Believe it or not, even professional genealogists hire professional genealogists to help them. Many records are not online and are only available locally. If you live far away you will need to hire someone to get the record for you. There are posts all the time on the Association of Professional Genealogists mailing list for researchers looking for other researchers. There is no shame in asking for help! Here is a short list of reasons you might want to hire a professional:
- Document retrieval at the local level
- Translation of foreign documents
- Someone to analyze your research problem and formulate a detailed research plan for you to follow
- A fresh set of eyes to look at a brick wall
- Help with lineage society paperwork
- Help with organizing your research
Here is a good general guideline for hiring a professional researcher. I will tell you the best way to find a good one is via word of mouth. I needed someone to pull records for me at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and several researchers recommended the same person. I have now been using this person for probably close to a year now and I wholeheartedly recommend her to others. She does a fantastic job. I have mentioned the Transitional Genealogists Forum several times before and this is a great place to get recommendations. Anyone interested in learning how to transition from a beginner/hobbyist to an intermediate/advanced/professional level can benefit from this list. Another place is the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) mailing list but you must be a member of the APG to sign up for it.
Three organizations that require professional genealogists to adhere to specific standards have directories of their members. You can search for a professional that way.
Right now I am in need of a researcher to go to the Mississippi Archives in Jackson for me. I live two states away so it makes sense to hire someone.
Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis