Some researchers can access fee-based genealogical databases through their local library (either onsite or remotely using their library card). Others can access certain databases at their local Family History Library. Some can also access certain databases through a membership in a genealogical or historical society.
Then there are the rest of us .
If the options in the first paragraph aren’t realistic, consider purchasing a temporary membership to one of the fee-based sites, especially if that site has a database not available elsewhere that could help your research. Keep in mind that records are available elsewhere–it’s just that online access is physically easier and faster. You are paying for convenience.
We’ve posted longer posts on Rootdig about some sites that have materials that could be helpful because they aren’t indexed or online elsewhere as well as come general things to consider before purchasing a short-term membership.