Learning about one's family history or genealogy continues to become more and more popular throughout the world. Some enthusiasts think of genealogy as a pastime or hobby. For others, it is a passion to find out the history of who they are and where they come from.
Researching family history can be an interesting and even somewhat controversial. You may discover some mysteries in connection with your lineage. Old family photographs, documents, and other public and private records provide a significant amount of information about world and personal history.
The easiest ways to start learning about your family history is to begin gathering information from your own relatives. The use of a professional genealogy researcher, however, is also very common. As with hiring any professional, care must be taken to find the right person to work with. Following are some points to keep in mind when hiring a professional genealogy research to help you with your family history.
- Make sure that the genealogy researcher actually has the ability to help you. Ask for references and inquire as to what tools are used to perform the research.
- Find someone that you feel comfortable working with and that understands your reasons for wanting to find your family member.
- Ask for a schedule of fees and how and when payment is expected. Sometimes there are additional fees for photocopying, postage, phone calls, etc. Ask if these costs are included in the fee or are extra.
- Decide on a budget. The researcher's costs are going to depend on the amount of time it will take to complete various tasks. Do you want to find a particular individual? Or are you looking for something more comprehensive, such as a comprehensive multigenerational search or a written history book for your family. The cost of the research will vary depending on the amount of time involved. Decide before you hire someone what your overall budget will be and what you want to accomplish with that budget.
- If you are hiring a researcher online, be sure that the payment is done in a secure way.
- Ask your genealogy researcher what documents are available for use in researching your family history. Some of the possible sources include newspapers, local histories, family histories, compiled directories and lists, historical and genealogy publications, compendium genealogies, special collections and manuscripts, vital records (birth, death, marriage), church records (christening and baptismal, marriages, confirmations, deaths), census records, wills, probate records, local and government land records, military records, court records, burial and cemetery records, ship passenger listings, immigration, and naturalization records.
- Ask how the results will be delivered. Special delivery requests may have additional charges.
- The time it takes to complete your research will vary based on what you are looking for. Most research packages take about eight to twelve weeks but if civil documents needs to be ordered it could take longer.
- Read the terms and conditions and ask questions if there is something that you do not understand before signing any agreement to research your family history.
Many resources are available on and off line to research your family history. The use of a professional genealogy researcher is an effective way to have someone with experience is accessing records and performing research find the answers you are looking for.
Hiring a professional will be more costly than doing the research yourself, but if you find the right researcher, the rewards will be well worth the time and money as you will be able to document your family history and share this with your family members for generations to come.
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