Questions and thoughts people have shared ...

The reasons people are interested in learning about their ancestors are as diverse as the individuals themselves. The common thread is the desire to connect with something, such as family events/history or to simply learn someone’s story. Starting with your grandmother is a wonderful way to learn her story and to share it with future generations. You will help keep her legacy alive. 

There is something wonderfully exciting about the known and unknown about our families. Researching your family history can lead to unexpected discoveries, often confirming family lore and at times finding new stories to share at the next family gathering. 

We would start with what you already know, which are stories or thoughts of other family members.  Once we locate legal records, death certificates for example, or even an obituary, we can begin our search.  Discovering Cause of Death (COD) of a family member or members, often leads to a better understanding of issues you would like to talk to your health care provider about

Family suddenly becomes more important when we are away from them. Family provides a continuum and a sense of belonging. In today’s increasingly mobile and globalized world, many people feel a sense of rootlessness. Learning about your ancestors can provide a sense of belonging and connection to something larger than yourself. You may discover that you are part of a long lineage with a rich history, which can give you a sense of stability and grounding. We would love to discover that with you. 

Connecting with family: Researching genealogy can be a great way to connect with living relatives and learn more about your family’s history. By interviewing older family members, collecting photographs and documents, and sharing your findings with others, you can strengthen bonds and create a lasting legacy for future generations. This process can also help you appreciate the sacrifices and contributions of your ancestors and feel a greater sense of family pride.  We can certainly get you headed in the right direction. 

Curiosity: Humans are naturally curious creatures, and many people are simply interested in learning about their past and where they come from. This curiosity can be driven by a desire to understand family traditions, customs, and cultural heritage. It can also be sparked by specific questions about family history, such as the reason behind a family name or the origin of a particular family heirloom. 

Someone who is familiar with the resources and processes of genealogy research can save you a lot of time and frustration if scouring through records is not appealing to you.

The longer someone has been developing family trees and family history documents the more familiar they are with the process and demands of the research.  Knowledge of sources, research skills, problem solving skills, and analytical skills are all the important for a good genealogist to have.

According to the Association of Professional Genealogists, genealogists typically charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $30 to $40 per hour to over $200 per hour

Here at MHH, we specialize in tracing family histories.  We will navigate archives, databases, and historical records to find information. This information is then used to generate various documents that you have either specifically requested or others that you will have the option to obtain.

That would vary depending on the initial information provided and the number of generations you are wanting to explore.  Some documents can come together within 10 hours, others 40 hours

Finding a country or origin is generally easy to find.  But there are historical events, such as slavery, that often make this search nearly impossible. 

There are many specific areas of study in the field of genealogy.  If that information is available, meaning your ancestor had nothing to hide, it can be researched. 

The records that are most commonly used by genealogists include, Census, Military, Immigration (Ship Passenger Lists), Naturalization, and Land records. Old newspapers are also an excellent source of family history.

Sometimes.  Privacy issues become a major issue in this line of investigation.  DNA is often used to find other living family members.  I would have to ask, do they want to be found? 

All information and records used will always be vulnerable to human error.  That is why finding multiple sources of information, as confirmation of the research results, is imperative.  That is one of the reasons this research takes a lot of time. 

A good genealogist will provide the sources and citations of their research results.  You would then be able to double-check the information on your own.

That would be beyond the scope of researchers at MHH.  See our Resource Page for suggestions on how to continue your own journey

A genealogist will access many sources of information.  Some of these sources are found on various online sites.  Some require a membership, others are free. 

There are specific companies that provide those services.

Your time. If you love to research, any of the online platforms will help you in your research.

Absolutely. Records that have been destroyed, wrong information being provided by the client, ancestors that changed their identity, personal circumstances for those ancestors that skew their presence in records.  There are as many challenges to doing the research as there are in the life challenges that would dictate their availability.

That would depend on the scope of that particular genealogist’s interests.  Our Resource Page contains suggestions to help you with those projects.

I would ask the genealogist about the type of research they typically do.  Open dialogue and clear communication of needs and expectations are so very important for a good working relationship.

Depending on the area of research, each genealogist will have their own methods.  They should be clear on sharing their needs to help facilitate a successful and timely result.

There are some researchers who specialize in this type of research.  It would be important to express that need at the beginning of your decision-making process.

I would hope so.  Of course, I cannot speak for all genealogists, but here at MHH, we work very hard to promote a coherent, truthful approach to genealogy, family history and local history.

And present our research results and opinions in a clear, well-organized manner; fully and accurately cite references; and refrain from withholding, suppressing, or knowingly misquoting or misinterpreting sources or data.

At MHH, we want to be available to answer any of your questions and concerns at any time throughout the research process. We will also contact you if we have any questions that will also help in our research.

At MHH, we value the information you share with us.  We would not make any of your information public without your consent. There is no need to share your information. If there is a family story you would like us to share as part of our Rabbit Trail page, we would get your permission to do so.

There are many tools available to help you in that process.  Our Resource Page can point you in a good direction.  If you would like us to do that with you, we can certainly discuss what that partnering would look like

That occasionally happens when records are just not available.  Unfortunately, coming to that end still requires the same amount of time as finding a library of information.  Please discuss this upfront before making a decision to hire someone to begin the research.

If that is their area of expertise.  There are many old records that are written in the language of the country of origin.  Our Resource Page will have ideas for you.

Again, verify with the genealogist you choose.  Make sure it is as important to them as it is with you. 

Sometimes it feels like you are part Private Investigator and part Historical Researcher.  At MHH, it is not our intention to ‘snoop’ into family secrets, but sometimes in the course of research, this happens.  Often old newspapers reveal information that is new to the family.

The steps would be the same for any family member.  We would use the same resources available.

Most often a genealogist will provide for you the information you need to create one on your own.  At MHH, we will give you a simple tree as part of the services contracted.  There are some beautiful family tree templates available as well as people dedicated to this.  See our Resource Page for more information.

There are many organizations that specialize in specific areas.  They could provide that service to help you if you did not want to research on your own.  Our Resource Page has helpful links.

At MHH, you can certainly just ask.  We welcome open dialogue.

Absolutely. Some genealogists are involved in all areas of family research.  Our Resource Page has some suggestions

That work is kept by MHH in case we are requested to revisit the original work. 

Yes. There are many legal documents on file concerning land/property ownership. 

Yes.  Some medical information is listed on the death certificate or even the obituary.  Genetic information would need to be part of DNA work.  This may mean two different researchers.

That would depend on where the research goes and if any expenses are incurred.  At MHH, the initial fee covers only the time in the actual research. The client will always have the option to purchase documents made available.

It would be better to contact the county where the records are stored.  At MHH, we will make available some records found in the research.

Absolutely.  A new contract can be made to address any additional time or fees that may be incurred.

Yes. There would be a fee charged to cover the time spent.  Local libraries are also a wonderful source for that type of research. 

That would depend on records that are still available.  MHH researchers often find information well into the 1700’s

Yes, some documents can be generated.  There are also suggestions on our Resource Page

There is the misconception that this can be done quickly.  The researchers take hours to construct the simplest of trees.  Another misconception is that there are no errors made.  Unfortunately, many records were handwritten or compiled by someone speaking a different language than the person speaking.  This happened often with the census. 

Yes, if that information is made public, it is something that MHH researchers can help with.

Nostalgic family photos lay scattered on the table.