The general answer to this is either to save you time, to save you money, or to take advantage of the particular skill-set of a professional researcher; and often the answer is “all of the above.”
You may simply be too busy to accomplish one or more of your research goals. You might live too far away from the location of the documents to be searched in order to make it economically feasible to do the research yourself. Or you just may not know where to look, what to look for, or you might not be sure of how to properly evaluate what you find.
These are all good reasons to use a professional researcher. In fact, you might be surprised to know that professional genealogists use each other from time-to-time, and for exactly the same reasons outlined above.
The US version of the British hit, Who Do You Think Your Are?, will be broadcast on NBC beginning Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8/7 Central. The family histories of Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, and Spike Lee will be examined.
Programs of this type are always interesting, even entertaining, for those interested in family history and genealogy. They can also serve as genealogical inspiration for those with temporarily flagging interest who may need something like this to return to the hunt for their own ancestors.
For a video preview of Who Do You Think You Are? visit this link.
PBS launches a four-part series entitled “Faces of America With Henry Louis Gates Jr.” on Wednesday, Feb 10. The search for the ancestries of celebrities from various fields, including Stephen Colbert, Louise Erdrich, Meryl Streep, and Kristi Yamaguchi are featured in the series.
The wonderful lesson of this series is that even though it is the family history of various celebrities that are examined, their ancestors are just like ours. Your family and my family share similar striving, successes, sorrows, and failures along the way. The journey Louis Gates Jr. takes these celebrities can also be our own journey through the study of our own ancestry and our own family’s history.