I truly want to help you with your genealogy research because it’s fun for me in a weird, twisted, and nerdy way. Here is a list of things that I can help you with:
#1 Where do I go? What do I do? or “I haven’t done much and I really don’t know what to do or how to get started.”
This may not involve me really doing much for you but to help give you some advice and pointers on what to do. That’s ok, I like to be bossy. No, really, it’s fun.
#2 STUCK! “I’m stuck on my great-great-grandmother Matilda Wormwood. I’d like to know who her parents were.”
Ah, the elusive dead-ender. We all have them in our trees and it’s frustrating. What I could do in this case is to do my own investigation on Ms. Wormwood and then we can compare notes and go from there. It could spark some new ideas for you to try something different. For me, it would involve taking a look at Matilda, her husband, and her children…and sometimes even cousins and extended family. These types of investigations can take quite awhile and still yield no answers but hopefully more information was uncovered. I always say that sometimes not finding anything at all is still finding something (trust me it makes sense in my head).
#3 Dead and Buried….somewhere! “I’m trying to find where my great-grandfather Ted “Theodore” Logan is buried.”
This is a timely one because I’m trying to track down an ancestor who is not revealing himself easily. You’d think with an obit telling you where he would be buried would shed some light but…nope. Still can’t find him. But I will. As Debbie Harry once sang, “One way, or another, I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna getchagetchagetcha.”
#4 Rumors. “An old family rumor is that my great whatever grandfather, Ross Gellar, was a boxer. I’d love to find anything I can on him.”
I worked on case just like this…except his name wasn’t Ross Gellar lol. I had a case where an online friend wanted to know more about her husband’s ancestor who was rumored to be a boxer in Pittsburgh. I had such a blast with this one and spent all day researching him. He was quite the character that had some tragic circumstances in his life (who doesn’t!?). The problems with rumors is that they can be tough to research because there can be varying levels of validity from completely made up lies, to truths that were stretched over the years, to people remembering wrong, to actually being true with nobody wanting to talk about it.
#5 I don’t have time! “Can you research this surname/family line for me?”
Yup, sure can. BUT (which is the less fancy version of however), depending on the scope, it may need to be limited down to a couple of generations. I’ve been doing my own genealogy for nearly 20 years and I’ve come to the conclusion that I will NEVER be done. Neverever NEVER and that’s ok except it means that I simply can’t take on a person’s entire genealogy or even an extensive surname review. It really depends upon the scope but with more than, say, 3 or 4 generations, things get bogged down. Plus, it’s hard to focus on the stories of people when there are 50-100+ people involved in a tree. I really want to tell the stories of people through genealogy vs being a name/date collector.
#6 Roadtrip…maybe? You betcha! “My grandpa Clark Griswold graduated from University of Iowa in about 1923 and from looking online the Iowa State Historical Society has copies of yearbooks. Do you think you can take a look?” Absolutely! I love going through these and they can be a wealth of information regarding the person but also an insight to things that were going on with the school/area.
This list isn’t exhaustive and the ideas of what I can help you with are limitless. For fun once, I researched the history of a persons house in Omaha. (Nerd alert!!) If you think of something, all you have to do is ask. My investigations can be online searches but can also extend to local libraries, genealogical societies, museums, courthouses, and state historical societies.
I would do anything for love….but I won’t do THAT!
(You’ve got that song in your head now don’t you? You’re welcome.)
There are a few things that I won’t do:
I won’t do a complete genealogy with a fancy tree or a fancy book. There are genealogists that do provide this service; however, they essentially do all the work for you and that’s just not something I’m interested in. Again, I’m your personal assistant and it’s your genealogy. I want to help you uncover your story and I want you to feel that gratification of being connected to it.
I also won’t try and find your biological parents or find a child that you placed for adoption. I am truly understanding and empathize with your search; however, sometimes in these situations, people don’t want to be found. The outcomes aren’t always happy and I don’t want to be emotionally tied to something like that. There are several people and agencies that specialize in these kinds of searches including DNA search and they would be able to help you.
Now for the important part: how much does this cost? It really depends upon what you’re tasking me to do. Generally, it will cost $20 per hour of research; however, each research project is negotiable and something we’ll discuss before I start. Once you submit a research request, I’ll do a cursory review and provide a plan with a proposed cost and time frame. **
After we agree upon costs/budget and you give me the go-ahead, I will get started by creating a tree in Ancestry.com. Ancestry is not the only source for research that I use; however, I do find it easier to organize multiple different trees. The tree created in Ancestry will be named with an anonymous title and it will be kept ‘hidden’ so that it can not be viewed by anybody other than myself. It will not be searchable in Ancestry’s database.
When the project is completed, I will email you to discuss my findings at which time payment will be due. Upon receipt of payment, I will email you a copy of your tree as a gedCOM file which can be imported into many different genealogy software programs (if you’re looking for an excellent and free software system, I love Legacy). Your file on Ancestry will then be deleted.
**Mention your favorite nerdy 80s/90s reference and I might give you a discount!
Want to get started, have general questions, or just want to scream ‘NERD!’ and runaway? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org