25 April 2012

Me, A Professional Genealogist?

Recently I started a project to research my cousin's maternal side to determine if she was part Native American.  Running into several brick walls, I'm wondering if I'd be any good as a professional genealogist.  I have charged her good money for my time and research, so I know that makes me a professional, but what do I do with those brick walls?  I can see from the television shows on family history, that there are enough brick walls for everyone.  Sometimes the initial question that someone has on their own background can't be answered so the research goes into another familial direction.

That's what I've always wanted to become.  I've wanted it so much that I became an Archivist because when I was ready for grad school, there was only one place in the country that offered education in Genealogy, and I wasn't about to re-locate at the time.  Now, several schools do offer classes and several are on-line.  Why, even FamilySearch.org offers a many free classes that have gotten me going. 

I met Thomas MacEntee on the 2011 Legacy Family History Cruise and he suggested Boston University which offers a Genealogical Research program for about $2,695.  The National Genealogical Society NGS offers a home study course for $565 but it is only a step to further education and their website states that if you do their course, you can get a discount on the Boston University program.  Brigham Young University offers 10 Family History courses that are on-line, uncredited, but FREE.  Since money is almost always an issue, I think I'll start with BYU free ones.

The Brigham Young classes will help me to better determine if I can even study at home without the pressure and interaction of classmates. I seldom have any trouble motivating myself where family history research is concerned, but school is another matter.  We'll see.

Legacy also offers a webinar (one of many) which talks about going professional.  I'd better watch/listen to that first.


  1. Welcome to Geneaboggers. Looking forward to your family history posts.

    Peace & Blessings

    Yvette Porter Moore

  2. Welcome to Geneabloggers.

    I've been giving some thought about doing genealogy professionally. The free classes at BYU sounds like something to look more into as I explore this option.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

  3. I just found your blog today thanks to GeneaBloggers. Sounds like you are on the edge of an adventure, considering further schooling in genealogy. Lots of hard work ahead, as I've heard, but you are right: such an enjoyable study!

  4. I, too, have debated whether to "go pro," but to be honest, I just don't have the money to invest in a degree. Like you, I take advantage of every free webinar, class, workshop or other resource I can.
    You might offer your services as a researcher, rather than a professional genealogist if you believe you'll feel better about it.
    As long as you're up front about your qualifications and what folks can expect from your work, then they can make their own decision about hiring you.
    It would probably also be good to point out at the beginning that not everything we want to find will actually be "findable." Sometimes a brick wall is just that. Sometimes there ISN'T an obit, right?
    BTW, I found your blog through GeneaBloggers. And I'll be happily following along. Thanks for the post!

  5. Welcome to Geneabloggers!
    Good luck with your decision to take genealogy education.

  6. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"
    The Heritage Tourist at In-Depth Genealogist: http://www.indepthgenealogist.com/

  7. Welcome to GeneaBloggers. I've been interested in family history for many years, but joined GeneaBloggers in September. I have good researching skills, but my blog is a work in progress. I'm working on a second blog as well which I haven't put into the GeneaBlogger Community yet. Good luck. This is a great community of bloggers. I am learning so much from them.