How to Hire a Professional Genealogist

September 12, 2018

 

It starts with an inquiry. I know, sometimes we hate talking to people, right? Seriously, though, this kind of service cannot move forward without an initial inquiry. It is part of a genealogist’s professionalism to respond to your inquiry with no expectations or obligations, so don’t worry about pressure. Depending on how much information you provide, you will get a quote and hopefully some options so you can consider your budget and the expected scope of research at each price point. So, buck up and talk to someone! You can either call on the phone (gasp!) or use email.

 

Check someone's credentials. There are accreditations, certifications, and actual degrees out there for genealogy. It isn't absolutely necessary that the person you hire have letters after their name as my grandmother is a top-rate family historian, but this certainly calls attention to how seriously a genealogist considers their research services.

 

Most professionals will tell you there is an initial minimum fee— find out what it is because this will determine immediately if you can afford it. Research is usually an hourly service, but it takes a good chunk of time just to dive in, so don’t be surprised about the minimum.

 

Once you decide on the number of hours and general scope of work, there are some typical tangible items to expect to see in the contract, and yes, there should be a contract!

 

  • You should receive periodic updates as research moves forward

  • You should receive a family tree (this can be electronic or on paper)

  • You should receive copies of documents, images, newspaper articles, and anything else that was found

  • If the genealogist is following industry standards, you should also receive a written summary of the research that was done, including steps taken in during the research to answer each piece of the research question

Each contract is different, of course, so be sure to read the specifics, and always ask questions!

 

Ready to inquire? Write us at info@chronosheritage.com

 

Each contract is different, of course, so be sure to read the specifics, and always ask questions!

 

Ready to inquire? Write us at info@chronosheritage.com

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