I never expected to pay a professional genealogy researcher to study my Russian ancestry. My biggest fear was being scammed or paying a researcher after nothing was found on my family.
A family friend has told me Russia is filled with scam artists posing as genealogists who charge too much and give fake information and documents. I know those people exist and I have been lucky to not hire a scam artist.
So far, I have paid only one professional genealogist. I pretty much stumbled upon him. I posted on my favorite Russian genealogy forum for information on a great-grandfather’s village. An active poster sent me a few paragraphs on my ancestors back to the 1700s. Apparently, my ancestors were famous in the family village. This poster gave me an e-mail address of a researcher for the region.
I e-mailed the researcher out of curiosity to see how much money he would want to study my Trunov family. He asked for $300 to search 39 years of records and $100 as a deposit. That did not seem too much and I wanted to take a chance on the researcher.
He e-mailed me a few days after each e-mail message I sent him to check on how everything was going. He found a mistake that Kursk regional archives made on the middle name of my great-great-grandfather. The middle name is a big deal for Russians because the middle name reflects the father’s first name. A week into the research, he e-mailed me information he had found in archives and that information matched what I already knew.
So, I was confident he was an honest genealogy researcher. The researcher also studied another maternal line and found 61 birth relatives and several of their spouses. I was so thrilled after little information could be found on my Trunov relatives from 1880-1919.
A good portion of the village records for my Trunov family is missing but the researcher found information on several siblings who were unfamiliar to my family. I hope to use this information to find the family left behind in Kiev during World War II. Finding my grandmother’s cousins has been my biggest challenge. I have yet to find a sentence of information in Kiev archives on one of these cousins.
Now, my researcher is studying my Trunov family back to the 1700s. It will cost the pretty penny of $1,000 but he has my trust. The deposit was only $300. I am anxiously counting down to late January and early February when he will be done with his research.
I know this researcher will not disappoint me. He shows all the signs of a professional and knowledgeable researcher.
Next blog: Top 10 signs of a questionable genealogy researcher