How can I do this professionally? :: Genealogy
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How can I do this professionally?

Question by Fanning

I am fascinated. Hooked. My familt acts as if I am on drugs the way I am always thinking of it and cant go a day w/o doing some lookups. I do trees for everyone I know. I have heard of professional genealogists, but never known one. I am very serious about this. it is the only thing I can imagne doing. PLease help! ;)

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by Fanning Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-03-23 17:40:57

Fanning , from Missouri, USA, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Mar 2011. is researching the following names: FANNING, SPECK, HUDDLESTON and 8 other(s).

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by Scott_J on 2011-03-23 19:45:44

Hi Fanning.

what's your goal in becoming a professional?

You'd like to be a certified expert? You want to make a living/business out of it?

by Lola5 on 2011-03-24 07:48:34

Hi Fanning,
Firstly . Are you a well-organised person. I think you would need to be very well organised to do this professionally.
Are you in the UK? If so there are various courses on offer that you can take in evenings or weekends . See what your local authority has going. From there you can go on to do a proffessional genealogy course.(Google Genealogy courses for your area.)
Join one of the genealogical societies.
If you are not in Uk then all this is useless as I don't know about US or elsewhere.
Good luck anyway! I came to genealogy very late but I would have liked to do this professionally as it is so pleasurable/ fascinating/rewarding etc.
Doing research free and for friends etc is very different from doing it for a living I would think so don't give up the "day job" until you are well on your way.

by christom205 on 2011-03-24 08:50:22

Hi Fanning. I live in Birmingham, Al. and a small private college here (Samford University)offers a nationally recognized program. Many people register--summer after summer--to get their certification. I have taken a few courses and their instructors are top notch--the best in the field from all over. It is also lots of fun!! Check it out:

by Fanning on 2011-03-24 10:36:25

Thanks to all for your answers! I am extremely organized-my family is driven crazy by it. I am a stay at home mom right now so it would be a perfect time to get into it. I can gradually build up to making a living once I am certified. Alabama-thanks a ton! I am in the Kansas City area and havent found much so far that looks good, but I surely wont stop. Thanks all-wish me luck!

by jkrahl on 2011-03-24 11:59:32

Hello Fanning, My best suggestion would be to contact a Professional Genealogist in your area that will be willing to give you some pointers on the actual process.

by mowsehowse on 2011-03-24 14:33:27

Why don't you advertise in one of the USA FHS magazines. So long as you don't claim to be anything other than eager to help, (for a [moderate?] fee,) I expect you would get replies from people living too far away to do it themselves.
Good luck in your endeavours.

by Fanning on 2011-03-24 16:19:00


by allycat on 2011-03-24 16:29:21

Dear Fanning, I've entertained this thought myself. Good advice supplied by others. Many professionals first started researching their own genealogy for many years and you can see their efforts in a superbly done website advertising their craft.

Give yourself a certain timeframe before you even entertain the thought of going professional.

Become a Rootschatter to expand your knowledge Rootschat

Volunteer at RootsWeb. Read RootsWeb's Guide To Tracing Family Trees if you haven't already.

FamilySearch - old version of LDS Database click on LIBRARY then EDUCATION up top to learn about research classes online, guidance, genealogical presentations and much more.

Goto the Genforums click on Genealogy Software and the Internet

Goto Ancestry and click on their Learning Centre.

Cyndi's List - Internet stuff you need to know

...and many more sites of course but this is a few to get you thinking.

by AnneYoungAu on 2011-03-24 16:39:35

Hi Fanning

there is excellent advice above. Next steps after having volunteered and worked on trees for others might be to consider joining the Association of Professional Genealogists. This will give you a listing from which people engage genealogists for hire. They have a code of ethics and other assistance including mailing lists.

Education you might like to consider would be ProGen study groups. See . It is a collaborative working group. The program is structured. It takes about ten hours per month for 18 months. I highly recommend it. The cost is only for the book and a modest contrubution (about $35) for the secure website.

Good luck with your endeavours

by Fanning on 2011-03-25 08:34:52

The advice just gets better and better! Thanks to everyone. I will look in to all of this, set up my own page, or rather start to, and begin consulting a couple of genealogists I know for more. Everyone has had great advice/tips!! Thanks again to all!!

by Scott_J on 2011-03-25 10:06:18

Yes, great advice!

I featured your question in the FamilyTreeCircles newsletter yesterday, Fanning. Not sure if you saw that. :)

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