Hints Before Hiring a Researcher

by Markus Röhling.

Thank you, that you are interested in my services. When inquiring about the possibilities of a search for your ancestors, please follow the hints given below. This shall enable me to analyse your problem thoroughly and to give you a free assessment of research possibilities and costs. Only after receiving the assessment you will have to decide if you want to employ me for a fee (fees you can find at http://www.genealogisches-buero.de/gen-fees.html).

The most important point is to locate the exact origin of your ancestor(s). Unprecise or missing data might result in a lot of unneccesary (and expensive) work. Nearly all sources available in Germany and Brandenburg are organized according to places. Nothing like the censuses in the U.S. or the U.K. is available. A search for somebody coming from "Brandenburg" (if the province, not the city is meant) is nearly hopeless. To provide me with the necessary information:

After having collected all information that can be collected with a reasonable effort, write a report on the families you want to have researched. In this report you should list all information you have (also information on siblings and other relatives and information that seems unimportant at the moment can be important at some point). This report will not only help you to define your research goals, but will also make it easier for me to see if I can be of any help to you. Be sure to include information where and when persons where born (and give the source for this information) and from where and when they did emigrate.

Usually the most important source here in Berlin, Brandenburg and Pomerania are church registers. Thus, in any case state the religious affiliation of the persons you are interested in. In case you think they might have changed their religion in the U.S., please state this too. Also let me know, if you have any indication that the fathers of those persons might have been soldiers or had other connections with the military (since at some places separate registers were kept for them).

After having written down what you already found out, continue with the research goals:

I hope these hints will help you and will be happy to answer your inquiries.
Last update: Markus Röhling, 2nd April 2009.