Chapter 8

Chapter 8:

Getting Help

There is nothing wrong with getting some help for your family tree and history search.  In fact, if you want to go back deep into time, you really should consider getting some professional help.

Since most genealogical studies will start with the present and work back as much as possible, its sometimes inevitable that you’ll hit a dead end.  Unless you are a professional and know how to analyze information for clues regarding the next leap (or simple know how to leap) then you may just not be able to go any further.

There are several ways that you can get help.  Here, we’ll briefly talk about the methods that can help your search as well as how to choose them.

Hiring a Professional

Probably the most expensive option for you to use is that of hiring a professional genealogist.  These individuals are likely to provide you with the highest quality results, if you select one that is responsible, experienced and dedicated to providing the information to you.

Hiring a professional to do this work for you is a good idea, especially if you find yourself at a road block.  Yet, it is essential that you do your homework to find someone that is willing and capable of providing you with the information that you need.  There are, unfortunately, many organizations that are only looking for a payday rather than looking to help you to put together your family’s story.

Find out what history that professional offers.  What has he done for others?  What is the farthest back he or she has been able to go for other families?  In addition to this, you want to know how it will happen.  Where will they gather additional information, how will they do more than you did and what can you expect to learn from what you are offering them? 

In getting this information, you should also make sure that the professional will be providing you with an accurate family tree.  For example, it makes no benefit to you to be filled with inaccurate information, and since you likely have no way of knowing if it’s authentic, you need an upfront guarantee. 

Getting references for those that you employ and then understanding what they really can offer you is essential.  Make sure to check them out with the Better Business Bureau or similar organizations as well.

Family Tree Software

There are two types of genealogical software that you can purchase.  By far the most is that which will help you to store, organize and later display the family tree information that you determine.  This type of software is a benefit especially when a paper like tree would be too much to keep organized. 

The other type of software available is that which can help you to find your family tree members.  Some of this family tree software is only basic in what it can offer, some is much more thorough.  Although not nearly as beneficial as using a professional genealogist, this software can help to point you in the right direction and help you to fill your tree in.

When selecting software for your use with your family tree project, realize that not all software is the same in quality.  One of the best things you can do is to look for reviews of specific programs from the web and from other consumers that have used it.  This will give you the best estimate of the quality and the worth of the software to you.

Using additional resources for your family tree search is important to those that want to go as far as they can with their search.  Not only will it help to do this, but these tools can make organizing and time management of this large project much easier on you.

Conclusion

You now have a good idea of where your family tree project needs to go.  You can see that you need to start with the basics, no matter how basic they need to be.  Then, go back in time, step by step, generation by generation, creating branches for your family tree.  

It is likely that you will come to road blocks.  And, you may stumble upon many different road blocks along the way.  If you are to be successful, though, it means coming back to the process over and over again to analyze your next move.  In some cases, you may even have to deal with family members that don’t want to help or perhaps have a dark secret they aren’t willing to share even if it will help your project.

Yet, a family tree leads to a full understanding of where your family came from.  It is said that all people are related to a certain level.  Someplace, many centuries ago, there was a connection to all of those on Earth.  Yet, you won’t be able to get that far back.  You will be able to get through the process enough to find the answers to questions that you have.

Even better, you’ll be able to see your family in a much clearer manner.  Many times, family tree projects lead to understanding about decisions, about secrets and even about the people that you love.  These projects are often well worth the time investment that they present.