You may already know more than you think. A professional researcher benefits greatly from any and all information a client can provide at the outset to avoid duplication of work.
Before You Hire
Click the button to see the Association for Professional Genealogists’ page on some things you should know when Hiring a Professional.
Either you or another researcher might have completed family group sheets, pedigree charts, narratives, online family trees or some other type of report. Begin to put together what you know and what you find. The FAMILY GROUP SHEET is the standard form to begin to build your family tree. When you’ve taken your family back several generations you should be able to fill out an ANCESTOR CHAR . From the beginning, act like a professional and CITE your sources (even if it's the family box)!
Please share all of the above with me so that we can get started on a good footing.
The Family Box
Get in that attic and look for documents, photographs and memorabilia that relate to your family. You never know what you'll find when going through family papers. It is a great beginning and you will definitely find clues and cues to help you go further.
This birth announcement turned out to be the only record of my mother's birth. She was even able to use it to get a passport!
This scrapbook page includes not only an obituary and a death notice, but also a bit of a flower, once part of the funeral flowers.