Professional genealogical research
Send me a question, along with whatever background information you already know, and I will propose an approach to researching the problem, including a proposed budget. Once you authorize me to begin, I will research the problem, giving you regular status updates. Once complete I will send you a written report including copies of all relevant documents I find.
This works best for focused questions, like “Where in Scotland did Fergus McRoberts of Lynn, Massachusetts come from?” rather than open-ended questions like, “Tell me everything you can about my grandmother’s ancestors.”
Break through your genealogical brickwalls
Perhaps you have been working on your family tree for years and have your lines all figured out, except for a few stubborn old ancestors who, for one reason or another, refuse to reveal their origins. You’ve hit a brick wall. Describe your problem to me, what you’ve already tried, and I will write up a proposal for you on how I would approach demolishing the brickwall.
Hard problems, that is what I do best.
Write Up Your Family History
I can write a traditional, narrative genealogy, starting with you (or another person you designate) and working backwards in time, generation-by-generation, family-by-family. I first establish all the relevant genealogical facts, births, marriages and deaths, using the best-available sources, then search for additional biographical information about the person, from newspaper archives, town and county histories, town directories, property records, court records, etc. I then interpret it all in the context of the time and place and write up a detailed narrative, creating a one-of-a-kind tribute to your ancestors, an heirloom that you and your family will treasure.
Confirm family legends
You know the story, as told to you by a grandfather or grandaunt, that one of your ancestors was a Hessian soldier who deserted, or was a French Huguenot, or was a Cherokee Princess, or came over on the Mayflower, or was related to some other famous person. These stories are not always true, of course, but often there is a kernel of truth to the story. I can help you find the real story behind your family legend and help you find your true ancestry.
Prepare applications for lineage societies
If your family tree has older New England roots then there is a good chance of qualifying for one or more lineage societies. There are the well-known ones like the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Mayflower Descendants, etc., but also state-specific and regional ones like the Bloodlines of Salem or the Piscataqua Pioneers in New Hampshire. Whether you want to do most of the work yourself, but need a little help on some of the more challenging generations, or whether you want someone to research your ancestry and prepare the entire application, I can meet the exacting genealogical documentation standards required for these lineage societies.
Digitize, restore and organize family photographs, slides, negatives and papers
I have a variety of sophisticated tools for scanning photographs, slides, negatives, including old formats like 120 film or glass negatives. I have the hardware and the white cotton gloves to match. For fragile items I even have a touchless document scanner. Whether it is just a single item that you want digitized, or boxes full, I can work with you to develop a plan and budget that meets your needs.
Also, if you have printed matter, old books, magazines or loose papers, I can scan these to full-text indexed PDF files. This can be great for local historical and genealogical societies, who might want runs of the old newsletters scanned into a form that they can then sell online, via CDROM or download, to provide a new revenue stream for their association or society.
If I can be of assistance, with the above or with any similar project, please let me know. I am happy to receive your inquiries and prepare a free, written proposal and estimate.