Before Your Hire a Professional

Sometimes records are only accessible onsite and travel is not an option. Sometimes records are in a foreign language and someone who can read and translate them is necessary. Sometimes things just don’t make sense and you need someone with expertise and experience to review your materials and make suggestions or do some research.

Before you even consider hiring a professional:

  • organize what you have–go through it, put it together, find the “sources,” transcribe it, summarize it
  • see if there are other ways to access the records you need
  • see if there’s a Facebook group, email list, or other group where you can post your questions–or get suggestions for someone who may be able to help
  • see if you can translate the records yourself--but make certain you are understanding words correctly in their context
  • coordinate with relatives to share costs
  • consider what it would cost to travel there and “get it yourself.” It may be cheaper–or not.