....Looking and being professional gets you more help, as a genealogist.
--Foremost, The Golden Rule applies when requesting information by
mail. ALWAYS enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with
your requests, especially to family, friends, and hoped-for
--To be the professional genealogist, and to look the part, learn how
to spell CEMETERY (and not with an ..ary). The word RECEIVE
is likewise deceiving, and is not spelled as it sounds.
--Make BUSINESS CARDS for yourself on the computer where
the cost is minimal and show your full name (ladies including their
MAIDEN name in parenthesis), along with hyphens to given surnames
where there has been more than one marriage, i.e. Reynolds-Green.
In bolder print, identify yourself as "The Family's Genealogist"---
the handle I use, and gladly share with anyone, or whatever else be of
your choosing. Offer your mailing address, phone number,
FAX if applicable, and E-Mail address too.
--Create your individual LETTERHEAD as a genealogist. It's great for
requesting all sorts of documents, or just writing friends and relatives.
To make it easily, you can glue down some sort of genealogy paste-up
in the top center, after you have printed out a well-framed page with
your personal data (to include your full name, address, phone number,
FAX number, and most certainly your E-Mail address). Take the
pasted-up copy to a local Xerox printing establishment to run multiple
copies. I have found that MAIL BOXES ETC will print my copies for
3.5 cents a page, or 3.50 per hundred. I use hundreds of pages
of this letterhead.
--RETURN ADDRESS labels are a must for genealogists, for all that
Snail Mail. They are also good to use when attending any function or
meeting where you want to leave your trail. My top choice for
inexpensive Address Labels, where they will print a 5-line label,
is MILES KIMBALL, Oshkosh, WI 54906. (You can write for
their Free Catalog, sorry no Toll-Free number available.) I buy a
variety of their labels the 5-liners in Clear, and in White, also their
Jumbo Address Labels and their large Mailing Labels with my
return address which I use on extremely large envelopes, tubes, and
--If you are in the business of mailing genealogy books which you have
bound and printed, have an Office Supply Store make you a
hand-stamp to read: BOUND BOOK MATTER, to use in stamping
on the outside of the heavy-duty envelope or box in which it is
shipped. Otherwise, the Post Office has a much more expensive
postage rate that they will use. This is one of the best tricks-of-
the-trade I have found.
--Treat yourself to some genealogical RUBBER STAMPS. I about
went berserk last year when I first hit upon a fabulous rubber stamping
site for genealogists: http://rootstamps.com/ From there, go to
GENEALOGY, and also check their ON SALE offers. I purchased
dozens of different stamps from these wonderful people who are
old-time genealogists themselves. For awhile, my research efforts took a
back seat while I played at rubber stamping. I even went to school, to
learn the techniques of embossing, etc, with a hot air blower.
The above suggestions will either get you off to a good start, or will
enhance your credibility, as the genealogist you want to be.
--From there, I went to a 1st Class briefcase for all of my traveling
work. The most impressed were at the Cemeteries. Then I
graduated to a Luggage Carrier on Wheels so I could tow it behind me.
You'd be surprised how heavy all those dead bones get to be....
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