Online genealogy websites are incredibly popular these days. In just a few clicks, one can find a lot! However, it can be pricey--it usually takes a subscription to access digitized information. An annual subscription to Ancesty.com can cost upwards to $300 dollars a year. It's worth it, if you plan on using Ancesty on a regular, frequent basis, like I do.
Even so, there are ways to access the information without having to spend a ton of money. Check out the LDS (Mormon) Church's Family Search website (www.familysearch.org) or simply visit your local Family History Center, free of charge. They also have an Ancestry.com subscription.
Many other records are available online--just check out the webiste Cyndi's List-- (www.cyndislist.com) for a full listing of historical societies and other organizations that have posted information online, and for free. Check out the US GenWeb site and Fold3, via Cyndi's List.
It's also worth checking out your local library--they may provide access to Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest and ProQuest websites. All you may need is a library card to access those sites. And you may be able to access those site from your own computer!
Or, you can ask a professional to search the subscription sites, without having to pay the subscription prices. A professional's fees are much more affordable than most subscription fees. And because you're working with a professional, you'll may get a bigger bang for your buck.