information on a particular ancestor, but also gave me the names and details of his ancestry two generations back further.
Even here in Tasmania, some heritage centres have a wealth of information you would not normally find elsewhere. The Stanley Discovery Museum holds title deeds relating to properties in Stanley dating back to the original transfer of VDL blocks to Stanley residents. Check the Living History page for contact details.
Genealogy research doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. There are many free and low cost options available.
The Resource page provides a list of free online tools. If you can think of any other useful free tools, please feel free to drop me a line.