I was fascinated by a blog that I came across last week and I wanted to share it with you.   Ellen and Elizabeth run a great Genealogy site in the US under the title of  Ancestry Sisters. You may be just beginning your research or you may have MKA Ancestry Sistershit the proverbial wall and be about to toss the entire project aside, these excerpts from their guide on ‘When to Hire a Genealogist’ and ‘How to Hire a Genealogist’ make great sense.   We have given you a shoal of links in MyKerryAncestors.com to help you conduct free research but there may come a time when you may need a record that you just can’t locate  yourself, or you need a new pair of eyes to freshen up your current research.  You can read their full blog here.

When to Hire a Genealogist:
  • When you want to find out more about your family and don’t know where to begin
  • When you have hit a brick wall
  • When you have been looking at your brick wall for way too long.  It’s time for a new pair of eyes to give you a fresh perspective
  • When you don’t have time to devote to the details.  Sometimes the smallest of clues lead to the biggest results.
  • When you want to give the gift of a family tree to a loved one
  • When you just want someone to collaborate with.  We have made many friendships with our clients and they bounce ideas off of us long after our project is complete.
How to Hire a Genealogist:
  • Learn as much as you can about the process.  .
  • Have a plan and communicate your goals to the genealogist before hiring them.
  • Hire someone that is current and up to date on what is new in the world of genealogy.
  • Hire someone that knows how to retrieve a hard-to-get record.
  • Hire someone with access to many subscription databases.
  • Hire someone that is willing to do the legwork and physical research.
  • Ask lots of questions to ensure the genealogist can help you in your area of interest.
  • Be prepared to pay for document retrievals that are out of pocket expenses to the genealogist.
  • A good genealogist will even help you find someone local to a specific area and subcontract the work if that is needed to accomplish your goals
Other things to consider:
  • Is the genealogist responsive to your initial request for information?
  • Be realistic about results.  As we go back in Ireland to the early 19th Century it is not always possible to get all the records we would like to get.   Our history of religious wars, famine and land agitation has seen to that.
  • If all you need is document retrieval, then someone local can be your best bet.
  • Ask the tough questions – how much do they estimate this project will cost, how long will this project take to complete, how will they provide the documents and recaps of all findings, etc.
And most importantly, find someone to have fun with.  Learn as much as you can and enjoy the process.