Hiring a researcher or a genealogist?

When hiring a professional to perform your Italian research there are several things to consider.  A professional researcher is not a genealogist.  A genealogist has qualifications and a deeper understanding of the process of creating a family tree.  He/she can solve lineage problems and know where to find obscure records to continue your family line. A genealogist is invaluable for noble family lines as they are familiar with notarial records that can provide additional information.  Genealogists often use researchers to do the ‘legwork’ of the search, reviewing and controlling the information as it is found, and deciding how to proceed.  Genealogists cost more than researchers, but are important when there are problems.

Many of the people who respond with information on the message boards do research by payment.  Some are located in the USA and use the records microfimed by the LDS for their research.  This is perfectly acceptable however the LDS did not film all Italian records and sometimes they filmed only copies which lack some of the additional information that can be found in the town originals.
Some responders are located in Italy and if they are far from the town of origin they too use the LDS microfilms to perform the research.
The films for many towns stop in 1865, others go to 1900 but often those records after 1866 were filmed at the Tribunal and are reconstructed records.  This means that if your ancestor left Italy before WW2 their record probably won’t be found.

Ideally you want to hire someone who can go directly to the town of origin and search the archives of the town or parish.  You also want to make sure they can commmunicate well in the English language.  Interpretation of the information is an important part of the search.

If you can’t find someone who lives close to the town, the research can be done by phone and fax and that means that your researcher must also have a good command of the Italian language and the rules surrounding the obtaining of information.  Often this will limit the sibling portion of the search depending on the cooperation of the town.  Most priests will not do genealogical research.  They simply do not have the time.  So once you have arrived at that point it may be necessary to pay your researcher to go to the town.  Again I urge you to choose someone already located in Italy or you may be contributing to their airfare in their fee.

Make sure the fees are clearly stated.  A fee for (up to) 9 generations of research may seem like a good deal but if the records don’t exist for the last 3 generations the fee may stand anyway.  Decide how you want the results to be presented.  Do you want copies of the records and a GEDCOM file, or the information already arranged in book form ready to preseant to your family.  Each format will have its own price.  Your budget will determine which you choose.


3 Responses to “Hiring a researcher or a genealogist?”
  1. Helen Lewis says:

    Dear Ann
    Are you able to undertake research as outlined July 4th 2011. Please email your modus operandii and fee structure.
    Thank you and regards,
    Helen Lewis


  2. Chris Perry says:

    Hi Ann!
    First of all, I want to thank you again for sending me the DVD of Patrica. Everytime I watch it, it makes me want to live there more and more!

    I am interested in having you do some research for my family in Patrica. I know you have your next appointment on the 31st, and I know it’s cutting it awfully close, but I’m hoping you’ll have the time to research my Patrica connection.

    I’m not sure what info you need from me, or what info you can get for me, so please email me back if you have a chance. If you let me know what you need from me I’ll get it to you ASAP. Both of my grandmother’s parents were from Patrica (they’re both Belli’s) but so far I can’t find any info on any of them. I know birth dates on both my great-grandparents and their siblings, and I know the names of their parents. I would love to find out if my great-grandparent’s parents had siblings, and of course I’d like to find out all their info as well.

    Please let me know if you’ll have time to help me, and if so, let me know what you need from me. I’ll wait to hear from you.

    Chris Perry


  3. Loretta says:

    Dear Ann,
    Could you kindly send me the video to Patrica? I am also interested in a Genealogical study of my family (half from Patrica and half from Friuli. Please let me know the particulars.
    Much obliged, Loretta



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: