I believe discovering where we came from can provide us with a complex and rich history. Without this knowledge, we may never realize our ancestor's lives laid the very foundations that led us to the place where our own individual history began. The truth is, we all have a familial history – it is a matter of uncovering it – the good, the bad, the tragic and the triumphant and grand scale or small scale, our ancestor’s actions and circumstances somehow landed us “here”. I also believe that the discipline of genealogy takes years of practice and finesse more often that not. There is a lot involved that people don't always realize but is worth considering:
~ Annual subscriptions to on-line databases can be quite costly and multiple subscriptions may be necessary to find one's ancestors. I maintain subscriptions to several records databases and am trained to find more obscure resources as well so I am experienced in the “what” and “where” in regard to repositories and databases. This includes non-primary records such as military, guilds, newspapers, testamentary records, land records and more. I also have a large library of guides to records and various genealogical methods as well as dictionaries of archaic terms and documents. In other words, my investments may save you time and money in the long run.
~ I am also trained in deciphering old records including those that were handwritten. This is called palaeography which was part of the curriculum in the degree progam I've completed. Unfortunately, "neat and tidy" does not apply to most records so practice in the nuances in handwriting as well as the inconsistencies in names, dates, locations and so forth in both transcribed and handwritten records are among the many challenges trained genealogists know how to tackle.
~ Your reports will be original and verified to the best of my ability with references included. With so many people exploring their family lines, it's often easy to think you have found your family on another person's tree. But other people's work should be used with extreme caution: One mistake on a tree may be shared by hundreds of people. I may look for an online tree when records can't be found but will then verify (or not) what someone else has on my own and be disregarded if it can't be proven.
~ My approach is to do more than provide names and dates in a list. If I can determine specifics about your family, and/or a general history of the times or places they lived in, this will be included in your report.
~ Should you desire, I can provide advice on genetic testing for genealogical purposes. This is an exciting avenue for those interested in using science to possibly find close and distant relations, ethnic estimates and much more. I have the training and experience to guide you to the best test for your goals and situation.
~ Unfortunately, from time to time, ancestors simply can not be found. For example, did you know that 99 percent of the 1890 U.S. Federal Census was destroyed by fire and flood or that many Irish records were lost in a firebombing during the Irish Civil War? Sadly, some records are gone forever. Yet conversely, some from ancient periods still exist and have been digitized. Work is constantly being done to find and add records for our ancestors. Volunteers across continents wander graveyards documenting headstones in order to archive them in a massive database. There is always hope. But no matter the results for your family, the work I've done will be explainedd and submitted to you so you will know what research has been done and perhaps if another direction can be determined for future investigation.
Please access the "Getting Started" section for information on the process and pricing.