Hire a Professional Genealogist in Scotland!
Why would you want to hire a professional genealogist?
If you are thinking about trying to trace your family history, you might be wondering why you need to hire a professional genealogist to do the work for you.
You may be asking yourself “why don’t I do the research myself, it’s my family?” This is a very fair point. Your family information is a very personal thing and you might be concerned about giving out information to someone you have only spoken to on the phone or by email. This means choosing the right professional genealogist is crucial.
Places to Research Your Ancestry:
There are of course many excellent genealogy websites which offer an abundance of information for you to use in your search for your ancestors, these are some of the sites we use:
• My Heritage
• Find My Past
• Scotlands People
• The Genealogist
• Family Search
You may well find your family’s records on these genealogy sites as they are excellent at what they do. They can be a wonderful source for you to get yourself started if you have enough information to get past the early stages of your tree.
What are the pros and cons of using pay-per-view sites?
These genealogy websites can be very useful if you know what you are looking for. You can search for your great grandfather Richard Xzavier Westwood’s birth record and pay the credits in sites like Scotlands People to view your document. If you are using a site such as Ancestry you pay a monthly subscription and can view whichever documents you locate for the package you are paying for.
The problem with these sites is that if your great grandfather’s name is not an unusual one such as Richard Xzavier Westwood you may discover a problem with trying to determine which record is your ancestor.
Take for example a birth record which is being searched for with the name John Robertson who you believe was born in 1880 in the Glasgow area. You might have come to this conclusion as you have located John and his parents James and Mary Robertson in the 1891 census records for Glasgow.
For the district of Glasgow City there are 17 John Robertson’s born in 1880, without paying to view each one on Scotlands People you are never going to be sure that you have opted for the correct John. That is assuming of course that your John was born in 1880 and not 1879 or 1881 as the census records do not give an exact year of birth only and approximation.
How do you know which record to pay-to-view?
You can’t be sure until you have opened the documents in question to view the parents, then you discover that none of the 17 John Robertson’s you have paid-to-view are from your family tree as they do not have James and Mary Robertson as their parents.
You then must think about extending your search area to the whole of Lanarkshire where there are 25 John Robertson’s listed, another 8 to add to the cost of the 17 already viewed!
If you are using some of the monthly subscription sites these hold your family tree information for you, tying you to them indefinitely. How many months of payment and time researching would it take for you to have covered the cost of paying a professional genealogist to carry out your research for you?
Index Errors and Name Spelling Problems
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that however well designed these sites are the information they hold is only as good as the person indexing and adding it to the site. Documents which are indexed on these genealogy websites can be indexed incorrectly, listed with spelling errors in the names or places etc.
As these documents are not personal to the staff indexing them they may not have a feel for the family history information they are digesting, or they may not have a good insight into the geography of the family members in question.
This is hindered by the fact that many people in the past were illiterate which ment that many names were pronounced phonically, this was not an issue at the time as the individual would not be expecting you or I to be searching for them 120 years later.
There are many Scots forenames and surnames which have different versions of spellings, this can be as simple as Mac or Mc for surnames such as MacDonald.
If James MacDonald moved from one part of Scotland to another his name may have changed spelling unless James could spell his name himself. If not, James’s surname might change it’s spelling from MacDonald to McDonald depending on where James work sent him. Likewise, James’s forename may well change from James to Jim, Jimmy or even Jock.
There is of course the Scots dialect to consider, as the records were often taken phonically James MacDonald’s accent could make a difference to how the registrar or minister wrote down James’s details. Did James have a broad Highland accent? Was his main language Gaelic? The new registrar or minister taking James details may not be able to understand him clearly or at all!
‘Wrong Branch’ in the Family Tree!
Why would there be a ‘wrong branch’ in your family tree?
Amateur researchers and people who are tracing their own family history, using potentially unrelated information from pay-per-view sites such as these may add a ‘wrong branch’ to your family tree. A ‘wrong branch’ is a term used to describe an entire section (short or long depending on how far back the branch reaches) that originated from one false addition to your family tree.
These are typically caused by using the wrong ‘John Robertson’ for example. This could potentially result in a section of your family tree being completely incorrect.
By using a professional genealogist such as Gengenie Research, you will eliminate the possibility of wrong information being used in your family tree as we at Gengenie Research pride ourselves on being thorough with our investigation into your family history.
Back to the Original Question,
Why would you want to hire a professional genealogist?
Using a genealogy company such as Gengenie Research means that you do not have to worry about any of the issues highlighted here, we undertake to trace all your predecessors in your chosen package.
As professional genealogist we visit New Register House regularly, where we search their records locating ancestors over the whole of Scotland. We add these ancestors to your family tree as we discover them.
We use online sources such as Ancestry, My Heritage, Find My Past etc. to trace family members using their records index’s and documentation.
Where we discover family trees which may have relations linked we only ever use their information to guide us in the correct direction. We verifying everything with documented proof.
If we discover your ancestor is John Robertson born in Glasgow around 1880 as professional genealogists we search all the relevant John Robertson’s until we find your ancestor with the parents James and Mary Robertson even if this means we must search all 112 John Robertson’s born in Scotland in 1880.
Once your family history research is completed we then provide you with copies of all documents located, a printed report of your family history and a printed family tree which can be kept and passed down through your family’s generations.