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Old 06-30-2013, 06:33 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
2 posts, read 1,162 times
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I am an adoptee and am looking for my birth father. I have done the 23andMe DNA test and am waiting for the FamilyTree DNA test.

Have any of you had an experience in hiring a genealogist who might specialize in the Pennsylvania area? If so, could you share your experience, success or failure?

Any recommendations on hiring one would also be much appreciated.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:53 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,085 posts, read 17,217,450 times
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For starters you could go to an online PA genealogy site. They have volunteers who help people and they are usually good, honest people who could probably steer you to a professional genie who could do this for you.

The PAGenWeb Project This site might lead to something.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,564 posts, read 26,178,293 times
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The only problem is that even a professional genealogist is up a creek without names to work with.

Even if you have an extensive family tree already, genetic matches can be difficult to work out. I have my own tree back to the 1700s for most lines and I still have matches that I cannot link to my tree.

If you are lucky, you may get some close matches, say first or second cousins. If they are cooperative, you may find some family names to work with and find people who may have some knowledge of a child in the family who was placed for adoption. Some people have even matched with siblings or half siblings, but that is a long shot.

Have you identified any blood relatives who might be willing to be tested? If so, that can help narrow down any DNA matches that are from your biologic mother's side of the family.

Last edited by suzy_q2010; 06-30-2013 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:40 PM
bjh
Status: "That's a discovery, is it?" (set 7 hours ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,260 posts, read 22,815,999 times
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If you've got names, dates, and places, a private investigator may be more helpful. They find living people. Genealogists generally research the lives of the deceased.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
2,956 posts, read 4,521,249 times
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You should be using a "search angel" that specializes in adoptee searches for free. Most are very experienced and highly motivated genealogists and people finders who are faster and more effective than paid services, so there is no reason you should pay anyone. Also just about every state has its own online group for people searching in that state, since laws vary from state to state. There are also groups online for adoptees searching with DNA. There is a learning curve, so it is helpful to have support. Most professional genealogists have little to no experience with genetic genealogy. I will PM you.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:59 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 8,777,159 times
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If your adoption records are sealed, you may be able to get them unsealed.


How To Unseal Closed Adoption Records | LIVESTRONG.COM
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:14 PM
 
5,799 posts, read 4,829,449 times
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Really, the simple thing to do is to go to your local public library or a regional public library that specializes in local history and/or genealogy. Librarians and City and County Clerks are the ones who the "private investigators" and professional genealogists go to for information or to use our collections. Librarians can help you do basic research using city directories and high school year books and similar, and can also refer you to a list of respectable local researchers who can help you.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,564 posts, read 26,178,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
Really, the simple thing to do is to go to your local public library or a regional public library that specializes in local history and/or genealogy. Librarians and City and County Clerks are the ones who the "private investigators" and professional genealogists go to for information or to use our collections. Librarians can help you do basic research using city directories and high school year books and similar, and can also refer you to a list of respectable local researchers who can help you.
The OP is looking for a biological parent whose name she does not know. That will make it difficult for her to find anything using traditional genealogy sources.

Aires 63 has the best suggestion.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:04 PM
 
5,799 posts, read 4,829,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
using traditional genealogy sources.
The sources available are recent local history sources, which can be considered "genealogical" but can also just be considered research sources. All of the local adoption researchers use my collection. OP doesn't have to do the research herself of course, but when searching for the names of reputable adoption researchers - ask the librarians in the areas in which the adoption probably occurred. The researchers we recommend will be using our collections.

I'm speaking in present tense, but I retired from local history/genealogical librarianship a few years ago.
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