All of my genealogy time and effort is focused on how to trace hard-to-find ancestors. Some years ago I adopted a research system that guarantees a high rate of success. And this success requires precision and time for planning:
- Working step-by-step through the sources in a pre-planned order; searching census records before the probates and land records…
- Charting evidence collected as–searches are made–AS YOU GO through the records…
- Comparing and fitting new evidence to what is already known about the ancestor…
- Determining where the information gaps are…
- Collecting specific facts to plug those gaps, so that the documentation is complete…
Finally, there are the times that I work for several hours researching a very difficult family line–unable to connect the persons together into family units. Perhaps I missed something significant in the records already looked at. So I re-trace my steps…re-read Federal census documents…compare those entries with State census documents…
If the records were always complete…
If your ancestor were named in the census with clear ties…
If some of the data agreed…
You know the records–any record category–is rarely complete. Extra persons are named in records that you must account for. Where did they come from all of a sudden?
Whoa, there are several independent versions of some record categories. Have I examined all of those versions? Beware of “Pirates of the Pedigree” who insert the wrong ancestors into the lineage by using one source alone!
My system of genealogy research guarantees a high rate of accuracy and thus, success. It is not, however, a speedy approach.
Research connections determine the path of genealogy study. This includes access to sources that will solve the problem. Each and every genealogy library has different resources. All the way from donated family histories to maps to periodicals by subscription to online databases and scanned images. Even microfilm copies of the United States Census vary from library to library.
Why? Because reference librarians cater to the interests of genealogists who use their library. And these genealogists and their lineages differ.
My clients come from all over the U.S., with one or two from Canada and the U.K. So their pedigrees include a variety of ancestors. They number more than 600 clients for whom I have done the research and another 400+ who wanted to do the research themselves under my direction. More and more my new clients share one or more pedigree lines with those I have already researched.
My areas of specialty are:
- Southern United States with special interest in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and Kentucky including Native American ancestry;
- New York with close neighbors Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island;
- British Isles–England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Isles of the Sea, especially before 1750. This includes the illusive Scots-Irish.
These specialties attract clients whose ancestors also originate in these same places and provide a focus for the research work that I do and the books and research guides I write. Where surnames match, I can combine research for more than one client through the same sources so you get good mileage for your research investment.
Most of the time I use the Family History Library in Salt Lake City—the largest single collection of original research sources–and my own Genealogy Library Center, Inc. in Tremonton UT to trace hard-to-find ancestors. The Center, which my husband Alma and I established in Tremonton UT to house the personal genealogy collections of retiring/retired genealogists so they would not be thrown out or otherwise lost: including my own rather large collection of reference and genealogy books, and client research files (which even now fill most of my eight bedroom home from floor to ceiling) and the Conner-Bishop book and film collection. This research center provides access to highly focused and specialized genealogy materials based on the research I do for my clients.
Many research challenges, however, can only be solved by access to libraries and resources where those ancestors lived. When I know a collection is available that will expand your pedigree on which I am working or where I have not yet solved the problem, something that might help with the problem is not enough. Getting to the right collection is the key. You see, I am one of the few professional genealogists who still does field research.
And, since I only work on the hardest-to-find ancestors, using field researchers to search unfamiliar records may not be practical. My research guarantee requires my expertise.
Look, I have trained some really good genealogists. And I utilize their services where I can. Reading property and other legal documents is not a chore that I assign to others. Understanding the property process with its accompanying legal backgrounds, requires experience as well as study.
What does all this have to do with Your Genealogy?
Instant research reports are self-defeating. You want answers, not just a description of conclusions that could be drawn if you had access to the records. And since I prefer to supply proven ancestors, I arrange to travel myself to collect pertinent data until I find the correct answers.
Don’t give the Pirates of the Pedigree cause to cheat you of these answers. Allow time for me to find your ancestors..
Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle
The Genealogical Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 129, Tremonton UT 84337. 435-257-6649. See http://arleneeakle.com for my research fees and what you need to send me to begin your research project.
PS If you want to do the research yourself, I have written guides for many specific research challenges, over 100 titles. Consult my online bookstore at http://arleneeakle.com. And http://familyhistoryexpos.com for research guides published 2015-2018.
My genealogy research blogs:
__The Kingdoms—England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales before 1750