Genealogical Research Services

I help you find Chicago ancestors.

Chicago genealogical research is not only my specialty, it's my passion. The website tutorial pages speak to my understanding of Chicago records. These samples of my work speak to my current level of proficiency in research, analysis, and writing: Narrative | Proof | Pioneer Application. And, the client reviews on my Genlighten profile speak to client satisfaction.

I am actively striving to polish my research skills. I have finished the National Genealogical Society's American Genealogical Studies course (2019), completed the eighteen-month ProGen Study Group experience, and recently had a winning contest submission titled "James Ayer Smith: Hatter and Furrier" published in the Chicago Genealogical Society's quarterly.

Here's what you can expect, if you hire me for your project:

1) We will work together to agree on a narrowly-focused research question. If your goal is broad, we will break the research down into small, manageable, measurable steps.

2) I will take a close look at what you know before we begin. I will ask you to share any documents or stories that you might have so I can look for clues to use in brainstorming focused, efficient ways to address your research question.

3) I generally work on one large project at a time. You may need to wait a short time before I'm able to begin your research (usually a matter of days), but once I do, it will likely receive my undivided attention.

4) I never promise that I will be able to answer a research question. But, I do promise that I will work hard to find answers and that I will provide a carefully-written report to document the research that I do.

5) We will agree ahead of time on a quote that will include a maximum fee for the research described; if the research goes quicker than expected, I will adjust the final bill accordingly.

6) I will keep you informed of my progress.

For a no-obligation consultation to explore the possibility of setting up a project, please email me (Cyndy) at