Research to identify your ancestors

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hiring a professional genealogical researcher

(Note...see the very beginning of this blog for important steps on how to get started on your genealogy).

There are many people that make a business out of researching other people’s genealogy lines. They will do all your research for you, or if you would rather, they will just look for records in a particular area to verify claims in your genealogy. They can usually locate the records for you and get you copies.

Their services, rates, experience, and reputations are all different, so be careful when you select a professional researcher to help you. You want to find someone that has a lot of experience in the area in which you need help. I would not hesitate to ask them for a list of their satisfied customers and other references whom you could contact.

When looking for someone to do this work for you, consider this list of questions you might want to ask that person before hiring them:

* Are they certified or accredited and by what organization?
* How many years experience do they have?
* Do they belong to any professional genealogical organizations and which ones?
* What foreign languages do they speak?
* What types of records and resources do they have access to?
* What kind of experience do they have in the areas that you need help with?
* In what way do they charge for their services, what method of payment do they accept, and what is their policy on refunds in case of dissatisfaction?
* How much time can they devote on your research project?

To find a researcher, look on comprehensive genealogy websites, or on an online directory of researchers such as the Association of Professional Genealogists.