Tracing your family history is anything but an easy task. Know how to pick a genealogist for hire can be just as difficult. However, when tracing your family history it is normal to encounter some difficulty during the process. For instance, you may fail to find the right information, maybe due to time constraints, dealing with a foreign language or receiving DNA-analysis that you do not understand. In such cases, a genealogist for hire is your best bet.
We all come from a long lineage, therefore, you may have 20+ great-grandparents. It may be difficult to find relevant information about all of them, especially because they may have family trees that go back a long way. They may also come from all kinds of time periods and geographical locations. Not forgetting that they belonged to diverse ethnicities.
It is only a highly qualified genealogist who can confidently handle all of this information. Worry not! Here is everything you need to know about picking a genealogist for hire.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Genealogist for Hire
- 2 Tools for Evaluation Genealogist for Hire
- 3 Conclusion
Types of Genealogist for Hire
Before picking a genealogist, it is important to understand these professionals and their rankings. This will enable you to determine the best genealogist to conduct your research.
Here are different types of genealogists that you should consider for your research work:
The Young, Business Genealogist
These individuals often know very little. In fact, they are the kind of researchers who will look online for information about your family tree. They are not credible enough to conduct an exhaustive genealogy search because they lack the relevant skills.
The Hobbyist Professional Genealogist
This is a genealogist who has extensive experience that comes from researching their own family tree for many years. Unfortunately, they do not have the know-how to overcome genealogy problems or roadblocks that may occur during the research problem. Therefore, they may not be able to successfully carry out your genealogy research work.
The Local Amateur Researcher
The researcher may have a reasonable idea of how to research genealogy but may lack relevant resources to do so. Therefore, if you want information on your full family tree, this professional will be of little help to you because they source for information through databases, as such, they may not be thorough in their research.
After all, 99% of records are not online. As such, the information found may not be correct. This researcher draws their conclusion only based on the evidence that is available to them.
Top Level Genealogist
There are only very few professionals at this level. This genealogist is highly experienced and thorough in their research work. He or she finds information in the following order:
- Analyzes the provided information
- Prepares a research strategy
- Utilizes online resources as well as important records to prove relationships between generations
- Spends a considerable amount of time exploring information resources and repositories
- Consults family history libraries
- Travels far and wide to specific state(s) that your ancestors lived in, trying to find original records.
Needless to say, this professional is worth top dollar. He or she is the best genealogist for hire.
Tools for Evaluation Genealogist for Hire
Here are the tools that you will use to evaluate a genealogist’s work before hire:
When picking a genealogist for hire, always consider the assistance you need and the desired outcome. This will make it easier and more cost-effective for you to find the best professional for the job.
Before hiring a genealogist, it is important to review their work in order to understand what to expect from the end results. Different genealogists use diverse methods to provide the information that you need.
Consider the following:
Does the genealogist meet the genealogist proof standard?
The Genealogists Proof of Standard (GPS) is a qualification that ensures a genealogist meets a minimum standard when seeking to prove ancestry. Therefore, the research must be exhaustive and use pertinent records. Thus, the professional should not spend all their time online. They should go the extra mile to find information. During their research work, all source should be cited and any research conflicts resolved effectively.
Does the genealogist use time efficiently?
When checking work sample, beware of those that involve early ancestry (Pro-1850) and only utilizes easy resources such as compiled information. This simply shows a genealogist’s lack of motivation to track down clues. Ideally, genealogy research should follow this same pattern:
- Reference to readily available records
- Use of microfilms and less accessible records
- Network with others to access onsite records at inaccessible repositories
A genealogist social proof of work is very powerful. Utilize the internet and find out more about experiences and qualifications that pertain to your genealogist for hire. Based on the experience of others, you will find out whether or not you are making a solid decision. There are many great review sites that will give you insight on your decision.
The best genealogist for hire should have the following credentials:
This is a genealogist who has passed several levels of qualifications. They are often established in a specific geographical region. Therefore, ensure that they cover the region that you need.
This certification is not geographic specific. Instead, it looks at the professional’s ability to interpret documents and resolve any contradictory evidence.
This credential is always associated with a genealogist who has a full undergraduate degree in Family History. This only goes to show that they are most qualified for the job.
The work samples, public reviews, and credentials are the three main factors that will predict whether you will have success when you pick a genealogist for hire. This will make you more confident in the fact that you are hiring someone who will provide quality results. However, be open-minded enough to understand that what you are purchasing is not a straightforward service.
Due to reasons such as record loss, privacy loss or other restrictions, the information you require may not be available despite the genealogist’s best effort. When hiring a genealogist, you will only be getting the pledge that a genealogist will use their paid time effectively to look for information in the best way.