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Advice again please - Are there any 'professional' genealogists?

Hi Guys,

Hope you don't me asking yet another question. I work in an Internet Cafe and teach computer iliterate people how to 'surf' safely and basic computer skills. I've noticed that a lot of these people (usually the older generation) are really interested in their family trees but don't know how to go about researching.

I'm thinking about starting my own little business (in the evenings) helping these people if they have their own computers and internet access. Most of them don't but I could set it up for them if they were really keen.

I just wanted to know what you thought about this. Does anyone here do this sort of thing?

I'm not a professional genealogist but could start these people of on the right track.

Any ideas?


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At your local library they might have subscriptions to NEHGS or to, which also has some information and video classes for beginners, otherwise you'll have to pay a subscription. The LDS website ( has free information for beginners and some downloadable software, and free pedigree and family charts to print out. Also check out the links on for how to get started. Most of our local libraries (in the Boston, Massachusetts area) have classes like this all set up for seniors and adults, and the classes start out with basic genealogy before moving into internet research. They need to start with oral histories and a basic understanding of "primary sources" before moving into the great unknown on the internet.
It's a good idea, especially if you can get them a "taste of honey" in Internet genealogy and move them into personal history (see our group on PH). It is cathartic, and has both physical and emotional benefits.

Keep the computer part simple, using free classes and research outlines and indexes on FamilySearch. Many free public libraries and free Family History Centers provide a similar service for novices -with free evening classes or Saturday workshops. Also, make sure they are organized from the start (we have a group on that too), and that they follow basic research principles so they don't get into haphazard Net surfing and name gathering.
Thanks everyone for your input. A lot of good ideas, still not sure what I'll do yet. I think I'll put an advert in the local paper and see if I get a response before I start making big plans....





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