Posted by Todd Godfrey on June 25, 2009 in Research

We have just launched the beta version of a new service called Expert Connect. This new service connects members and visitors with some of the world’s best independent professional genealogists and local researchers. The initial services available include:

Record Pickup – Hire a researcher in another state or country to visit a specific archive, collect the record you need and send it to you.

Local Photo – Pay a researcher in your ancestor’s hometown to snap a picture of a headstone, historic building or other landmark.

Ask an Expert – Post a question to a range of professionals and get the advice and direction you need.

Record Lookup –Work with a professional to track down hard to find records and retrieve a copy for you.

Custom Research – Recruit a seasoned professional to take on a complex project that may be beyond your experience or time availability.

Starting a project is simple and there are hundreds of experts available to help from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom. More are joining everyday offering their unique services. These are terrific, dedicated people with a passion for genealogy and a real desire to help you discover more of your family history. With their help you just may find that brickwall in your research start to crumble.

Check out the beta site at Please provide your feedback as you use the service. We are excited to offer yet another way to help you discover your story.


  1. Brooke Schreier Ganz

    Er, I’d love to post a small project there. Just tried to do so, in fact. But on the very last step, where I submit the final project to be posted, I’m getting an unhelpful error message and an instruction to contact tech support, instead. with a site error? Gee, who woulda thunk it. *rolls eyes*

  2. Arthur Granbury

    Why is this better than the myriad of VOLUNTEERS who provide these same services FOR FREE, as gifts to the genealogical community?

    Anyone? Oh, yeah – money in Ancestry’s pocket.

  3. Stuart LeVine

    DO you suppose this is a good place to post a problem with the website for the experts to fix? I tried to submit it via contact us, but that page is broken. I tried to submit it on the page error link a dozen times over 5 years, but no one responded.

    So maybe this is the spot?

    Can you tell me why I have been reporting an incorrect film for 5 years and not only has it never been fixed, I never even get a response from you about it?

    Is this the way you expect to keep customers?

    The roll of film is for the WWI draft registration – Lancaster COunty, Pennsylvania, Names beginning with ‘Y’ in Board 4.

    Instead of names beginning with Y there are names beginning with C.

  4. Marylyn731

    A suggestion for a quick fix: have Type included when a photo is first uploaded. It would save time instead of going back to the photo to click edit and change type to (for example) Document/Certificate. Thanks

  5. Mike

    I would not be interested in using a middleman like Ancestry if I wanted to use a professional genealogist for a research project. However for the record pickup service at a reasonable fee that is fine.

    So I just tried to do that and got all the way to the end where one enters credit card info. Then when I pressed next my browser informed me that although the page itself was encrypted, the (credit card) info was about to be sent over an unsecure connection. So I hit the option to cancel that my browser (FF3) gave me.

    Par for the course on Ancestry where little is tested (well) before rollout.

  6. Andy Hatchett

    All I can say is “Let the buyer beware!”

    One person offering to help people with their research has a tree online that has seventeen biological impossibilities in it-all of which can be found in older WorldConnect and/or OneWorld trees.

    Makes you wonder just how she defines “research”.

  7. Brooke Schreier Ganz

    I want to amend my earlier comment on this blog post. Somebody from Ancestry’s customer support apparently saw it and e-mailed me within a few hours, offering to help. They asked for some information from me to try to replicate my problem, which I provided. They confirmed that I had found a bug, which they will be fixing shortly — the problem was that the title of my request was too long. They shortened it for me and now my Expert Connect request is online. Thanks, Ancestry! It’s nice to know you guys listen to us…sometimes. 🙂

  8. BobNY

    Your cute little pictograph for Record Lookup states, “Locate the archive you need.”

    However, on the Expert Connect homepage if one clicks though on Archives Available, the result is:
    “We’re sorry. An error occurred while processing your request. Please try again later, or contact Customer Support for assistance.”

    Failure at step 1 makes it rather difficult to provide any meaningful feedback.

  9. tonia

    I tried to sign up yesterday, and kept getting that I wasnt putting in my information correctly…either at all or incorrect, tried doing it for a monthly payment option.
    Each time I did it, there would be a different problem…First it was the city, zip code, credit card not valid…then one time EVERYTHING was wrong…..I am pretty sure I know where I live, and I am damn sure my credit card is good…
    so after several attempts…I gave up
    Oh well

  10. I tried to send on e-mail to Technical Support but was unable to because there’s an empty drop-down box under the Technical Support drop-down box that was a required field to be filled in prior to sending the e-mail. I need help with the following problem.

    Today I received five e-mailed messages to my account with the subject: “New message from smokinranchon”. (All five messages are from the same person with different information.) When I hit either the “Reply Online” or the “View Message” buttons, I get the following message:

    “It appears that you are trying to view a message that is not to you or from you. Please make sure that you are logged in to the site with the proper account and then try accessing the message again.” (Why would these messages come to my e-mail if they weren’t for me?)

    None of these messages has yet appeared in my inbox on yet.

    I would like to reply to this person because she is a known cousin, but I am unable to access the messages. Do the messages only post to my inbox or to once a day and that’s why I can’t access them?

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  11. Sheree

    Need some help- just registered on expertconnect. I think I misunderstood about log in or log out- I have a private tree for many years and would like to figure out how to combine my two accounts- my longstanding personal account and the new one I just created for expertconnect- Can this be done?

    Seems to many steps with two different accounts- Thanks

  12. I have been trying to find this one person and tht is how all of this started although i think i need some help? i believe tht he may have died last year but im not sure. if you could help tht would be grt and mean alot?



  13. Dolores

    I am at a loss. Done Ellis Is, Kindred, Census, World Vital Rec, My Trees, SS Index. Looking for MARTIN BRUSKO BD 12-7-1895 born Czech/married Eliz Cernak, bd 11-16=1892, SS issued 1936 NYC to both. Need ancestry & geneology for medical. Thanks anyone…

  14. Sodindo Banana

    I like this. Of course, I’d rather travel to these locations myself or have someone help me for free… but if nothing else, I like having another option for getting information I need.

  15. Todd Godfrey

    Thank you very much for your comments. We have reached out directly to those experiencing site issues. The Expert Connect issues mentioned here have been addressed in an update to the site earlier this morning including the Archives Available page, the payment page security warning, and the format of project titles and details.

    Some of the comments posted have been about other features of and we have our customer service team helping with these. Please keep the feedback coming as we use this beta period to enhance and improve this new service.

  16. Mike Fleming

    Wow, looks suspiciously like I’ve been signed up with them for the past year and really like how they do business. None of the bugs and easy to use. They also responded right away to any message I’ve sent. Yes, Virginia, there are alternatives!!

  17. OH MY GOD! Have I joined an expensive Genealogy website scam?
    I am rather new here, and to find so many people full of excessive complaints. I have never heard so many people disgusted at your website I feel like I have jumped into a large explosive inferno of fire here. I am going to try it and if I feel the same way you do, I will definitely leave. I was so proud of myself for paying such an expensive amount of money just to find out otherwise. I paid for the world connect too. I thought it was pretty steep but then thought I would be getting steep/better assistance. A man from the place I need all my information offered to do it for less than $200.00, does that tell me something?

    I just pray to God that I feel better than you all do and get all the information I need in an expedited manner.

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