TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-08 > 1251331865
From: Jacqueline Wilson <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] privately Re: A newbie - a most basic question
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 19:11:05 -0500
Thank you all for this thread. I Have been starting my "business" for
years. I just never market myself and I keep finding non-paying
things to do. LOL
That said. I think I know what my business will be: family history,
military historical research, and writing both indexes and articles
and hopefully a book or two.
I have my domain name - wilssearch. [my last name plus the work
search Wils Search] To me, this means I will search for your family
family, for military records, and for locator terms (indexing).
My problem with all this seems to be I will be spread to thin - jack
of all trades and master of none. I have been doing genealogy off and
on for over 30 years, studying the US Civil War and the history of the
Old West for about 25, years, and indexing less than 10.
I know eventually I will need to do d/b/a and write a business plan.
Because indexing is so different from doing historical research, I
have not figured out a way to combine them in the same business.
You all have given me food for thought. Hopefully, I will see many of
you in Little Rock next week.
~ Jackie Wilson
On Aug 26, 2009, at 5:58 PM, Rondina Muncy wrote:
> Thank you for reposting. I've interpersed my answers within your
> text below.
> I'm a little long-winded in this one. This is the one time I'm going
> to lay
> this stuff out here.
> Rondina P. Muncy
> Ancestral Analysis
> 2960 Trail Lake Drive
> Grapevine, Texas 76051
> On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 3:58 PM, Connie Sheets <>
>> Your post below made me wonder: what percentage of your clients
>> have roots
>> other than in Texas? I mean, do you always start with a more
>> recent Texas
>> settler and then go back east, or do you get some clients who hire
>> because you have experience with Midwestern research, even though
>> you are
>> based in Texas?
> Before my current client, all my client-based research began with
> Texas and
> usually ended here. This occurred before I had a business name, so
> that was
> not a factor. Now, I have been working for my current client for two,
> yes---count them, two years. My first project, which I will end up
> attempting to publish in the Q, was based solely on Georgia
> research. I had
> limited experience in Georgia. If I have to enter into new
> territory, I do
> not bill for time learning the ropes and that includes almost all
> time spent
> on reading area/state histories and I tend to read *everything* out
> This particular case was to prove or disprove that the patriot the
> had joined DAR as a descendant of was, indeed, a patriot. I began
> with at
> least 15 men with the same name; all documents filed within the same
> file in
> the Georgia State Archives and whittled them down to three
> candidates. After
> reading 40 years of tax records, I knew the answer.
> This led to my second job for the same client---finding a
> patriot. This research went relatively quickly and was based almost
> on Kentucky/Virginia records. There was no learning curve on this one,
> probably because I have kept my eye on Virginia research for quite
> some time
> in preparation for one of my own lines.
> This led to the project I am currently working on, which traces, yet
> another, ancestor back---this time from Texas, where he promptly
> died upon
> arrival, back through his life. Any area I have not researched in
> gets the full treatment on MY tab before and I can't emphasize this
> BEFORE I begin research in the new area. Thus, while working on
> Indiana and Ohio (I feel in love with the Virginia Military
> District!) I was
> reading about the history of and learning the migration routes through
> Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware in detail.
> This one
> will be submitted to the Q also. Next, comes the book which includes
> narrative genealogy for said ancestor and two more generations. So I'm
> eyeing the services of Michael, after reviewing his website.
>> One of the major reasons I've never seriously considered hanging
>> out my
>> shingle is because Arizona was so recently and sparsely settled
>> until the
>> 1950s/60s, and because with the current demographics I already have
>> able competition for the limited number of people with deep Arizona
>> And if I _were_ to try to market myself as an expert in, say, early
>> to mid
>> 19th century rural Illinois, how do I compete against the people who
>> actually live in Illinois? (I know part of that answer is by being
>> or finding a more precise specialty like you have with the land
> I feel in love with land records and platting first, which is why I
> feel in
> love with the Virginia Military District. So, you answered your own
> question. : ) So what are you "in love" with?
>> But, I think the assumption is that professionals need to
>> specialize in the
>> area in which they live, or have a unique specialty like Melanie
>> does with
> I'm not familiar with that assumption. I always thought that the
> came to you by way of what you did and what you loved. The cream
> rises to the top. It's kind of like writing a book. If you allow it
> to, the
> book just writes itself.
>> If so, I feel doubly challenged from the beginning! (Never mind
>> that I'm
>> quiet and shy by nature and have no business sense, at least in the
>> realm of
>> marketing myself!)
> Well, I can't tell from your posts that you are quiet and shy. I've
> the majority of serious genealogists to be type A++ personalities.
> you just are in your realm and feeling your oats when surrounded by
> of your kind. I have a great book for you to read, _The New Rules of
> Marketing and PR_ by David Meerman Scott. (Hoboken, New Jersey: John
> Wiley &
> Sons, 2007). Doesn't that sound like a winner? (No, I think most of
> you will
> steer clear of that one.) I grew up in the marketing research/
> business. Things are a lot different now then in in 50's and 60's.
> is easier, but if you aren't a techie---challenging. This book
> plainly what makes for successful marketing now. I don't expect
> anyone to
> run out and do all the things in the book, if you bother to read it.
> However, you will be better off for having read it because you will
> have a
> better understanding of what makes the market tick.
> So, there you go Connie. Probably, one of the longest answers I've
>> --- On Wed, 8/26/09, Rondina Muncy <> wrote:
>>> I agree with Dee. I changed from "Lone Star Genealogy" to
>>> Analysis" after a year. I decided that "Lone Star" would
>>> encourage potential
>>> clients to believe that Texas research was my specialty.
>>> Catchy name---wrong
>>> emphasis. Certain names stick with us. "Philadelphia
>>> Genealogy" surely
>>> points to the fact that Johanna's specialty is
>>> Philadelphia. Mary Douglass'
>>> tag line "Your Kansas Research Specialist" has stuck with
>>> me. I do think
>>> your business name can influence the amount of business you
>>> get or the type
>>> of client. You definitely have to consider that having a
>>> .com for your
>>> business name (whether it is your name or dba) is
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|Re: [TGF] privately Re: A newbie - a most basic question by Jacqueline Wilson <>|