Footnote.com is offered free in the local Family History libraries in Atascadero and SLO, I believe.
I like to go to the libraries just to browse through their book collections and also look at the microfilms and microfiches they have. In SLO I found an index to all the births in Chicago going way back in the 1800's. I located my gfather and his brother so that I could then order the actual copies of the birth records. I got the family's address in Chicago and another verification of family names from that record.