When people simply ask what I do, the quick answer is that I can research their family history or solve genealogy questions for them. My website, www.familysherlock.com, has all of the basic information about my business. I will use this blog for the other types of questions and requests that come up. I will not blog about client's projects unless they give me permission, but I will blog about my own projects. So no client has to worry about those skeletons in the closet!
I have been asked a couple interesting questions recently:
Can I research adoptions? In general, no, and this is for two reasons. If an ancestor was adopted in the 19th century or earlier, the family may have just taken the child in, with no paperwork, etc. If it is a recent adoption, the records are most likely sealed. However, there are exceptions. I found my great-uncle's birth records recently, and I will put that story on this blog later. So, if a client has an adoption in their ancestry and wants me to do some research on it, I certainly can, but there will be no guarantee of any results.
Can I find an ancestor's health history? Again, medical records are sealed, so I cannot provide this information. Occasionally death certificates, cemetery records, or obituaries indicate cause of death, but this is not really a health history of the person's lifetime. Again, I could research cause of death but with no guarantee of results. A client could also take a DNA test such as 23andme to find out a little more about their inherited health history. Although I have little experience with these test, I could refer clients to a genealogist with more experience.