Thinking about hiring a professional genealogist but not sure I should

I haven’t used one for well over a decade. I’ve been very much into DNA cousin matching. However due to a bad experience adding smart matches recommended by My heritage- I’ve only added one ancestor in the last 4-5 years to my tree. Here’s where I go into ‘would it be wrong to do so’ mode? I’ve approached one genealogist whose suggested £525 or £105 in 5 instalments to do research for me. Research on one ancestral line that might only lead to tracing that line back one generation,but hopefully more. I have the savings to be able to do so, but I’m having big guilt feelings about spending such a large amount of money. Would I be wrong to do so?

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I, myself would not pay that much money to trace my ancestors. I already have a family tree that traces back 14x generations of my patriarchial ancestors family name to the Qing Dynasty or pre-modernized China.

Are there not records kept by your forefathers about your family lineage?

If it would cause you financial hardship definitely not.

If you are fiscally conservative but no hardship maybe you should.

However sometimes its best to go with your gut.

Geneaology is fairly trivial.

Here is my family tree from the Qing Dynasty (China) of 12x generations. Circled in red are my ancestral forefathers.

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There are physical records held by record offices and virtual records on line inc family trees done by those researching their ancestry.Some of those trees are rubbish, quite a lot are in fact. The info held at record offices etc would be more accurate. Physically I can’t get to those places.


I have 4 figure savings, >8K.

@firemonkey You don’t need to physically go to those places to retrieve those records. I didn’t. My paternal grandfather had a photocopy of those 2x pages on paper and I did a search on Google to find similar records. This search lead me to of which has all the family tree records in China scanned in PDF document format. I am not sure if your endevour on this subject would be as fortunate as I but I would suggest you give it a shot.

Its tough times now though, up to you.

It would be interesting to know my genealogy but I wouldn’t make it a priority and wouldn’t spend large sums of money to find out my ancestry. Especially in most of our situations when we we are very low income and money is tight.

I have an extra few hundred dollars right now but it would seem foolish to blow it all to find I have a second cousin that lives 3000 miles from me whom I’ll never meet. If that’s a priority to you then go ahead and spend the money but I would rather use my money for entertainment or to buy things for the apartment or going out to eat,

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I’ve stated on the forum that this is not something I care about for me personally. I dont really care about my ancestry. I know the relatives that I’ve known in my life and those are the ones I care about. I am who I am regardless of what some guy I never knew did 200 years ago.

It’s just not important to me.

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I would love to know, but wouldn’t spend that money, because i don’t have savings.

But if is fun and important to you, and you easily have it…maybe you should. Only you can decide. I might do it if I could easily miss the money.

Does your local library have a genealogy section?

If so doing all the research on your own would probably be a lot cheaper than hiring a genealogist.

If I’m not mistaken I think most of them work from libraries and websites like Ancestry.

I know my local library has a genealogy and records section.

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Thanks for the replies. As with all hobbies/interests some will be into it,others won’t. I went into a library in Charlotte when I visited my father back in 1995.It was huge compared to my then local library in Essex. My local library now is even smaller. There are record offices covering areas/counties but I don’t live in an area where my ancestors came from,so far. Physically I’d struggle to get to places locally. Let alone regionally or UK wide.

Online resources can be a mixed bag in terms of quality of information. The quality of family trees uploaded by individuals can vary widely. Then there are the increasing number of private trees and profiles.

Research wise I’m better thinking outside of the box(eureka moments) than I am methodical and organised.


Tracing your ancestors is not a hobby. Family lineage informs you of who you are, who your father, paternal grandfather and paternal forefathers were and where they are from. Not all family members whether they be your nuclear family or extended family will be interested in the family tree.

I have yet to visit the area where 12x generations of my forefathers resided. Maybe one day I will visit after my wedding. I know that a ancestral hall has been built for my family name in that area. I hope to see that ancestral hall in my life time.

As a result of this family tree of mine, I have been introduced to new extended relatives that I never knew before existed. It’s an interesting experiencing meeting relatives with the same surname of whom you’ve never met before but can trace the common ancestor of whom we share.

Related by blood and by surname/family name. Unbelievable I think at times.


The situation re my surname is rather complicated!

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