Assisting the passionate Cork and Ireland
Hello and thank you for looking into my record retrieval services. You may already have met me online while I have been researching my own family history or you may have visited my County Cork genealogy website, corkgen.org. Like you, I have a passion for Cork history and genealogy, I love rolling up my sleeves and digging in, and I love the process and the thrill of discovery as I build my family tree. Genealogy is like a good mystery book that you can't put down.
That's where I hope I can be of use to you. By now you have become somewhat of an expert on Irish records. So YOU tell ME what to look up and I'll go look it up the Mormon Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, which is the headquarters library.
When I first started researching my mother's family, I tried using a record retrieval service with access to the General Record Office (GRO) in Dublin that promised a few days turnaround for a marriage record from 1904. I provided the references for both parties to the marriage (which were the same), waited, then the next thing I got was an email saying, "We couldn't find the record. Thank you for your business." They thought they were done with me but they weren't; I DEMANDED that they look again, they went back to GRO, found the record and sheepishly apologized. I vowed never to use that service again.
That's exactly what I don't want to do to you.
I live very close to the Salt Lake City FHL and if it has what you want I can probably get my hands on it in a matter of minutes.
In the event that I am unsuccessful at finding exactly what you are looking for, you will always get back SOMETHING, normally an inventory of what I searched. Moreover, once you have used my services, I maintain a private file of your requests so I have your research history.
When you have me help you with your own research, your payment goes towards the development, maintenance and hosting of corkgen.org, which provides lots of free information for Ireland and Cork researchers. Thank you for helping me keep the website freely available for everybody's use! 5% of the funds I earn get donated to the Mormon Family History Library for the use of their media, facilities and equipment.
How it works
My time and fees
40 minute ($18 USD) minimum for U.S. residents, billed in 20 minute ($9 USD) increments thereafter. One hour minimum ($27) for non U.S. residents. For extensive tasks that get overestimated, I refund unused 20 minute blocks of time.
It may take me slightly longer to work my way through non-Cork requests, since I am MOST familiar with Cork administrative divisions. However if your request is an Ireland research request using fairly standard sources I would estimate the fee as if I were doing a Cork request.
Besides film, fiche, and periodicals and books, the FHL has subscriptions to many commercial sites. For the rest of the British Isles or elsewhere in the world, I may need an extra day or so to scope out your request to make sure I can do it.
What you get
You get back individual records or pages (assuming a successful search) or an inventory of what was searched (if unsuccessful).
Your images are delivered through email in TIF or JPG form. Several related images may be embedded in a single PDF; these can be extracted.
Depending on the research task, I may return transcribed data in an Excel spreadsheet instead of images.
Any special formatting requests beyond what I do as my standard practice is likely to take more time and therefore cost more.
In the unlikely event I am completely unable to find ANYTHING related to your request, you should still get SOMETHING. Read through the sample research tasks to get an idea of what I send back should this happen.
I am most familiar with County Cork and parts of the surrounding counties, but since the basic data sources for Irish genealogy apply to all of Ireland I can assist with the entire country. In addition, resources for England, Wales Scotland, the United States, and other parts of the world are easily accessible to me if they are at the FHL.
If, in the course of fulfilling your request, I sense that you are unhappy with my estimate, and I feel that I will not be able to make you happy, I will refuse further service and discontinue the retrieval request that you have authorized. Should this happen, I return anything I have found up to the point when I have decided to terminate service, then I subtract out fees for time spent on your request and refund the remainder.
If you are just getting started researching your Irish ancestors visit these pages first. You also have the option of hiring the services of a professional genealogy firm, such as Pro Genealogists in the US or Eneclann in Ireland. (I don't have experience with either of these firms.) If you need local expertise in Cork, consider hiring a Cork genealogist; some are listed on this page. Because they are near the scene of the "action", local genealogists can walk through cemeteries, talk to local people, make local phone calls, and look at the newspaper archives at the Cork and Dublin libraries - important research tasks I cannot do.
For free help with your own research, look at corkgen.org or use Google or post questions on public genealogy forums. I do not give free research help through private email. On the public forums there are lots of knowledgeable people who are very generous with their time. If I cannot help or do not have time to help, somebody else can.
My genealogy activities
I have spent thousands of hours reading films, books and journals and I have literally transcribed thousands of records related to County Cork (8600+ and counting). I live just a few minutes away from the the main FHL and it is the next best thing to being in Cork or Dublin. It is so close that when the weather is cool enough I bicycle there. When I'm there it is not unusual for me to get comfortable on the floor in the Ireland book section and get totally lost in a pile of books.
I am not a professional genealogist, but I am active in genealogy every day. (My academic background includes a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science, an M.S. in Computer Science, graduate work in Linguistics and TESL, and a certificate in animal behavior and dog training.)
My genealogy activities include:
I can access...
Photo credit: Brian Snelson shot this photo of "Kessie" 1-Jul-1986, uploaded to Wikimedia 18-Nov-2008 from Flickr.
Copyright © 2012 Desert Ireland
Susan J. Barretta