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Jude's avatar

Could you hire someone to do your genealogy work for you?

Asked by Jude (32134points) March 9th, 2010

This has always fascinated me; finding out where I came from. My Mom’s side was Scottish/French..Alsatian (French/German) and Welsh. My Dad’s side French.

I would love to know more about my ancestors. And, I’m talking way, way, way back.

Have you done this?

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13 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I have not done it, but you can hire professional genealogists to do the work for you.

wundayatta's avatar

Seems like it would be pretty expensive. But I’m sure you could get someone to do it for you.

Jude's avatar

This is cool. I know my Grandma’s maiden name, and I know where her ancestors (on her Mom’s side) settled (in Canada). I just typed it up and this is what I found:

Michael Bitschy and family emigrated from Soufflenheim and settled first in Buffalo, New York, and later in Waterloo County, Ontario.
Michael Bitschy
Catharine Franck, wife of Michael Bitschy
Children of Michael and Catharine Bitschy:
Adelhaid Bitschy, b. ca. 1808, m. John Halm in 1833
Anastasia Bitschy, b. 07-Jan-1811, m. Jacob Haus? 10-Oct-1835 in Buffalo, NY
Magdalena Bitschy
Sebastian Philips and Regina Franck settled in Waterloo County, Ontario, married, and had children in Waterloo County beginning in 1839.
Aloisius Zinger settled in New Germany, Ontario, married Maria Linsner, and began having children in Ontario in 1843.

I recognize a few of the names in there (from my Grandma). Pretty cool.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My huband has and would recommend traced his way back.

Jeruba's avatar

From what I’ve heard of people who have done this kind of research, doing their own seeking and making their own discoveries was a great part of the satisfaction of it. I’m sure there are people who will do it for a fee, but I think that would be like hiring someone to plant your little backyard vegetable garden for you. Half the fun is seeing your own labors bear fruit.

You can find websites that let you download forms for free, and those will help you piece together your information.

YoH's avatar

I’ve assembled my family tree back to the early 1700’s. I am finally able to fit little stories to time lines, and at times it’s been like working a puzzle,challenging and fun. I now consider it to be my own personal treasure.I recommend doing it yourself and working at it over time, like a hobby.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I do a lot of this type of research for other people, if their story interests me. There are a lot of people out there who do this for a fee that pretty much scam you. You have to start with what you know, and work backwards.

srmorgan's avatar

It is a lot more fun to do it by yourself but hiring someone can be of great assistance.

1. My great-grandparents came from Riga, in Latvia. There is no way that I could personally do any research on them and their ancestors, even if I were to travel all the way to Riga and spend several weeks in the archives. The records of the Jewish community were kept in the Cyrillic and Hebrew alphabets only. No way I could work with that.

2. My wife comes from a small town in New York, between Albany and Montreal. The local town historian, a retired judge, has information at his fingertips that I could not find if I spent time up there. In many locations there are historical societies that have documented marriages, births, deaths, property transfers, legal documents and you can’ t do this yourself.

3. has a great deal of information but the amount of records out there dwarfs what any of the commercial sites might have. Information on the commercial sites have been transcribed by volunteers or by people paid to do the transcriptions.
A legitimate researcher who lives in the area that you are interested in will look for original sources and not depend on the internet.

That said, get more than one reference from the researcher. Never pay anything upfront that is more than a nominal amount. (I worked with one woman in NYC who wanted 25% of her estimate up front, sometimes these people get ripped off by clients who never send the check).

In particular, overseas researchers are more suspect, especially in the former Soviet bloc. but that is true of many things. Get a reference, get another reference.

Most of all, have fun

filmfann's avatar

Bitschy is a family name? How cool is that!
Funniest name I have found in my tree was the Flippin family.
An aunt married into the Savage family, so, if she hyphenated, her kids would be Flippin-Savages.
I have done genealogy work for friends, but it is sometimes difficult, and can take a long, long, time.

Cruiser's avatar

My wife has done extensive work on her genealogy….be careful for what you wish for.

Jude's avatar

@Cruiser meaning…?

Cruiser's avatar

edited by me

Cruiser's avatar

@jjmah Came to find many of her relatives were exterminated in a senseless form of hatred. Very difficult to reconcile.

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