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Sometimes genealogy can be foreign

Last time we talked about some things you can do when your research leads you into a foreign country with an unfamiliar language. You can do quite a bit on your own, but sometimes you get to a point where you need outside help.

There are genealogists who specialize in foreign research. Most of these are native speakers that can easily read and interpret documents for you. You can keep your costs down by doing as much of the leg work as possible and only use a paid researcher for specific document translation. You could employ a native speaker that is not a genealogist, but you need to be aware that there might be some obscure and archaic terms that a non genealogist may not know.

Just this week, I picked up a case involving a Korean family. I will be making phone calls to people who do not speak English. Taking a crash course in Korean is not an option because of the urgency of this particular case. I checked with the Association of Professional Genealogists for a Korean researcher but was unable to find one. One thing that I can do is to contact a large university and ask if they have any Korean professors that might be willing to help. Another idea would be to see if there is a Korean club in this area.

Sometimes employing outside help is a must, but learning to do as much as you can on your own will keep your costs down.

I had an e-mail this week from a man who was curious to know just how many file cabinets and genealogy books I have at my house. I have been doing personal research for almost 15 years, and I have had my own research business for two years, so I do have a lot of stuff. I have a four drawer filing cabinet for my personal research. Two drawers are for my family and two drawers are for my husband's side. This is where I keep all of my surname folders. On the other side of my desk I have another four drawer filing cabinet. The first drawer contains the active cases I am working on for my research business. The second drawer is for inactive cases. The third drawer holds my locality files. The last drawer contains materials from all of the genealogical societies I belong to as well as all of my McDuffie County/McDuffie Mirror information. I have a large three shelf bookcase where I keep my reference books. I have a milk crate that holds my loose leaf notebooks that I take with me when I am out doing research. My computer CDs are in a cardboard box. I won't go into how much stuff is crammed into my desk.

We are coming up on the time of year for family reunions. I will be more than happy to announce your upcoming event in this column if you will give me four weeks notice. That will allow me enough time to get the announcement in the paper two weeks before the event.

Web posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005


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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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