Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taking Clients

Besides attending the conference in Raleigh, I've also been busy with my NGSQ article study group and preparing my practical assignment for ProGen 3. But I've also picked up a little pro bono client work. I don't often get the opportunity to work for someone else but I think it's an important step in preparing for certification. While working on your own family has its rewards, working for a client brings valuable experience, especially because it often brings the opportunity to work on records or to resolve situations that you wouldn't otherwise be exposed to if just focusing on your own family history. For instance, if your family was part of the British migration to say, Massachusetts, chances are good that you will not have an occasion work with Freedman's records, or slave schedules. Another example would be my own situation at present. A good number of branches that I've spent some time working on were urban families which means my chances to get acquainted with land platting have been limited. These are important sources for all genealogists to be familiar with so client work is one way to get that exposure. While it's important to be knowledgable about the environment and the records produced for your family history, it is also important to seek out challenges outside of your comfort zone in order to grow. A big part of seeking certification is a commitment to continual expansion of your knowledge base so get out there and start finding some clients. Get your friends to get you started, meet people at the library, do what you have to do to get that experience. Good Luck!!


  1. This is so true. Through doing pro bono work, I've learned to do research in so many different places and/or types such as Louisiana [Cajun] research, slave research, and other places such as Ohio, Indiana, etc. - places I wouldn't have done otherwise all from my home in Texas. Also, I am a SAHM in the process of setting-up my own research business...


  2. Wow Caroline, you sound like me :) A SAHM with a lot of time to devote to developing skills which will be necessary to growing a successful business. Some of your research has taken you to common places too. I spend a good deal of time dealing with Indiana and Ohio. Louisiana has always appealed to me. I guess anyone who's been exposed to a lecture or article of Elizabeth Shown Mills would feel that way though. Good luck to you!