|Professional Genealogist Tips and Tricks|
Genealogy research can be rewarding and bring families together, but the process of doing the research can be time consuming and often frustrating. Here are some tips to help you do your own research or work with your hired professional genealogist to get the best results.
1. Organize all of your information. You may be surprised to find that you already know more about your ancestors than you believed. You might find information in boxes of family photos and papers, in prayer books, in passports and other legal documents, in Holocaust documents, etc. Anything connected to immigrant ancestors can be especially important.
2. Review the information that you collected and take notes. If you are working with a professional genealogist, make sure to share everything with them (even if you don’t think it is important) in an orderly fashion before they begin your research. This will help you, or your researcher, identify your family members in records.
3. Work backwards slowly. Gather evidence and document exactly where your immigrant ancestors came from. You, or your professional genealogist, will need to locate the exact town or city that your ancestors came from and determine if the name they used after immigration was the same name they used before immigration.
4. If you are doing your own genealogy research, learn everything you can about your ancestor’s place of origin, the history of the town or city, record availability, languages used in records, and what you can learn from different types of records. Knowing these things will help you gauge your expectations of what you can learn about your family history. When working with a professional researcher, make sure that they have expert knowledge of the area and records you will need for your project. For example, an expert on American Revolution genealogy might not be familiar with the nuances of 19th century Jewish Galician records.
5. Have patience. Genealogy research takes time, skill and luck. Record availability varies and could change at any time. Please check with archives or your professional researcher periodically for updates on new records for your ancestors’ relevant locations.