My Experience Using a Pro Genealogist for Document Retrieval

Background: I’ve been wanting to order my 3rd-great-GF and 2nd-great-GF’s compiled military service records (CMSR) and Civil War pension records from NARA for some time now.  It was cost-prohibitive to me in that it would take literally months for my request to be filled and even then the people who are contracted to copy do just that, copy what’s in the file in whatever order it’s in (not really reading the article looking for further clues).  Not to mention the fact that I was concerned I’d send the wrong file numbers to NARA and waste my money.  So, on the advice of a member on the APG list to contact fellow APG members in the DC area willing to do lookups and searches at NARA, I did just that.

In 17 days, I had over 230 pages from the files of John Ford and Lyman S. Ford.  The genealogist I hired is Pamela Loos-Noji, Ph.D. who gave permission to share her name and services here.  My copies were sent to me via Dropbox, which I then saved to my computer.  Excellent copies of the documents and in order!  And, really, what I paid to Ms. Loos-Noji is comparable to what I would’ve paid NARA.

To put it mildly, I am thrilled!  So thrilled, in fact, that I will most likely use her services again in the future for my other ancestors with Civil War military history (I’m looking at you, Paul Mayer!).

jf_0046 Written by John Ford himself!

lyman_0078 One image from Lyman S. Ford’s file

I haven’t had time to explore all the images and analyze anything so I chose one of John’s in his own handwriting and a random image from Lyman’s file.

Needless to say, I am extremely pleased with the results.  Check out apgen.org if you need to find a pro to do some work for you!

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