Are there times when a professional genealogist won’t be able to help with my lineage society application?

You’re applying to the Colonial Dames, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the American Revolution or another lineage society… You’d like to hire a professional genealogist to help with the application – but you’re a little worried. Will they always be able to help?

If that’s your concern, there are a few questions you should ask:

  1. What’s your experience with this lineage society? Some genealogists will have done dozens of applications for a society; for others, you might be their first. That doesn’t mean they won’t do an excellent job! Having the conversation will help ensure that you’re both on the same page and will be able to discuss any issues that might arise.
  2. What’s your experience with this time period and/or region? Research in Colonial Virginia is not the same as research in Colonial New England. It’s okay to ask about experience levels – and back up plans if they find they need local sources or regional background they can’t access. Some genealogists will plan to train themselves prior to doing your research; others will help identify local help. Again, the conversation is key!
  3. Are there records you can’t access? This is an issue that the local genealogist just can’t control. Most lineage societies require vital records (birth, death, and marriage certificates) for at least the applicant, parent, and grandparent generation. Others require them whenever they might exist. However, state privacy laws may make them inaccessible to anyone outside of the immediate family or the person named on the certificate. That will mean that, while the genealogist may be able to guide you in placing the order, they won’t be able to do themselves. Plan accordingly.

Have questions? Contact us.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

%d bloggers like this: