There are times when the most diligent researchers become stuck at difficult "brick walls" in their research. Sometimes, they need a search of records that is too time consuming to ask volunteers for help with. Maybe they live too far away to conduct the research themselve. Perhaps a volunteer who offers that particular lookup or service can't be found. (Have you checked the list of lookup offers and links to other lookup services on the "Lookup Help" page?) There are some people who simply don't enjoy the "thrill of the hunt" that comes with doing their own research, or perhaps they've always been curious about their family history, but just don't have the time or patience that's required for genealogical research.
Whatever the reason, if you're looking for someone to do some legwork for you and you're willing to pay a reasonable fee for that service, we've listed some resources for you here.
We've tried to list professional and/or experienced researchers who are established or reputable, come highly recommended by people whose judgement we trust, or with whom we have personally worked in the past. However, please be aware that we do not necessarily endorse or guarantee the services of any of these research professionals or organizations.
This list is provided for information only, based on numerous requests we've received for such a list. Questions, research requests, fee structures, arrangements for payment, or complaints must be handled strictly between you and the provider whose services you are considering.
Have no idea where that ancestor is living now and which you could have a message forwarded to them? The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a message forwarding service. Please note that there may be a FEE required.
Peninsula Library System
You can order obituary or death notices from the
Francisco Chronicle or San Jose Mercury for a FEE.
I have the California birth indexes - 1905-1995; the California
death indexes 1905-1999; and the California marriage indexes 1949-1986
- I will search the indexes free for five entries at a time. I also
do research through out all of California in the newspapers, etc. Please
see my web site for more information.
"The California Genealogical Society offers both an in-house lookup
service and a comprehensive extended research service. CGS members receive
a 25% discount. Experienced CGS volunteers conduct the research, and all
fees from their work are used to support the library. In-house lookup sources
include Registers of Actions (probate indexes), the 1890 Great Register
(state and SF), biographies from printed publications, films of surviving
pre-earthquake SF vital records, SF Call marriage and death extracts 1900-1905,
IOOF Crematory and Cemetery records and city directories. In addition,
an extended research service is offered to solve more difficult problems.
This may involve securing documents not found in the CGS library, such
as obituaries, vital records, deeds and probate records."
We have several full-time researchers who work throughout San Francisco
and the Bay Area getting copies of vital records, cemetery records, land
deeds, probate, and other local records of interest. Many of our researchers
often work at the San Francisco Public Library, NARA, California State
Archives (Sacramento), and other records repositories. We also have access
to all local state, town, and county records currently available on microfilm
at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City since we have several
full-time researchers working there also. We are also specialists in emigration/immigration
research and have worked on hundreds of research cases in the UK, Italy,
Mexico, and Ireland over the years.
Those who research California records are listed in the directory at http://expertgenealogy.com/service.asp?specialty=USAWest
Other directories show:
Oral History Services
"Everyone has a story to tell. Do you have a family member you wish you had recorded before they died? Is there a photo that fell apart in a drawer? Storyteller is an oral history group that will record your friends, family and accomplices. We do what you've always wanted to do--we rephotograph and scan crumbling archives. We rcord the oral histories of people you know. We give them back to you in the form of CDs and even iPods so that you can enjoy their words for years to come."
Call us 415.664.7509 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org