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Planning on hiring a genealogist? Here are the things you need to know


The history intrigues people in its most eccentric way. It has always been part of an extreme amount of studies be it of an expert, a typical student or an individual who aims to answer questions clouding in his/her mind with all regards to the past. That can be correlated to life, people will always long to know their ancestors’ past life and wipe out the absolute desolation in their existence.

What was the kind of life my ancestors had? Where did I come from? Who are my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents? These are some of the common questions that attack you and nudge you to do something for yourself to feel whole. Furthermore, the pasts keep on luring you to its dark and blank universe that makes you feel striving to fill all the darkness with colours and the emptiness with truths and answers that will be leading you to self-satisfaction.

The fact is, no matter how old you get, your past will soon be your concern and an enormous urge of finding the missing puzzle will continuously run in your nerves. Because when curiosity knocks on your door, you will never feel the same way again – you better honour yourself with peace of mind and satisfaction of the soul.

If you are guilty of having all these feelings, you might want to find and hire someone who specializes in genealogy research. Genealogy research is a compound process that uses historical records and sometimes genetic analysis to validate kinship.  A person who does the job of this kind of research is called a genealogist.

There are certain companies that are expert enough to assist you on your needs – tracking down your ancestors, filling in your family tree, performs genetic analysis, and offers probate research service.

Genealogy can be considered as a broad aspect of historical study. It focuses on the family tree, beneficiary location search, kinship proof and how to not lose your beneficiaries.  If you are determined to pinpoint everything or could it be some things about your past, you are about to be needing the service of a genealogist.

Important things to keep in mind when hiring a genealogist:

Presentation of Work Samples:

It is necessary that you ask for the genealogist that you are considering handing you some of his/her past work samples. This is to ensure that the person you are hiring is reliable and credible enough to do the job for. That will also prove that he is in doing the job ever before you look for a genealogist. You also must consider that his use of Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), and his compelling use of time.

Components of Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)

  • The Board for Certification of Genealogists established the GPS in the year 2000. It is their main objective to assure that the genealogists meet the least possible standard to justify ancestry.
    Performs a reasonably exhaustive research – a genealogist must be patient enough to perform a reasonably exhaustive research. This means that the genealogist must not be relying online or upon hearsays – instead, go to places with the possible traces of the ancestors. Because an effective genealogist is dedicated enough to go further only to deliver the best results to his/her clients.
  • Absolute and Proper Source Citations – proper citations of the accessed and gathered resources must also be kept in mind for possible future use. This manner mostly concerns your children and the future generations to come – for them to have these resources as soon as they needed or looked for it. This may be photographs, write-ups, documents or even a copy of your family tree.
  • Study and Correlation of the Information – the study and correlation of the gathered information are always applied in conducting research no matter what field it caters. The very importance of this component is that it best presents if the genealogist you are hiring is dedicated and committed enough in his craft. A careful study must be done to prove ancestry, and the genealogist you are considering must be like that one.
  • Resolution to Conflicting Evidence – the conflicts in the process of research is always expected. However, a genealogist must be credible enough to provide solutions to the conflicting shreds of evidence. The genealogy research is just like finding a needle in the middle of the ocean, an effective genealogist must be devoted enough to figure every little pinprick of hope in figuring out the solutions. And, he must be a hundred percent patient to finish the case.
  • Effectively Reasoned, Logically Written Conclusion – in hiring a genealogist, it is necessary that after they solve the conflicting pieces of evidence is that they will be able to present an effectively reasoned and logically written a conclusion. It would be like defending the case after you, because you might have a lot of prepared and follow up questions after all the results he/she presents to you. Every research or study comes with a conclusion. And in this case, a genealogist who performs this after you are preferred to be credible enough to do the job.

Public Assessment or Evaluation

When you buy a product online or look for certain services to avail, do you go and check first the review section? That is a very good practice to get a little work background of the person or company that you are considering. And that is also applicable to hiring a genealogist- if a genealogist can present his/her work samples, then you must gather a public assessment or evaluation towards his work and the way he worked for them. By collecting public reviews from his/her past clients, you will be able to judge or decide whether he is worth-hiring or not. You can also visit the genealogist’s company website to effortlessly view or scan for the feedbacks. This will greatly help in your decision-making and making your own evaluation towards the person you are hiring.

Executes Time Efficiency

For cases like genealogy research, it is important that the person assigned to do the job executes time efficiency. Merely because a waste of time is not acceptable – and usually, there is only a little amount of time will be given for him to finish his task. In addition to that, he must not consume too much time especially in sustaining certain solutions to the conflicting evidence and in presenting and handing you the solution. Most cases take a week or two to get done, so if he exceeds on that span of time without presenting development on the case then you might be going on the wrong way.

The More Credentials, The Better

Since genealogy is an unusual field of study, it is better if the genealogist that you are considering will be able to present or produce his credentials such as being an Accredited Genealogist (AG), becoming a Certified Genealogist (CG), having certificates and or degree correlated to the study of ancestry.

  • Accredited Genealogist
    An Accredited Genealogist is a person who was able to pass a handful level of testing through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist (ICAPGen). You can easily track an Accredited Genealogist through having and AG after his name. This accreditation is geographically specific.
  • Certified Genealogist
    It has closely similar requirements as the accreditation, but they have a different prime focus. Unlike AG, the CG is not geographically specific rather tests the genealogist’s capability to interpret documents and resolve contradictory evidence.

Genealogy is not a walk in the park type of study – it requires a lot of patient and time. So, if you are planning on hiring a genealogist, you better keep these things in mind to get the results that you best expect.

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Kath Ramirez

Kath Ramirez is a writing enthusiast and is devoting herself in it since she had been their school’s newspaper editor-in-chief. Aside from writing, she loves dogs (she has four dogs in total), along with calligraphy writing and scrapbooking. Kath is also engaged in exploring different places to stay for vacation or Holidays and a food addict. She is now a daytime writer for Worthington Clark, a company in Australia who specifies in the field of genealogy.