We've been talking about
working with professional genealogists in researching your family history.
This week, we'll talk about examining results, resolving differences and
concluding your research.
You'll receive a methodical, documented report as part of your research.
These reports should summarize the research that has been done on your
behalf, indicate the information that was found and give suggestions for
further research. A complete report from the professional genealogist
should include a copy of all the research notes and identification of all
sources searched with negative as well as positive results. You might also
receive maps, copies of documents, notes from interviews and miscellaneous
other materials. This gives you the information you need to compare the
professional's evaluation of the information discovered with your own
conclusions after you have studied all of the information.
If you have questions or complaints - what happens?
Misunderstandings may occur on either side, but can usually be resolved
quickly. If a difficulty is not resolved, immediately notify the
organization or person who made the original referral and tell the
professional genealogist that you have done this. The Association of
Professional Genealogists offers a confidential arbitration service for
both the client and the professional - when the professional is a APG
Write or contact the APG at PO Box 40393, Denver, CO 80204-0393 or go to
How do you know when the research is done?
Sometimes, you see one of your family lines traced back to a point that is
satisfying. If this happens, let the genealogist know. Sometimes, the
professional genealogist will report that all available documents have
At some point, a decision to end genealogical research will be made.
Notify the professional so that the research can be concluded and a final
How do I find a professional genealogist in this country?
There are three groups in America that can be of help in located a
Contact the Association of Professional Genealogists at the mailing
address and web address above.
Contact the Board for Certification of Genealogists at PO Box 14291,
Washington, DC 20044 or
Contact the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional
Genealogists at PO Box 1144, Salt Lake City, UT 84110-1144 or at
You may go to the World Wide Web and see the APG's on-line directory of
members. Go to
http://www.apgen.org/directory/ for member profiles arranged
alphabetically. This informative site will tell you the professional
genealogist's research specialties and related services.
Of course, most people research their own family history. It's the number
one hobby in the United States today! That's right. Genealogy has moved
ahead of stamp collecting and gardening to take over the top spot in
Many people research so that they may belong to a lineage organization
such as the Daughters (or Sons) of the American Revolution, The United
Daughters (or Sons) of the Confederacy, The Huguenot Society, The
Jamestowne Society, etc.
Many people research for the medical information they will find - as there
are many health-related facts to be found. Things such as heart disease,
diabetes, arthritis, etc., can all be treated earlier if a family history
of the ailment can be found.
Many people research because it's simply interesting and fun.
Come visit The Odom Genealogical Library right here in Moultrie to learn
about your own family. Folks visit from all around the world - and the
library is right here at home for you!