When is it Time to Hire a Professional Genealogist?
For people who love doing their own research, this can be a difficult question. Learning about our ancestors on our own can be exhilarating!
We usually find that people contact a professional when they have a specific question, but they may lack the skills or the time to learn the tricks of the trade. Every profession has those areas where only someone who has seen hundreds of cases will know how to approach the problem. As professional genealogists, we can take care of simple household repairs or our own minor health issues. But we know when it’s time to call the plumber or the doctor for the more serious issues. Let them take care of the hard stuff!
If you are at a ‘brick wall’, then you may be ready to hire a professional. Depending on your goals, you may want to just turn over your research problem, or you may want to hire a professional to work with you one on one at the Family History Library.
At what point you need the extra help of a professional is not an easy question to answer. Every family lineage is different. Some lineages are stuck in 1720 and others in 1920. At times the 1920 cases can be more challenging than the 1720 cases! It all depends on where your ‘brick wall’ stands, and what your research goals are.
Taking some classes at your local genealogy society or attending a genealogy conference may serve your goals. The annual Rootstech conference in Salt Lake City is coming up soon! There will be lectures suited to beginners, intermediates, as well as experts. Topics will cover DNA testing and analysis, historical newspapers, obscure sources, the latest technology, record keeping techniques, and so much more. Rootstech is a wonderful way to improve skills and meet people who love family history.
Remember, you know your research skill level and your goals for seeking answers. That should help you decide at what point to contract a professional. Be sure you choose a firm that has been in the business for a while, that has a record of great customer service. At Heritage Consulting, we are proud of our clean track record, and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
If and when you want help with your family history, please call Heritage Consulting Genealogy Research Services at 877-537-2000.