Grey Matter Genealogy FAQs

When should I hire a professional?
Although genealogy has become a serious interest for many people, there are several reasons for turning to a professional:

  • You are stuck in researching a specific ancestor and do not know how or where to find to find information to break down this “brick wall.”
  • You want a review on the accuracy of your work and suggestions for further avenues for research.
  • You do not understand what your DNA testing results mean or how to use your DNA matches to further your ancestral research.
  • You have the interest but not the time nor skills to conduct high quality genealogical research.
  • You are researching in an area where you do not have expertise.
  • You are interested in joining a lineage society.

And these are only the beginning of the reasons people hire professional genealogists!

What is a “Certified Genealogist”?

Genealogists who submit a portfolio of specific work products to the Board for Certification of Genealogist and pass the rigorous evaluation process attain the credential of certification. At this time there are less than 300 Certified Genealogists. These genealogists are considered proficient in all areas of genealogical research and analysis including locating and interpreting evidence, assembling proof of identity and relationships, and preparing sound reports.

Certified Genealogists also belong to a network that can be accessed for assistance in specialty areas.

I am a Board Certified Genealogist (certificate no. 1131), issued by the Board for Certification of Genealogist, Washington, DC.

What is traditional Family Research vs Genetic Genealogy and which is better?
Traditional family research focuses on establishing relationships through documentary evidence. Genetic genealogy analyzes genetic matches to establish family relationships. Used together, it is possible to establish biological relationships both with living relatives and ancestors. Both types of research have advantages and before committing to research of any type, we will discuss your research goals and what approach makes most sense.
Will my results be private?
Confidentiality is very important and efforts are made to ensure it. Specifically, issues you identify as sensitive or have not disclosed to others, or have not been obtained or developed through other parties will be kept private. Information about living people will be handled discretely and as possible kept private.
Do you abide by a code of ethics?
As a professional holding the Certified Genealogist credential, I am bound by The Board for Certification of Genealogists’ Code of Ethics. I also adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the National Genealogy Society’s Genealogical Standards.
Can you help me continue my research?
Many researchers get stuck in researching their genealogy either because they do not know where to begin or how to proceed. After consultation, we can determine what type of coaching might be appropriate to help you reach your genealogical goals.
Will you build me a family tree on – Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilySearch?
While I do not provide this service, it is possible for you to construct a tree from the information in my research report.
Do you work on retainer?
After an initial consultation, a budget for your project will be submitted to you. At that time a retainer for the first ten hours is required before work proceeds.
What do you need from me?
During our initial consultation, we will identify the goals of the project and what you may already know or have at hand. This can help to streamline the process and avoid repetition of effort. You should organize the information or documentation that you have related to the research goal so that you can provide copies for my review.
What will I receive when the research is done?
Although each client project is unique, it is typical for clients to receive a well sourced report at the conclusion of their project. The report will outline the research goals and background information, an executive summary and a detailed section of research findings that may include relevant document images, transcriptions and or abstracts, DNA matches and an analysis of sources and evidence. Recommendations for future research is also typically included.


Boston University
National Genealogical Society Member
apg member
Excelsior College Genetic Genealogy
American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society
ProGen Alumni