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Immigrant Ancestry Research

From 1607-1790 the Colonies and subsequently, the United States, attracted about 900,000 emigrants. The time period spanning 1881 to 1920 witnessed the arrival of 23,400,000 emigrants.

Identifying where and when your immigrant ancestor came to the United States or to the American colonies is one of the most rewarding aspects of genealogical research. Most everyone is eager to find their immigrant ancestor's place of origin. It is a daunting task to many genealogists who do not have ready access to a major records archives to find their ancestor's origin.

A great deal of lineage research involves detailed examination of unindexed, illegible, molded, and otherwise difficult to read records. Sometimes the importance of these records is easily grasped and the context readily understood. Yet other times the information in these records must be placed in historical or legal context in order to be fully understood and appreciated. This is where a professional genealogist can be of the most service to his/her client.

Paying for Research

According to the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) article, "So You're Going To Hire A Professional Genealogist," most genealogists and companies charge by the hour and also bill for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, photocopies, long distance telephone calls, and vital records fees. Hourly fees range from about $15 to $100 (US), with the average being between $20 and $40 (US). Fees vary among professionals, depending upon experience, credentials, specialty, and geographic area.

When you consider hiring a professional genealogist, you should check out their credentials before you pay for any services. That's what we did when we first contacted Natalie Cottrill, and her research firm. And as a result, Genealogy Today is pleased to endorse ProGenealogists, Inc., a Utah-based company.

ProGenealogists, Inc.

A group of experienced genealogists working together at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, whose combined skills provide their clientele with a broad base of expertise. They can help you trace your immigrant ancestor from the United States to his or her origin in Western Europe, providing research for England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Natalie and her associates conduct research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah - one of the largest repositories of genealogical records in the world. For them, viewing Ellis Island, New York City passenger lists and then examining England's Civil Registration indexes is a matter of walking down a few flights of stairs - no plane ticket necessary!

They also offer free estimates for feasibility and scope regarding your family history research needs. Since they are a professional research group, they do not give advice or direction free of charge.

Visit the ProGenealogists web site

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