The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Genealogy research is a fascinating endeavor. After all, your family tree is a puzzle that needs to be solved. In fact, you are literally finding out where you came from. I strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in ancestry do their own research. Indeed, it is fun and challenging.
As author of this newsletter, I sometimes field questions from genealogy newcomers — questions like how they can hire someone to research their family tree for a fee. I typically respond with still another question and a comment: “Would you pay someone to play a round of golf for you? While that might complete the objective, you will miss out on the entire experience.”
Despite my rather cavalier remark, I will suggest that professional genealogists can be your best friends and assistants after you have started your own genealogy research. Yes, you should do the basics yourself. You should start with yourself and then find information about your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and so on, as far back as you can possibly go on your own. Researching your own family tree is fun and can be inexpensive. However, when you do hit a “stone wall” and cannot go back any further, it may be time to call in the professionals.
For instance, you may exhaust all the resources that you know of. At that point, you may wish to hire an expert who has years of experience in the same area to see if he or she can find information that eludes you.
Even when you do know where to look next, you may find it impossible to travel to a distant records repository to look at some record that has not yet been put on the web, on microfilm, or even in a printed book. You will find it far cheaper to pay a professional researcher to look at records for you and to make photocopies. That usually will beat the costs of traveling there yourself with all the expenses of airfare, hotels, and meals. The professional may also notice things that you missed on that document or possibly on other documents in the same repository.
Another good use of a professional’s time is when you simply need advice from an expert. Paying for a few hours’ consulting time from someone who is an expert in the geographic area or the ethnic group you are researching may provide an education, enhance your genealogy experiences, and point you in the right direction to continue your search.
The remainder of this article is for Plus Edition subscribers only and will remain in the Plus Edition subscribers’ web site for several weeks.
There are three different methods of viewing the full Plus Edition article:
1. If you have a Plus Edition user ID and password, you can read the full article right now at no additional charge in this web site’s Plus Edition at http://eogn.com/wp/?p=47065. This article will remain online for several weeks.
If you do not remember your Plus Edition user ID or password, you can retrieve them at http://www.eogn.com/wp/ and click on “Forgot password?”
2. If you do not have a Plus Edition subscription but would like to subscribe, you will be able to immediately read this article online. What sort of articles can you read in the Plus Edition? Click here to find out. For more information or to subscribe, goto https://blog.eogn.com/subscribe-to-the-plus-edition.
3. Non-subscribers may purchase this one article, without subscribing, for $2.00 US. You may purchase the article by clicking here. Payment can be made with VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, or with PayPal’s safe and secure payment system. You can then either read the article on-screen or else download it to your computer and save it.