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

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Thu Jul 22 15:19:59 MDT 2010

Mag wrote:
>I have received several off-list replies to my inquiry that tell me I
omitted two key points when submitting my query to this list:
>2. our initial letter of inquiry to the present genealogist was actually a
question: would that person review our gathered research papers that ranged
from 1714-1790, read them and give us an opinion as to whether there was
interest in finding our ancestor. We fully requested and expected review of
our research efforts from stated time periods; however, we wanted no
research whatsoever of any kind after the year 1815. We had all we wanted
from that time period. 

It is certainly a legitimate request to ask someone to access a body of
records, look up a certain name within a specific time frame, and send
photocopies of any documents the look-up may turn up. A 'quick 'n dirty'
look-up for an ancestor is often the first step. But it is only a first
step-especially when we are working on a 'problem ancestor.'  
If, on the other hand, you tell a professional researcher that you have done
a considerable amount of research, that you haven't been able to find an
ancestor before a certain date, and you want help in finding that ancestor,
then you are asking for research, not a look-up, and the situation is
radically different.
Others have pointed out that problems are often solved by (a) researching
records created long after the 'logical' time frame; and (b) researching not
only the elusive ancestor's children but also collateral kin and associates.
They have pointed out the need to understand the family to which your
problem ancestor belonged.

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