"A family Heritage is a link to our past. Let us not forget that their story is our own."
~Valerie C. Neidich
Family Links You offers personalized genealogy research in a one-on-one setting. I will meet with you in person and conduct research wirelessly on the internet. Many research services will independently pursue data you provide. My service is unique because I bring more than 25 years of research skill to you in a face-to-face setting.
My experiences have taught me that conducting research this way drastically improves the quality of the investigation for several reasons. First, you can see the results immediately, in real time. Nothing encourages further research more than success. Second, people often have fragments of information stored in their memories. Specific moments of your life or conversations with relatives are often difficult to provide in written form. When discussing family history with my clients, these bits of data often prove invaluable for making connections to ancestors. Third, while working with a client I have sometimes discovered records that, when my client examines them, spark forgotten memories, leading to whole new paths for research. Discoveries of this nature are dramatically slowed or outright impossible when working separately from my client. Fourth, I have found that many of my clients have a great deal of knowledge about their ancestors, but they do not know how to organize that knowledge and use it to uncover more information. When you meet with me, I will organize the data for you so that what once may have been a jumble of memories from several decades is a meaningful timeline you can either use to continue your own research, or pass that knowledge on to your children.
While there are a multitude of resources available to those interested in researching family history, locating, navigating, and cross-referencing them can be time-consuming and frustratingly difficult. Many of those resources charge fees as well, discouraging their use for those who have no guarantee of receiving any real benefit. I will put all available resources to work for you, drawing data from the best sources to provide you with the highest-quality research.
"Valerie was able to locate a branch of my family that we had lost contact with more than 30 years ago. In fact, I never knew they existed. My father remembered his cousin, but they hadn't seen each other since they were children. The two branches of the family were able to reunite thanks to her efforts, and my lost cousins got to see their aunt, my grandmother, one more time before she passed. I can't describe how happy that made my father and my grandmother. It's the sort of thing that makes doing genealogy research worthwhile." -SGW from New Jersey
Everyone wants to find the interesting or famous people in their family tree. Although that is not the reason I began researching, I have been lucky enough to find quite a few such people. One of my ancestors turned out to be a famous inventor. He had over 30 patents, and he created, among other things, the fountain pen, carbon paper, and the machine that separates fresh berries from bad berries. Two of my ancestors turned out to have fought in the American Revolution. Discovering and proving that they are my ancestors allowed me to join the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and I remain an active member of that organization. Another ancestor was the CEO of Bell Telephone, the head of his lodge of Freemasons, and associated with Edison and Vanderbilt.
These are just a few of the noteworthy individuals I discovered while researching my family tree. Who will you discover?
When are you available to meet me to begin research? Whenever possible I will rearrange my schedule to accommodate a client. Our first meeting will be in a mutually agreed upon public place for both of our comfort and security. A library or coffee shop usually works well. I understand that most people have jobs and will need to meet in the evening or on weekends, but I can also be available on weekdays. Let me know your availability and we can find a mutually agreeable time. It is unlikely that you will have to wait longer than two weeks for our scheduled meeting.
What do you do when we meet? I will create an online family tree that you may access at your leisure. If you already have one, I will work with what you have started if you prefer. As we fill in the information you know, I use online research services to uncover additional information. Is there a specific branch of your family tree you wish to pursue, we can focus on that area. Otherwise, I will pursue the most promising leads. Many times, the data I discover requires discussion with my client, and I record all relevant facts for future reference. I will provide you with electronic copies of the information we uncover, and a printed copy of that data upon your request.
How much does it cost to hire a professional genealogist? My services are $100 per hour. I cover the cost of research websites and other memberships that charge admittance fees. If the only way to obtain information is through a government agency, and that agency charges a fee, you will be responsible for that cost.
You live too far away for me to meet you in person. What do we do? If a face-to-face meeting is impractical, I can FaceTime or video call you.
Do you provide traditional genealogy services that do not require meeting in person? Yes, I will conduct research without my client being present. However, experience has taught me that progress is much faster when the client is there to work with me. Hiring me to conduct independent research is typically effective for instances when you have a very specific goal and require only one or two pieces of documentation to prove a family connection. While my research can certainly be enlightening, I have found that it is inevitably slower to produce results than when my client works with me directly.
The photos you see above are some of the things I discovered while researching my own family. The people are my ancestors, and the building is my great-grandfather's company. I am proud to have rediscovered them, and now I can share them with my children.
Sometimes families immigrate to other countries. Although I primarily work in the United States, I have successfully researched family ties in such nations as Ireland, England, Trinidad, and Italy. If your family lost touch with relatives in another country, do not be discouraged. You can still find your roots anywhere in the world.
People are often under the impression that there will be time to pursue genealogy later. For years I have worked two jobs while raising two children and managing a household, so I understand how busy life can be. Yet if you don't make time to capture the past, you may regret discovering that your history has been lost. Don't wait. Contact me today.
Family Links You provides the personal attention of a professional genealogist to delve into your family tree. You will see the progress instantly as we dig into the roots of your family together.
Operating hours are flexible and are determined by scheduled appointment.
If you call when I am unavailable, please leave a message and I will contact you shortly.
You may always reach me via email.