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Do you want to learn more about your family tree but lack the time or knowledge to research it yourself? Consider joining the thousands who have decided to hire professional genealogists to research their family trees.

What is a professional genealogist?
A professional genealogist often has years of experience researching family trees and extensive knowledge of the history and record sources affecting family history research. Many also hold a bachelor's degree in genealogy or are accredited or certified as professional genealogists. Legacy Tree Genealogy, a firm located near Utah's Family History Library, lists the experience and credentials of its genealogists.

Professional genealogists are located all over the globe. Some research using only internet resources. Some use sources at specific archives or repositories. When selecting a professional genealogist or a professional genealogy company which employs genealogists, find out where the majority of their research is taking place, as this will affect the records used when compiling your family tree. Having access to many records is essential to compiling an accurate family tree.

What can a genealogist do for you?
Almost all professional genealogists charge hourly for their work. Within a specified amount of time, a genealogist will analyze the information you provide at the outset, create a research plan for how to most effectively extend the family tree (or meet other requested objectives), search records for information extending the family tree, and write a report explaining what was found. In addition, Legacy Tree Genealogy provides sourced charts showing a client's family tree, a list of all sources searched, and a web page enabling access to the genealogy report, documents, and charts through the internet (in addition to the hard copies provided to each client).

How much can a genealogist do?
Since professional genealogists generally work within a certain block of time authorized by the client, research on a family tree is not all-inclusive. Once the genealogist has completed work for a block of time, research can resume once more when again authorized by the client. Within the same amount of hours spent, research results can vary widely depending on the geographic location and time period of the ancestors in question and on the goals of the client. If a family tree currently ends in the 20th or late 19th centuries, research moves fairly quickly due to the large number of detailed records available. As research moves back in time it can slow down considerably, due mainly because there are times when no record will explicitly state family relationships and many records much be searched in order to provide enough circumstantial evidence for a genealogist to accurately extend the family tree. This is discussed in greater detail in Legacy Tree Genealogy's FAQs section.

How do you find a professional genealogist?
By entering keywords such as "genealogist" or "genealogists" into a search engine, you can find several websites listing privately practicing genealogists. In addition, there are professional genealogy companies who also employ genealogists. By employing several genealogists, a genealogy company can provide research for family trees in more than one geographical area.

Important criteria when searching for a genealogist are the experience and/or credentials of the genealogist and the genealogist's residence or access to records. You may also want to ask for testimonials from previous clients.

Have additional questions?
You can ask a professional genealogist your questions by requesting a free consultation.
Legacy Tree is headquartered near the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the largest genealogical library in the world. We also order records through agents all over the globe.

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