Every genealogist at some point will hit a brick wall – that point where you cannot find the piece of information or the person you are looking for. Other times you may require a document that is only held in a repository but you are unable to travel to it due to distance. This is where a professional genealogist can be of assistance and a site such as Genealogy Freelancers have them ready to assist with your genealogical problem.
In 2016, whilst I was studying Convict Ancestors in my Diploma of Family History, I wanted to look at my third great-grandfather, George Brand’s criminal record. I was able to find the prison records for his time incarcerated in England and Australia but was unable to access more than an index for his trial. I discovered that Scottish records are not available through popular genealogical sites Ancestry and FindmyPast. To access Scottish birth, marriage, death, census returns and much more has to be done through Scotland’s People. However, even they do not hold all records.
I had found George’s criminal records in the indexes on genealogical sites but was unable to access the actual documents as they were held in a repository in Edinburgh, Scotland. At that time I had no plans of travelling to the UK so I needed to come up with a solution to accessing these records. I decided to hire a professional genealogist, a person with extensive experience in genealogical research who hire their services out.
A great website is Genealogy Freelancers, a site where professional genealogists and the general public meet. It works in two ways:
- Professional genealogists can register on this site to advertise their services and then they bid on jobs that meet their skill set.
- General members post their genealogy job and the professional genealogist’s bid for the job. You then hire the genealogist whose quote best meets your needs.
The services offered include:
Custom Research: Hire an experienced professional to do your entire family tree or to simply start your project with a few branches at a time.
Live Relation Search: Families can lose touch with each other in time and as the years pass, they are often forgotten entirely. Find your long-lost family members in nearly anywhere in the world.
Document Translations: Have you got an ancestral document that is in a language you can’t read? Post it on Genealogy Freelancers and let an experienced translator assist.
Look Ups: If you are in search of a particular document that might help fill a hole in your family tree, a record lookup is just what you need.
Record Pick-Ups: Need a particular record from another state or province? Is the idea of hitting the road just to retrieve this document too daunting? Hire a local Specialist to grab it for you and send it via post.
Village Photography: There is no better way to get a feel for your roots than seeing it in pictures. Hire a local researcher to take photos of your familial gravestones, ancestral village and more.
Mentor: If you are trying to tackle your own family history mystery and need a helping hand, consider paying a Professional a fee to advise you.
Publishing: Create the perfect family heirloom to pass down from generation to generation. Once you’ve traced your tree, consider having it bound professionally.
Calligraphy: Nothing adds a final touch to a family book or project like calligraphy. A true compliment to any ancestral endeavour.
All you have to do is put your request on the site, review the offers you receive, and then select your genealogist. As you can see from the range of options available there will be somebody, somewhere in the world able to assist with your project.
The Genealogy Freelancer you hire can look up the document you require, take photos of it, and email you a copy of it for your research. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your loungeroom. One thing you do need to be mindful of, that not all family history brick walls can be solved. They may find your missing piece of the puzzle, however, this cannot be guaranteed. Sometimes you just have to accept that a document does not exist.
Where to from here?
Do you have a brick wall you need breaking down?
Do you have a document you need to be transcribed?
Do you need a copy of a document that is only available from a physical repository?
Thanks Megan for this information. this will be very useful when it comes to finding out where and old ancestor may of came from. I’ve not yet started a family tree, but wanting to when I find the time.
I’m so glad you found this article helpful. Starting your family tree does not need to be time-consuming. It’s amazing what you can do in just 30 minutes a day. I say don’t put off something that you really want to do because of lack of time. Sit down, set a timer, and for 30 minutes write out what you know – your details, your parents, your grandparents. The next day phone family members and find who has the documents – birth, marriage, death certificates. The next day add this information to your chart. As you can see, you can quickly start building your tree in a small amount of time. Let me know if I can be of assistance!
What a great profession, I had no idea you could hire a genealogy freelancer! But it makes perfect sense for records that are not online, or in different languages, or even just for all the hard-to-track stuff that a legit genealogist would know how to do. You learn something new every day!
Isn’t it wonderful that there are people out there who have such a great skill set that they can assist you with that brick wall? I never knew of Genealogy Freelancers until I had to track down someone to assist with my query. So glad I taught something today!
As usual, this is awesome information. I never know how to get someone to assist with genealogy. This is very helpful information to have. I may be in need of one as I am gathering more and more of my family information. Now I know what do do if I get stuck. Thank you very much for this wonderful share.
I am so glad this post was helpful to you. It is amazing how easily we can find someone to help us in this age of information!
Very interesting idea and i think you have here very helpful information. it is something that I have always thought of…i wanted to find my family genealogical tree. Is amazing how many simple facts bring you closer to your ancestors,make you know better your root. I will start soon my research and again,thanks for your help. if I will find any difficulty I will let you know, maybe you can advice me.
Have a great day,
I am glad you are enjoying my site. I really hope you do start to search your family tree. You will find it an incredibly rewarding, if somewhat frustrating, hobby. Please let me know if I can help you at any time. Feel free to leave a comment or use the contact box below.
This is excellent reading and a great resource.
I always remember a good friend of mine many years ago that was always trying to build a history of his family.
He was from England, and found many relatives alive and some that had passed away. I always remember him struggling to find information and coming to dead ends.
He was even on a site called friends reunited to see if he could put some of the pieces together. I do not even know if this site still exists.
He would have loved a resource like this.
Thanks for sharing. I am sure tons of people will benefit from this information.
I am really pleased that you have found helpful information on my site. Genealogy can be a frustrating hobby as you know that person existed but you just can’t put your finger on that piece of evidence! Knowing there are people out there that can help you is a wonderful thing.
Having professional help sounds like a much more reliable answer than trusting that the relative that put information into Ancestry.com had the right information. I know there are several relatives of mine who have mistaken one cousin for another because the pictures were old and memory failed. Getting the facts is preferable. Thank you for sharing this information.
It is good to get professional assistance sometimes, as a fresh pair of eyes may see what you missed. It is very easy to confuse relatives as well especially given the trend in times gone where they named children after people. My great-great-grandfather, Frederick Washbrook, married a Sarah and their son Frederick also married a Sarah. Sometimes I have gotten myself confused! Add in a common surname such as Walker and then all the common first names and you are asking for trouble! I always check, double-check, and triple-check anything I find to ensure I have the right person.
This is such a creative idea! I did not know that genealogists are now working in the online gig economy. Do you know if the service does any verification to ensure that the registered genealogists have the skills and experience to do their job well? Or is it more like an open marketplace?
I am so curious about my family tree but have no time to do that right now. This is a possible solution for me.
Anyone with experience can join up and register as a Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, or Professional Specialist. Freelancers are encouraged to only list services of which they have the skill level. You can list organisations you are registered with and professional qualifications which will be verified so you can see what skill sets freelancers have prior to hiring them.
I have often wanted to dive into my family history, but just haven’t had the time. I need to find time to research and honestly I don’t even know where to begin. Genealogy Freelancers seems like a great place to get started. So, this is kind of like Fiverr for genealogy?
I have heard some bits and pieces of my family history, but who knows it’s actually fact or not. This is very interesting and something I should really explore. Thanks for sharing all the details on Genealogy Freelancers. It takes the work out of it for someone like me.
Hi Steve & Kris
Yes! It is a Fiverr for genealogy. Starting your genealogy doesn’t have to be hard – you would be surprised at what you already know. You can read an article I posted – Genealogy: An Introduction – that sets out some beginning steps. There are also books that you can borrow from you local library that get you on your way. Have a go and let me know how you go. As always please contact me if I can be of assistance.