For which free offline genealogy tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefitted your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love.
The free offline tool I found most helpful is the chain of Family History Centres. Money does come into it - you can hire microfilms and microfiche, which costs (albeit a tiny amount), but the 'free' part of it far outshines these miniscule payments. Imagine buying microfiche/films from a County Record Office, but having nothing with which to view them - enter the Family History Centre. Microfilm readers - free. Microfiche readers - free. Computers with internet access - free. And, of course, a wealth of knowledge - freely given. The volunteer staff (who don't force their religion on you) are a HUGE offline resource.
I must admit, I found this wonderful resource because I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so it was easy to go up a couple of floors of the church building and find the Centre. And wherever I have lived in the following years, I have straightaway searched out the nearest Family History Centre. If you are reading this, you have access to the internet; if you go to the link here you can find out where your nearest Centre is.
Now I can give back some of the help I received over the years. I have been one of the volunteers I mentioned previously, in one Centre (Bath) known as a Family History Consultant, and in my local Centre (Yeovil) as a Family History Specialist. In fact, the only downside to getting a full-time paid job was not being able to work in the Family History Centre!
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