Aberle Genealogy

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:

Can I do this myself?

Answer:

Absolutely!  However, many people find that they do not have the time, skill set, or tenacity to track down the detailed records about their family.  Others who are family historians, may live far away from where the records they want to research are housed.  In all those cases, hiring a professional genealogist may be something of value to you.

Question:

What will you find?

Answer:

The typical information that genealogists uncover are things like:

Birth, marriage, death records

Immigration records and naturalization documents

Wills and probates

Census enumerations and city directory entries

Military registrations and service records

Purchases, taxation, and sales of real estate

Church and cemetery records

Newspaper coverage (engagement, marriage, social events, death and funeral notices, obituaries)

Biographies

And sometimes, even conviction and incarceration records

However, it is also remotely possible that no records have survived, but that should not discourage one from trying. 

Question:

Do you offer any discounts?

Answer:

Yes, we offer discounts for customer loyalty (repeat business) as well as a senior citizen discount (to those 65 and better).

Question:

Can I purchase gift certificates for your services for my parents, spouse, children, and/or other relatives?

Answer:

Yes!

Question:

Are you certified?

Answer:

Aberle Genealogy senior researcher has been doing genealogy since grade school (over 50 years ago); he has a college degree in a scientific field which he pursued as a career at two Fortune 50, three Fortune 500, and several startup companies; he received intensive professional training in gathering evidence for the criminal justice system; has many years of both domestic and foreign genealogical research experience; and has had some of his 17th century research in England published in a prestigious U.S. journal.  Given this rich background, he has never been particularly interested in pursuing a genealogy certification.  However, that doesn’t preclude the possibility of obtaining a certification at some point in the future.

Question:

When will my family history be finished?

Answer:

A dedicated family historian typically never considers their work to be finished.  That said, however, the quantity and quality of information diminishes as one pushes back further in history, and at some point the effort may outweigh the return.  When that happens, one may want to focus on enhancing information about current generations.

Question:

Can you obtain copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates for my family?

Answer:

Not always.  Some jurisdictions limit access to these records to only immediate family members for a specified period of time.  In those situations, we can help you submit the needed request forms with those authorities.

Question:

I read it on the Internet, so is it true?

Answer:

The vast majority of genealogy information that is available on the Internet consists of alleged “facts” where no sources are cited.  Most “data” presented is no more than just rumor and speculation.  However, the Internet can be mined for leads on places to look for information.

Question:

What evidence standard do you use?

Answer:

The United States legal system has been using three well-defined standards:

Preponderance of the evidence — This is just enough evidence to assert that fact is more likely than not to be true, even by a very small margin.

Clear and convincing evidence — This is evidence which has a high probability of establishing a fact.

Beyond a reasonable doubt — This is the highest standard of proof used in legal proceedings, and the evidence must be so convincing that a reasonable person would not hesitate to act upon it in the most important of their own affairs.

For many years, the genealogical community used “Preponderance of the evidence” as their standard.  Thankfully, this standard has now been abandoned by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and replaced by:

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) — The GPS consists of five elements, and those are roughly equivalent to “clear and convincing evidence” used in the U.S. legal system.

We evaluate the quality of all information we gather, compare it with existing standards, and then communicate our analysis to you as part of our deliverables.

Question:

What genealogical software do you recommend?

Answer:

We do not recommend any particular software vendor or collaborative open source project.  Family history software and computer formats tend to change over time, and are not as long-lasting as we would like for genealogical purposes.  We recommend keeping multiple backups of your electronic data and printed copies of everything.

Our standard deliverables include an electronic file (which can be used by our clients to populate family history software fields should they so desire) and printed copies of that same information.  For an extra fee, we can also print onto “archival paper” (ISO 11108) or “permanent” paper (ISO 9706).