Are You Being Served

Genealogists use many fee-based services that are quite reasonable but add up to substantial amounts over time. Budget for photocopying, postage, loans of books or films through interlibrary loan or rental companies, and, if you have a computer, an Internet provider.

Occasionally, you may need professional help with a stubborn problem. Or it may be more economical to hire a researcher than to travel to a distant area. In some counties, the officials are too busy with the daily work of the county to engage in research, so they maintain a list of researchers for your convenience. Many archives and libraries maintain lists of researchers. They also have copies of the Directory of Professional Genealogists (published by the Association of Professional Genealogists) and the Certification Roster (published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists). Lists of accredited genealogists for specific geographic areas can be obtained by writing to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Before hiring genealogical help, you should know what to expect. The Association of Professional Genealogists publishes a brochure, So You're Going to Hire a Professional Genealogist. It has tips on how to find a professional, how to evaluate the credentials, and what to expect in the way of costs and results. Request the free brochure by sending a SASE to the Association of Professional Genealogists, P.O. Box 40393, Denver, CO 802040393, or download it from the APG Web site, http://www.apgen.org/~apg.

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