Any professional genealogists out there?
September 7, 2011 6:11 PM   Subscribe

How can we get our family tree verified by a reputable genealogist?

How do we know who is the real thing and what is a reasonable price to pay for such a project?
posted by ofelia to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: We've done the route but want to find someone we can meet face to face.
posted by ofelia at 6:12 PM on September 7, 2011

Google your local genealogical or historical society and ask if they can refer you to someone. That's probably the best place to start. As with most professional services, it's always better to get a personal referral.

You can also try going through the Board for Certification of Genealogists or the Association of Professional Genealogists.
posted by donajo at 6:26 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you have a Mormon Temple in your area? A few years ago a (non-Mormon) friend got very serious about her family's genealogy and found the Temple to be an amazing resource. This was just before the internet was very useful for this kind of research (and it looks like is an LDS thing) but you may still be able to get one-on-one help. I'm not even sure it cost anything.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:13 PM on September 7, 2011

What do you mean by "verified"? If you already have the information and just need verification of births, deaths, marriages, etc. then the next step would be to gather copies of official documents from states, counties, etc. for the verification purposes. Those are the same documents that a professional genealogist would use. Is that what you're looking for?
posted by whatisish at 7:24 PM on September 7, 2011

You could try calling your local DAR/SAR/CAR chapter to find out if they have any recommendations. You need to be able to verify your family tree to join, so they probably get the question fairly often.
posted by brina at 7:27 PM on September 7, 2011

A family tree isn't ever going to be much more than a set of plausible deductions. Record keeping isn't perfect, so sometimes assumptions are made. Even with my Scottish ancestry - and Scottish parish records are incredibly complete and considered accurate - we took a wrong turn five generations back when two men with the same name, with the same spouse's name, died in the same month in a small Ayrshire town.
posted by scruss at 4:59 AM on September 8, 2011

Obviously, the key is your definition of verified. A professional genealogist could review your chart and see if you had made any basic errors. (Same name assumptions, mother died before birth of child, etc.) For older generations, they could check against reliable secondary sources. This kind of review might take 4 or 5 hours and cost a couple of hundred dollars. However, if by verfiied you mean generation by generation documentation to allow you to join a lineage society (Mayflower, DAR, etc.), that is a much more involved process and some people spend thousands to have a professional do this for them. If you have already gathered many of these original documents, that would obviously bring down the price. The real issue is do you have generational connections that are not straight-forward, i.e., you need to build a case beyond birth, marriage, death, and census records. That is when the 2nd kind of verification process can get very involved and very pricey.
posted by hworth at 6:28 AM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all. Your answers are very helpful.
posted by ofelia at 6:35 PM on September 9, 2011

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