Why Hire a Professional Genealogist?
- Ask for a letter of agreement between you and the researcher before any money is exchanged or work is performed.
Insist that the letter describe the following points.
- Scope of work to be performed
- Hours to be worked for you with some pro-vision for time extensions under specified circumstances
- Fees to be charged for various activities
- Explanation of what the retainer covers and how it will be applied toward final payment
- Provision for research to extend past terms of initial agreement and how additional authorizations are to be put in writing
- The agreement should identify who holds the copyright to the written research reports. Your researcher probably will retain that right. This means you cannot publish the report without the researcher’s permission.
- If your researcher is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and you believe he or she has not worked within the Code of Ethics, you can file a grievance with the organization. APG will work with you and the professional to mediate the disagreement.
How To Become a Professional Genealogist
- The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) has a Learning Center that will be useful to anyone wishing to become a professional genealogist.
- The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGEN) offers Preparation Resources.
The following publications are essential to the library of every professional genealogist:
- Bettinger, Blaine T., and Debbie Parker Wayne. Genetic Genealogy in Practice. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2016.
- Board for Certification of Genealogists. Genealogy Standards. Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014.
- Curran, Joan F., Madilyn Coen Crane, and John H. Wray. Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin. NGS Special Publication No. 97. Revised edition of Special Publication No. 64. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2008.
- Greenwood, Val. D. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. 4d edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017.
- Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. 3rd edition, revised. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017.
- Especially note “Fundamentals of Citation,” Chapter 2. (For continual updates and discussions visit https://www.evidenceexplained.com/)
- ———, editor. Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Teachers, and Librarians. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001.
- ———, editor. Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2018.
Training courses recommended by the Association of Professional Genealogists include:
As a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, you have access to all previously recorded webinars.