Chicago genealogical research is not only my specialty, it's my passion.
Ten years of retrieving Chicago records, combined with continuous efforts to hone professional-level research and writing skills, provides me with a strong foundation for assisting others with family history research. I have finished the National Genealogical Society's American Genealogical Studies course, completed the eighteen-month ProGen Study Group course, and had a winning contest submission "James Ayer Smith: Hatter and Furrier" published in the Chicago Genealogical Society's quarterly.
There are many capable genealogists who specialize in Chicago-area research. So, why contact me? The main reasons are these: I only take projects that are well-suited to my skills; if there are others who are better suited to your research needs, I will gladly refer you. And, if I can suggest ways you can address your research needs without hiring a genealogist, I'll happily point them out. On top of that, I value great communication and I try very hard to reply quickly to every email I receive. In other words, there is really nothing to lose.
Here's what you can expect, if you arrange for me to tackle your project:
1) We will work together to agree on a narrowly-focused research question. If your goal is broad, we will break the research down into small, manageable, measurable steps.
2) I will take a close look at what you know before we begin. I will ask you to share any documents or stories that you might have so I can look for clues to use in brainstorming focused, efficient ways to address your research question.
3) I generally work on one project at a time. You may need to wait a short time before I'm able to begin your research (usually a matter of days), but once I do, it will likely receive my undivided attention.
4) I never promise that I will be able to answer a research question. But, I do promise that I will work hard to find answers and that I will provide a carefully-written report to document the research that I do.
5) I will keep you informed of my progress.
And what about fees? For a limited time, there will be none. Instead, if I agree to undertake your project, I will do so in return for permission to use the resulting research as an example of my work in whatever way(s) we agree upon in writing.
To explore the possibility of setting up a project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's what one happy client had to say about my efforts to locate and explain the records she requested: "Cyndy is wonderful. She went above and beyond in providing information and guidance. I thought I was simply asking for her to retrieve vital records however she also provided a written report and suggestions for moving forward. She surpassed my expectations!"
And here's what another wrote when I asked her if she would consider writing about the experience she had working with me so that I could share it with potential clients:
"I hired Cyndy [full name replaced] to help me identify and determine the date of birth, date of death and burial location of siblings of my mother. All events took place in Chicago or the immediate area around Chicago.
Cyndy immediately responded to my initial request by asking questions about the assignment and gaining an understanding of the work that I had already done. She made sure that she understood the scope of the assignment and exactly what I was asking.
Her work was completed in a timely fashion, was very thorough and to the point (no irrelevant information). She also made suggestions of other avenues I might pursue. Her initial estimate of cost was the same amount as the final invoice and was quite reasonable.
I unequivocally recommend Cyndy for genealogy research.
San Francisco Bay Area"
For adoption research in Illinois, I recommend Juli Claussen (Juli Claussen Search and Genealogy Services). She is able to search a unique database and if a match is found, she can immediately provide a copy of the "petition to adopt." She charges a modest fee for a successful search; no charge if she doesn't find a match.
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