American Family Immigration History Center. Explore Your Family History at Ellis Island.  
The Statue of Liberty-
Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

  Sign Up Now!

Hiring A Professional Genealogist

Nearly every family has their own historian - a great aunt, grandparent or cousin - someone that is quickly recognized as the expert in matters pertaining to their family history. Those relatives are fantastic sources for getting started and can often provide you with enough material to feed your interest in genealogy for many years. Sooner or later, however, you'll experience what most researchers refer to as "the brick wall." Despite your best efforts and help from family historians or fellow researchers, you'll be unable to locate an individual that represents a key link in stepping back to an earlier time or place.

Whether you're just sketching out the basics of your family tree or have been researching for decades and are now preparing your work for publication, you may benefit from the expert guidance of a professional genealogist. Like accountants, attorneys, and doctors - professional genealogists can leverage their specialized knowledge, tools, and network of contacts for the benefit of your research or other related assignment. While most professionals have a strong understanding of many areas, they also tend to have a specific area of specialization.

To help extend your research efforts, we have worked closely with the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) to answer some of the questions posed by the millions of annual visitors to Ellis Island. Formed in 1979, APG is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the highest level of professionalism and ethics in genealogical research.

What is a Professional Genealogist?
A professional genealogist is an individual skilled in various aspects of family history research who provides fee-based services to help others in the pursuit of their research projects. While services and areas of particular expertise will vary, most true professionals agree to abide by a code of ethics to help maintain the highest possible quality standards in their work. Although not required, most professionals are active in one or more professional associations.   more detail

What services can a Professional Genealogist provide?
Each professional genealogist will have their own menu of service offerings, but in general you can expect to find individuals willing to do research for you or to help lend their expertise for research you are doing yourself. In either case, you should ask for a fee schedule in advance. Keep in mind that some professionals specialize in certain aspects of genealogy research (e.g. - Italian research, military records research, New England research) and you may find it helpful to consult with more than one professional depending upon your project needs.   more detail

How can I find a Professional Genealogist?
The Association of Professional Genealogists provides an online directory with access to more than 1,500 professionals. An online search feature allows you to designate specific areas of interest
(e.g. - geographic, ethnic, time periods, or services desired).   more detail

  About the Foundation | Press | Contact Us | Terms of Use | FAQ | Privacy  180    ©2000-2010 by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.