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  • Writer's pictureKellie Farrish

When to Hire a Professional Genealogist

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

You've purchased the subscription, returned the DNA sample, now you're faced with sorting through thousands of people who are distantly related to you. What do you do now?



Identify the relationships you know

Seeing a familiar relationship in your ancestry DNA results will help you identify those you do not know. In many cases, shared matches with a known relative will explain what line the match belongs to (paternal or maternal) and which ancestor or set of ancestors you share.


Determine which generation the match belongs

Is this a second cousin match? If so, the two of you share a great grandparent. If it is a third cousin match, you share a 2nd great grandparent. Pay attention to which generation you share with your match and create a tree using that shared ancestor to lead to your more recent known ancestors.


Unknown surname? Check the location

Looking at the location of a cousin match with a surname you do not recognize may be a clue that was a relationship between your ancestors. If you find names you do not know and cannot figure out the relationship, it is time to contact a genealogist to help you!

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New York Resources

New York Slavery Records Index, Records of Enslaved Persons and Slave Holders in New York from 1525 through to the Civil War: https://nyslavery.commons.gc.cuny.edu/ Lehman College, Slavery Indexes-Ens

New Jersey Resources

History of Slavery in New Jersey, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_New_Jersey African Amerian Ancestry Research in New Jersey, Family Search: https://www.familysearch.org

Mississippi Resources

Mississippi Probate Records, 1781-1930: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2036959 Mississippi African American Ancestry Resources, Family Search: https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Afri

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