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Genealogy: Getting Started

Using Professional Researchers and Associations

Professional researchers are available for almost every aspect of family history research. State historical societies, local genealogy societies, and archives often maintain lists of qualified or recommended researchers. Many of these individuals are accessible through membership in genealogy research groups. 

Always consider joining any group in the area or county where you are doing research. It gives you a calling card, shows that you support their efforts and may lead to a valuable contact. If hiring someone from a distance, always ask for references. Start them off with small tasks until you are comfortable with what they deliver. Work from a budget and think about what your time and the cost of travel is worth.


Back Up Your Research

Keeping backup copies of your genealogy data and your research files is important. You may use a software program to back up your data files. You will have other research files on your home computer. 

What would you do if your computer hard drive failed? The answer is, "Go to your backup copy." Sadly, many do not make backup copies of their research files. Think about the time you will spend compiling your family history. Now get out there and back up those files! 

Here's another idea. Fortunately you have an inexpensive and ready-to-use solution right at hand. A USB flash drive, also known as a jump drive is a handy device. Copy almost any data to these portable devices and take your data with you. 

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Genealogy News from the New York Times

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