Ten Effective Steps to Hiring an AG Professional
Before you are Ready to Hire
- Identify the research problem that the Accredited Genealogist® professional will be asked to resolve.
- Determine how much you can afford to pay for genealogical research. Not everything can be found in one research session.
Making the Contact
- Utilizing the Accredited Genealogist Lists, contact more than one AG professional specializing in the area where the ancestor lived.
- Explain briefly the genealogical problem and what it is that the AG professional will be requested to do, e.g., research a family, perform specific record searches, or act as a consultant to advise you in your research.
- Determine the fee to be charged by the professional and ask for an estimate of how long the research might take before you receive an initial report.
Hiring the Accredited Genealogist Professional
- After you have selected the researcher who will perform the research for you, provide your specific research requirements and objectives in writing so that there will be no misunderstanding.
- Provide the researcher with copies of documents from any previously related research in order to avoid or minimize duplication. A research calendar or report should also be provided showing all records that have been searched.
- After the researcher has had an opportunity to review the data that you provided, he or she might require some additional information, e.g., what format is required, electronic, paper, or both? Should the information be entered on a genealogy computer program? If foreign research is required, would it be necessary to provide translations?
Finalizing the Arrangement
- Be sure you both understand and agree upon the costs involved, how often the researcher will send reports, and who will hold publication rights to the final materials.
- Realistic expectations are important. The professional may not always find the particular information that is crucial to solving the research problem. Destruction of records may have occurred. Your researcher might have to build evidence based on many documents concerning various family members before the research objective can possibly be completed. If you have any questions or concerns about your research, be sure to communicate with the researcher.
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