How Do I Become a Family Tree Researcher?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

When you want to become a family tree researcher, you can work to educate yourself as much as possible on genealogy research. You may also find it helpful to improve your writing skills and volunteer with a genealogy association in preparation for this career. Building business skills and obtaining a business license may prove essential as well. Additionally, you might benefit from joining a genealogy association.

A multi-generational family.
A multi-generational family.

A good first step toward becoming a family tree researcher involves seeking education. For example, you can read books and online guides that fill you in on how to perform genealogy research. You may also consider taking genealogy research classes and signing up for related workshops and seminars. Additionally, you may do well to speak with an experienced professional genealogist or two in order to learn about this business from the perspective of someone with experience. Such steps should help prepare you to be successful in this career.

As you prepare to become a family tree researcher, you may also do well to take steps to improve your writing skills. As this career involves writing reports for the people who hire you, you will most likely need good writing skills and the ability to recognize proper grammar. Likewise, you will likely need familiarity with the proper ways of citing sources. You can work to improve your writing skills at home using books and websites, but you might also consider taking a composition class as you prepare.

Volunteering with a genealogy group or society is a good way to network with current genealogists and build on the skills you will need for a successful career. You might even have the opportunity to pitch in on various projects while you are volunteering. For example, you could help with public record searches or have the chance to participate in an indexing project. Additionally, volunteering may translate into an opportunity to learn about new sources for research and new technology for family tree researchers.

Since you will likely work as an independent professional when you become a family tree researcher, you may also find it important to develop your business skills in preparation for this career step. You might also need licensing to get started. Some jurisdictions will require you to obtain a business license even if you plan to run your family tree research business from home.

Joining a genealogy association might also prove helpful when you want to become a family tree researcher. By doing so, you may get a professional listing in the association's directory as well as access to helpful publications. Additionally, you might gain discounted access to related workshops, seminars, and resources because of your membership.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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