7    Feb 201210 comments

Research: Using a professional genealogist

A few days ago we posted a poll on MyHeritage’s Twitter account, asking readers if they’d ever paid a genealogist to do family history research.

Of those who responded, 33% said that they, or someone they knew, had paid a genealogist; 67% said they hadn’t.

The idea that 1 in 3 people are paying genealogists to research is an interesting one that we’d like to explore further.

Have you ever paid a genealogist and, if yes, what was it you wanted them to help with that you couldn’t access yourself through MyHeritage or some other genealogy source?

Why did you use a researcher? Was it for access to unusual records? Was it because you didn’t have time to do it yourself? Did you have a brick wall you were trying to smash through with expert help?

Was the genealogist you used a certified professional genealogist?

We’d like to read your answers about working with professional genealogists in the comments below, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Search for your ancestors:

Comments (10) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I paid a specialist researcher to put together an account of my great grandfather's army service history. It was well worth it.
  2. I have used a professional researcher in Italy for photographs and very early Parish records, a professional in the Czech Republic for photos and a more thorough search of years of records, a professional translator for my Czech materials, and also in Cornwall for very old Parish records and wills.

    I have never, ever worried about any 'initials' after their names.

    I go by personal discussions about exactly what I need.
  3. Thanks for your comments Gabrielle/Scott
  4. Yes, I've used a professional. The records he was able to find, cemetery pictures and multiple church and government details would not have been possible as I'm in America and the research was conducted in England.
  5. I hired a professional from Poland to follow up in the information I got from my great grandfatherf's naturalization papers. He and my great grandmother emigrated here in 1880-81. He has the significant advantages of experience, being in the area they came from, and language for clarifying specifics about their marriage, how they spelled their family names, birth records, and who their parents were. His information will give me more things to follow up on with history of the area, etc. I was stuck on the last name and family stories about the name being changed when they arrived in this country--that turned out not to be true.
  6. Having only the full name of blood father (likely now deceased) and City lived in at the time. Plus all blood mother's (now deceased) details could not trace 'father'. So tried 'professional' and he's unwell and no closer. Still trying to trace this man's descendents.
  7. Having such a huge family tree, it doesn't seem cost effective or possible to hire genealogist to do my work. I only did it once, trying go deeper into the generations by finding the names of my third great-grandparents. I used someone recommended on Ancestry, and by the time they got back to me, I found everything they found and more myself. I think, barring language and travel restrictions, it's hard to imagine I'll hire someone. I know professional genealogists are very experienced and have access to records that are not so readily available, but at least for a vast project like mine, I'm going to have to keep learning how to do it myself.
  8. Yes I have paid a genealogist for family tree information. In Iceland it is very difficult to trace family history unless you really know what you are doing and know the language, as there are very few family names. You take your father’s first name and add son or daughter on to it.For a very reasonable fee I got back to almost the beginning of the Christian era.
  9. Yes, I have also used people to search for my grandfather that traveled to the USA in last century. I have followed his track to 1930, working as a coal miner in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Maybe I gone find him in the 1940
    US Census that are released in Mars, who knows.
  10. To Lorna and Herb.
    In Island they are as you,using the father's given as family name putting -sen (-son) or dottir (-daughter) back the father's given name.
    Don't forget that most of the Islanders are coming from Norway, back in the old days,en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leif_Ericson.
    Here in Norway the same ending of the name was used up to 1921. The were a new law here in Norway that said, "the wife should take her husband's name when they got married". So if you have found your roots in Island they are also going back to Norway.

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