The records at the National Archives are EXPENSIVE and they take a long time to get to you after you have made a request. There is a cheaper, easier and quicker way to get records from the Archives. Hire someone to pull the records for you onsite. I have someone I consult when I need something. He just pulled two land entry files for me. One of those files was quite lengthy. My total cost for the two files, including the copying and mailing fees, was $30 and I got them in less than a week. If I had ordered them from NARA directly it would have been $100 and I would have gotten them in 4 to 6 weeks. If the one file had been shorter, he would have emailed images to me instead of mailing hard copies so my cost would have been even less.
I also have someone that pull records for me at the Family History Library. I can’t even tell you how much time this has saved me. It costs me $7.50 a roll to order the microfilm which isn’t bad but it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the rolls it to come in. The Family History Center in Augusta does not have a copying microfilm reader so I have to take digital photos of the screen. The readers they have are old and in bad condition with no plans to replace them. It only costs me $15/hour to have someone pull records for me at the FHL and I get great images via email. She can pull several records in an hour and I have them in less than a week usually.
If I need something from a state archive, I contact the archive and ask them for a list of persons who pulls records there. I then contact one of them and I get my records. There are also people that do this at large genealogical libraries and at courthouses. I usually write to the courthouse directly and request the records but some courthouses won’t copy records for you.
Paying someone to do your leg work will save you time, money and aggravation.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis