What is a "Genealogist"?
Genealogists are people who love family history, and doing research. They love working on their own family trees, and the family trees of others who seek out their help. Currently, there are two primary types of genealogical research - traditional and genetic -- and genealogists worldwide often specialize in one, or the other, or both. They can also specialize by geographic region or time period.
- Genetic: This type of genealogical research is a fairly recent innovation, involving the use of DNA test results to assist in:
- checking the accuracy of any ancestral paths constructed (are you on the right path?),
- discovering the migration path your ancient ancestors took out of Africa (haplogroups), and where they settled geographically (your ethnicity),
- discovering previously unknown cousins who may shed light on previously unknown common ancestors.
Another classification of genealogical research depends heavily on DNA testing results paired with traditional genealogical methods. It's called Forensic Genealogy, and it can include, but is not limited to:
Finding all of the pertinent documents necessary to definitively answer a research question posed by a client is critical to professional genealogists in order to meet the proof requirements demanded by the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), as outlined in the book, Genealogy Standards, published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). It's not enough to pull a couple of documents from the web and be done. We as professional genealogists must meet the GPS standards of accuracy and thoroughness. So we will review any information the client has previously gathered to ensure its accuracy, and will continue to meet the standards laid out by the GPS throughout the course of the project.
- finding the biological parents of an adoptee (or vice-versa),
- searching for the identity of a missing assailant whose DNA was found at a crime scene,
- identifying an unknown decedent,
- finding missing heirs,
- identifying the remains of military personnel who died in war,
Although "proof" standards specific to the field of genetic genealogy have been published by a prestigious ad hoc committee made up of highly respected genealogists in the field, they continue to evolve. The original five GPS standards, as well as the 90 genealogical standards published by the BCG still apply to both types of genealogical research. NOTE: Research derived from genetic genealogical methods alone is not considered "proof" for a genealogical research question. It must be backed up by traditional documentation.
Montgomery Genealogical Services specializes in both traditional and genetic forms of genealogical research, nationwide.
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What our customers are saying
I want to thank you again for the excellent genealogical research that you did on my behalf. The book that you compiled for me is an excellent family reference, and it was a pleasure working with you!!!
Jim W., Mesa, AZ