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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 26
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

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 member.
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 been searched.
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 report prepared.
How do I find a professional genealogist in this country?
There are three groups in America that can be of help in located a professional genealogist.
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  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 hobbies!
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!

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