Even if you follow the advice of my previous post about focusing your family history project on one topic at a time, you may find yourself in what we personal historians refer to as “one fine mess.” Whether it’s an overabundance of material or a serious shortfall, don’t despair. Help is available.
We all need help sometimes. Whether it’s to fix a leaky faucet, keep our vehicle’s engine purring along or clean those nasty-looking carpets, we sometimes have to swallow hard and dig deep into our wallets to right the ship. Isn’t your personal history project just as valuable?
Should you hire a professional personal historian or genealogist, you should be able to find one who will work within your budget to keep your project on track. Check the Association of Personal Historians web site to find one in your area. Most offer free consultations.
There’s plenty of free help available online, too. You can Google around to your heart’s content and uncover thousands of sites, each offering various levels of assistance in just about every area of family history. Or, you can just click on these three to get started:
- Shades of the Departed by footnoteMaven. This guest post by Kim O’Neill Screen is chock-full of great ideas for working with photos. If you have lots of cool photos and want to move beyond scrapbooking, this is the spot for you.
- Everything Guide to Online Genealogy by Kimberly Powell. I haven’t read this new book yet, but Kimberly, who blogs at the About.com genealogy site, certainly has the credentials to put together a book with such an audacious title.
- Alltop’s guide to genealogy blogs. I hesitate to reveal that I am not the only personal historian/genealogist operating in the blogosphere, but it’s true. This huge list bears that out. A nice feature is that headlines of the five most recent posts of each blog are listed, ripe for the clicking.
Larry Lehmer is a personal historian who helps people write their family histories. To learn more, visit his web site or send him an e-mail.
Photo: Aaron Lehmer helps his family on moving day (Courtesy of Larry Lehmer)