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
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.
- First try to collect all material you can find in your family, also
material which is in the hands of distant relatives.
- Try to employ every source you can find in the U.S., e.g. immigration
records, naturalization records, censuses, obituaries etc.
- Try to search also for siblings and other relatives of the person(s)
you are interested in. Even if you can't find information about the origin
of this (these) person(s) themselves, the sources might provide you with
this information for siblings and relatives.
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
I hope these hints will help you and will be happy to answer your inquiries.
Last update: Markus
Röhling, 2nd April 2009.
- Which persons you want to be researched?
- What do you want to know about them (only a certain date, several
- Which other persons you want to know about (siblings, parents, the
paternal ancestors, all ancestors etc.)?
- How much want you spend for now and during the next one or two years?
E.g. this will have an impact which sources can be checked in which extent.
Of course there is no obligation to spend the amount you mention at this
point, but it will help me to accomodate the research proposal not only to
your aims and interests, but also to your means and to carry out the research
in the way most appropriate in your case.