Readers' questions: Find a professional genealogist
Bob asked me:
Can you recommend a person or service that would assist me (for a fee) in tracing our Dutch roots ? I have a family 'bible' from the 1700s written in old Dutch (German?)
And David asked:
I read some Dutch, and often can do a good job translating to English. But sometimes it would be helpful to have a native Dutch speaker check my translations. Do you know of any genealogists or translators who would be willing, for a fee, to take a look at a Dutch document and my translation? Do you have any other suggestions?
Most provincial archives have a list of professional genealogists working in their region. You can find addresses and websites of the archives in the regional genealogy section on Trace your Dutch roots.
The Central Bureau for Genealogy (CBG) also maintains a list of professional genealogists. You can find it here (PDF, you will need Adobe Acrobat or a similar program to read it). Researchers marked with an asterisk * do research in (post-1811) BMD records, researchers marked with two asterisks ** do research in all relevant archives. Region or specialty of researchers is usually listed. Bob will need a researcher marked with two asterisks, for David it depends on the type of documents that need to be translated.
A third option is to find someone on Genealogy Freelancers, but I don't know if they have any freelancers specialized in Dutch genealogy. I have no experience with this organization.
I would advise Bob to find out whether the text in the bible is Dutch or German before hiring a (paid) genealogist. Post a scan on the internet (for example on flickr) and ask people to look at it - ask at internet forums (see the regional genealogy section and the Getting help chapter on Trace your Dutch roots online for addresses; I recommend soc.genealogy.benelux), or ask the readers of this blog (leave a comment below).
David can also look for Dutch translators in his local yellow pages, or for English translators in the Dutch yellow pages. There used to be several free translation services on the internet (like e-transcriptum.net and Translate-Free.com), but they seem to have disappeared. Maybe a Google search will turn up similar services. If David does not have too many translations, he can also try internet forums like soc.genealogy.benelux.
UPDATE: Deborah Irwin, CEO of Genealogy Freelancers, informed me that they do indeed have Dutch researchers: "We do have researchers in the Netherlands so I hope we can be of service to your readers [...]."
Do you also have a question about Dutch genealogy that you want me to discuss? Leave your question in the comments below this post, or use the contact form.