[APG Public List] Problem with professional genealogist; formerly, Repeating client's work

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Thu Jul 22 07:14:36 MDT 2010

I would normally look at 'children of the ancestor whose parentage' the 
client is seeking, and I would have explained that was necessary.  Often to 
go back, you have to first go forward or even sideways within the same 
generation of the individual whose parentage is being sought.  And I would 
look at information and sources already looked at by the client.  You have 
to thoroughly understand the 'known' to be able to find the 'unknown'.

And particularly where the client has done extensive research but then 
reached a block at to parentage.  Usually in those circumstances when I look 
at the generation prior to the parents' I find the client has missed 
something in the records examined, missed a lead arising from those records, 
or misinterpreted something in those records.  All of the above can provide 
that piece of information that begins to unravel the mystery.

When you hire a professional you have to understand that he or she is going 
to come at things differently than you sometimes expect.  Your research 
dead-ended.  I suspect the professional wanted to examine exactly how and 
why it dead-ended, and that means going over that same ground that you 
looked at.  You may have provided the information, but often the 
professional isn't going to take your word on it.

Problem is you have to have a little bit of trust.  If you've gone through 3 
professionals you might want to consider whether a tiny bit of the problem 
might not be coming from your expectations about how the research "should" 
proceed.  Yet by your own admission, your approach has reached the point 
where you need outside help to continue, so something may be missing, or 
misread, or misinterpreted by you as you did your research.

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