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Lost Branches is about finding lost ancestors, lost family branches or connecting your branch to an existing tree. Whether you are just beginning or have an established tree with a brick wall problem, I can help.

Imagine the thrill of holding a copy of the land grant to an ancestors new piece of land, signing the Constitution, holding political; office, taking an oath of citizenship, marrying your great-grandfather, having a new daughter to be baptized, joining the Confederate or Union Army, becoming a minister, or signing their last will and testament.  You may have links to French, Spanish, Native, infamous or famous Americans.  The ancestors of most Americans have never been researched or documented. A search to find who your ancestors were, where they came from, how they made their living, and where they lived is a time-consuming and often difficult task.

Why would you consider hiring me as your researcher?  Yes, you can do your own research via one of the pay by fee major genealogical databases but each have their limitations.  Not everything you need to trace your family will be found there.  Genealogical research is like solving a mystery, as the researcher looks for clues, finds historical evidence, and traces the movements of a family.  Will Rogers once said that "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."  I have over 27 years of experience in genealogical research as well as classroom training.  I spend time searching historical as well as genealogical records.  There are many examples of people who spent years following a family back to find out that their seven years of work was following the wrong family line.  My years of experience have taught me how to avoid these errors.  I use the Genealogical Proof Standard method to determine kinship.

I can attempt to find documents for you (if they exist). I am experienced in interpreting the information and clues contained in them. I do a lot of work for Ancestry.com in correcting census index records as I find them.  That work involves reading poor handwriting, faded copies, misspellings and plain transcription errors.  Understanding land records and economics of the period are essential to knowing where the family lived and why they moved.  Hiring a genealogist is not an expensive endeavor when you consider the years of training and experience that go into becoming proficient at finding the information of the past.  Typical documents include census, birth, death, burial, baptismal, wills, probate records, passports, naturalization, travel, military, newspaper articles, political, religious, land and tax records.  Sometimes photos and family stories are found.

I do not write family histories but can recommend several people who can do this work for your family using the genealogical information I can provide.

Most families have a black sheep or a skeleton in the ancestral closet.  You may find a ancestor hanging by their neck from the family tree. There may be mistresses, slave owners, or slaves in your past.  Your search may lead you to dark places you did not know existed.  You may find your third cousin twice removed was removed to a mental hospital.  All of this can help you to understand the diversity and richness of your family and may answer family story questions.  It should be embraced and cherished as part of your family history.  Also understand that many records were lost or never created due to the period of time or some natural or manmade disaster.

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