Every now and then I hear from someone who is interested in hiring a professional genealogist. I’m not one (though I do offer professional genealogy-organizing services) and I usually point those inquirers to the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) to find a genealogy consultant. I definitely stand by that method.
At RootsTech, I became aware of another way to approach finding a professional genealogist: Trace.com. They’re middle men between professional genealogists and and people who need those services. (According to their FAQ page, they started as AncestorCloud, then acquired Genealogists.com and then created Trace.com)
If you have a need for a genealogist, you pay a deposit to Trace and describe your research question. The folks at Trace flesh out the question to create a project. They then contact researchers in their network of 4,000 researchers in 90 countries (who are contractors, not employees) and request proposals. They screen the proposals before sending them to you. You select one of the proposals and Trace manages the project. The company says they are “on a mission to make genealogy research accessible and affordable.” As someone who is easily overwhelmed by choices, I can see how their service would make hiring a genealogist feel easier.
At RootsTech, I had a chance to try them out. Trace was offering free 30-minute coaching sessions with their genealogists. I signed up in advance of the conference was asked to present a research question. I decided to ask for help tracing the whereabouts of my second great grandfather, George Washington Adams, between the time his second wife left him in 1919 (according to divorce papers) and his entry into the Old Soldiers Home in 1922. I have not been able to find him on the 1920 census and it’s been driving me crazy.
My genealogist, Aimee, was not able to answer the question (nor would I expect her to in 30 minutes) but she did give me some avenues for exploration that I hadn’t thought of. It was definitely time well spent. And it gave me a little taste of the service. I quizzed Aimee a bit about Trace and learned that she was very happy working with them.
If you’re interested in hiring a professional genealogist, you might look into Trace as well as consulting the APG website.