Do you need expert help to uncover the origins of your ancestors? Well, hiring a genealogy researcher is something that you should consider. Whether you are trying to build a small family tree, find an elusive ancestor, or need help to trace a particular branch of your tree there is help out there.
In this post I want to show you that there are experts out there willing to help you on your genealogy journey.
I will discuss what you need to consider before you even hire a professional, what can you do to get better results, and also whether you even need to hire someone at all.
Discussed in this post:
Why You Should Hire?
Firstly, there are many reasons why you maybe interested in your family history. My Why Research My Family History post looks at several of them, including confirming old family tales, tracing your ancestors migration, a desire to preserve your family history, and ultimately because of the excitement.
Similar to the reasons for tracing your family tree there are also reasons, and circumstances, where you would want to hire a professional genealogy researcher.
My genealogy journey
Before I continue I just want to share with you how I started on my own genealogy journey. I first became interested in researching my family tree due to the desire of writing up the many fascinating stories that my father would tell me over the years.
As I wrote the stories down I became more and more fascinated with my family history. And as a result I wanted to continue the genealogy research that my father too had begun.
My father, if he doesn’t mind me saying, is old school. He visited archives for his research and drew family tree branches by hand. Quite tiring I can tell you.
As I grew up with computers I knew that I could find so much about my family tree by checking out the Internet. There is just so much valuable information on there that you can discover about your own family tree.
I continued the research that my father began to create a family tree consisting of nearly 2,000 people. The Internet expanded my tree immensely.
Even though the Internet helped me a lot visiting archives can still be a valuable resource to you!
The reasons to hire
That is because despite the claims, the Internet does not have everything. I must admit that new records are uploaded all the time, but there is so much more that exist in the offline world.
Which brings me to the reasons why you should consider hiring a professional genealogist.
They can search for you!
A professional genealogist will know where to find the records. They can visit archives if need be and use tips and tricks that they have acquired to easily find the information that is needed.
They have the resources and tools!
Genealogy software programs, charts, forms and other resources and tools make genealogy so much easier. Remember I mentioned hand drawn charts. Programs makes this task much easier.
A professional genealogist will have all of these resources and tools at their disposal, making the job much quicker.
You may not have time!
You may have the desire to learn about your ancestry but you may not have the time. You may have a full time job, a family and other commitments which may take your time away from researching who your ancestors were.
Hiring someone to do the work for you will definitely be a good option for you.
You’ve hit a brick wall!
As you follow your genealogy journey there will be the elusive ancestor, or information about him or her which is hard to find.
Enter a professional who will have the experience needed to know where to look and how to find what you are after.
Please check out!
An interesting article Do I Need The Help of A Professional Genealogist over at Parr Genealogy discusses other reasons that you may have.
Or, check out this short video that explains the reasons and gives you valuable tips.
Preparation Will Help You!
If you want the experience of hiring a professional to be as smooth as possible, (and cheaper), then preparation is key. You therefore want to outline to the genealogist what your aims are.
Here are a few examples of what you can ask a genealogist to do for you.
- Research your family tree to a number of generations, or maybe just a few branches.
- Reconnect you with family members.
- Translate documents.
- Find an elusive record or ancestor.
- Pick up a record from an archive.
- Photograph where your ancestor lived, worked and died, i.e. by visiting where your ancestor called home.
- Become a mentor for you and show you how to research your family tree.
From the above examples you can see that it’s not as easy as simply asking for help. The genealogist you are hiring will want to know what exactly your goals are from their services.
And remember once the job is done you can always ask them to carry on more work for you if you wish
Where To Find A Researcher?
I have already reviewed a resource that is available to you, Genealogy Freelancers. Here you can find the genealogist that is right for you, based on where they reside, their expertise, and their costs, amongst other things.
The beauty with this resource is that you can outline what you want researched, and they will come to you. You just pick whichever genealogist that you are happy with.
There are alternatives!
But you do not always need a professional genealogist. If you are like me then you will want a cheaper alternative, (or even a free option).
Genealogy Freelancers is definitely one resource that is open to you, and that I recommend. But there are other ways of obtaining what you are after.
And I want to briefly discuss these here.
The archivists themselves will be able to help you with your inquiry, there is therefore no need to hire a genealogist. As long as you provide as much information as possible then an archivist will be of great assistance to you.
There will most likely be a cost involved with their services, but it can be significantly cheaper than a professional.
Visiting a library is a great resource available to you and appealingly it is free. I have discovered so much about my ancestors by checking out my local library and using their computers for my genealogy research.
And you can too. You can get help from the librarian who will be more than happy to help.
Your local library may also run a genealogy club where other family historians will come together. There will probably be classes held where you can attend tutorials and get the help that you are after.
Genealogy/Family History Societies
Depending on where you live in the world you may call them genealogy or family history societies. Despite what you call them they can give you the guidance that you need.
You can ask the society’s staff queries, check out their helpful publications or even join the society. You can also connect with other members who can share you what they have discovered about the local area, and may even have information about your ancestors.
My How To Find A Genealogy Society post is worth checking out.
There are a plethora of genealogy guidebooks that will be helpful to you. They will introduce you to the world of genealogy, show you how to research your ancestry, put your research in order, discuss everything DNA, and more.
So, if you are not sure about something then check out a genealogy guidebook before considering a professional. It may save you a lot of money.
What’s The Cost?
Hiring a professional genealogist can get costly. So, as I mentioned earlier it is best to outline what you hope to achieve from their services.
Depending on the complexity of research carried out it can cost anywhere between $30 to $100 per hour. Yes, you read that right.
And there may be a minimum amount of hours that they will work for you, usually at least 2 hours.
There may even be packages that are offered, so it’s worth asking about those if available. They can range from anywhere from $200 up to $1,000 and even more.
Even though it can get expensive it is definitely worth considering this resource that is available to you.
As I like to think it is better biting the bullet and getting the help that you need, rather than staying in the dark and not knowing who your ancestors were.
Would you rather know who they were?
There will be additional costs that you will need to be aware of. A professional genealogist can carry out the work for you, and get what you want.
And this will cost money as they purchase the required documents and records. There may also be travel expenses.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed reading my guide to hiring a genealogy researcher. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a
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