We get it. What you’re really asking is, “Why should I hire a professional genealogist when my good friend, or I, can do my own genealogy in my spare time?”
The truth is, it takes a lot more than enthusiasm or even time spent researching your own family history to be able to perform genealogy at the professional level. Here are just a few of the things it takes to become a professional genealogist.
It Takes Formal Training and Years of Experience
The most obvious difference between professional genealogists and amateur enthusiasts is formal training. We don’t mean to discount the efforts of those genealogy enthusiasts who spend their free time helping themselves and others research their families. But there is a big difference between someone who has taken years of professional classes and someone who (although earnest) hasn’t ever formally studied genealogy.
Our president, James Petty, received degrees in both in Genealogy Technology and History from Brigham Young University. He’s also received recognition or certification from over a dozen different genealogical organizations.
We don’t mention this to brag; we just think it’s a great example of the kind of lifelong, professional dedication it takes to help others with their genealogy in the way Heirlines strives to do.
- Personal family history reviews
- Professional research analysis
- Preparing copies of original documents
- Court certifiable due diligence
- Expert witness services
- Evidence of Heir documentation
- Professional teaching or speaking
That list is by no means comprehensive, but we think you get the point. There’s a lot more to professional genealogy than being really good at family history. It means you’re prepared to meaningfully apply genealogy research and analysis to a very broad set of situations.
It Takes Entrepreneurship
Let’s face it: there aren’t a lot of huge genealogy companies out there. (Heirlines is one of the leaders in the field of professional genealogy, and even our team is far smaller than what one would consider a “large” company.)
That means when you study genealogy, you have two options:
1. Try to find a job with an established genealogy group (or government agency)
2. Create your own genealogy company and help others discover their family histories
As you probably guessed, Heirlines chose the latter.
Managing a business takes a unique set of skills — skills many amateur genealogists simply don’t (and don’t need to) have.
For example, a professional genealogist must have the following business skills:
- Time management
- Customer service
- Financial management
- Business writing and excellent communication
- Marketing and sales
- Project management
- Contract management
As any successful business owner will tell you, this list is only the start.
It Takes Time
Finally, the one resource the professional genealogists at Heirlines have that enthusiasts often lack is time.
This isn’t just time spent scouring Ancestry.com (although, as professionals, we have far more time to dedicate to that than most enthusiasts). It’s also the time we’ve spent helping thousands of our past clients find millions of names from among billions of records. That cumulative experiences means we’ll find more accurate results much faster than enthusiasts.
It’s the time we spend attending professional genealogy conferences, continuing our education, and developing new skills so we can stay up-to-date with the latest in genealogical practices.
It’s the time spent walking our clients through what we’ve discovered in our research and explaining the historical significance of their ancestors’ lives.
It’s the time to make progress, every day, instead of sporadically (as many enthusiasts are forced to do).
As you can see, there’s a big difference between a professional genealogist and a hobbyist/enthusiast. If you’d like to learn more about what professional genealogy services Heirlines offers, visit our Services page or get in touch with us. (click here to contact us)
There are many benefits that come from keeping a personal journal. According to the experts at Broadview University:
1. Journaling reduces stress by getting “monkey mind” thoughts out of your head. Mind chatter is a powerful stressor, stressor is a powerful health-buster, and journaling the chatter is a proven chatter-buster.
2. Writing about problems gives your right brain food for creative problem-solving. It’s amazing what happens when the creative part of your nature starts working on a problem—you’ll soon find solutions bubbling up from your subconscious.
3. Keeping a daily diary is one of the best techniques for discovering patterns, particularly those that are self-defeating. For example, a diary kept over the course of several months will clearly show any reoccurring difficulties like overeating, stress eating, poor (but similar) choices in relationships.
4. Want to better know yourself? Journal. Writing can help clarify your thoughts, your emotions, and your reactions to certain people or situations. In addition, as you read back through past journals, you’ll have ample evidence of the things that make you happy and those that are distressful.
5. Journaling can help clarify events, problems, or options. When you’re beset with a mind full of fuzzy, disconnected thoughts flitting here and there, writing about the event or issue will help bring focus and clarity. It will also help you decide on which action to take, or option to choose.
In addition to all the personal benefits of journal writing, keeping a journal or written record is also a way to link our present to the future. Your ancestors’ writings have helped you to know them on a more personal level. Make sure that what you leave as your own legacy for future generations helps them to know the real you.
For great ideas on how to make your journal more insightful and interesting, visit http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865593095/Genealogy-Record-your-day-in-creative-new-ways.html?pg=all
Looking for help with hard to find records or genealogical questions? Contact Heirlines Family History and Genealogy, breaking through family history walls for almost 40 years. We professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees™ and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions™. We’re ready when you’re ready!
Give us a call and speak with one of our professional genealogists today.
Call toll free 1-800-570-4049 or visit us at www.heirlines.com