Ask a LIVE Person

Many genealogical publications remain tucked away in libraries and private collections. There are so many publications that contain genealogical information, that it may be decades before it is all accessible online. The "live" part of the Live Roots concept is to allow your research to continue even when the publication isn't available online. There's nothing more frustrating than finding a resource that could hold the missing link in your tree, and then discovering that there are no places online to access it.

Live Roots tackles this issue by including titles in the catalog that researchers have at their disposal, and allowing you to pay for some of their time to obtain the information relevant to your surname(s). In a few quick steps, you'll be given an estimate for the work (based on the type of resource and its physical location), and create a work ticket to have the researcher obtain a digital copy (scan or hi-res photo) of the pages referencing a specific name (or surname). As soon as you complete payment for the ticket, the researcher will be given your assignment.

Here's how it works:

  1. When you find an offline resource that is part of our live assistance program, one of two things will occur. You will either be prompted with the question, "Would you like to hire a Live Roots researcher to access this document on your behalf?" or you'll have the option to search the index of the resource.
  2. If the resource has been indexed, you'll be able to locate the specific name you would like to obtain additional details for. Otherwise, you will be prompted to enter a name for the researcher to check.
  3. The next screen will verify you request (showing the title of the resource and the name you requested). This screen also shows the service fee and approximately when your request will be completed. If you wish, you can see the details of the service fee before proceeding.
  4. Enter your name and email address, and continue if you wish to request this information. Once you complete this step a work order will be created. You'll receive a confirmation email with the details of the request for your records.
  5. The next screen you will see is payment screen. You are not required to pay immediately; however, your work order will not be assigned to a researcher until payment is received. You may pay online with PayPal, or print out an order form and mail in your payment.
  6. When your payment is received, the work order is assigned to a researcher and they are sent an email with the details of your request. Many researchers have a set schedule when the visit libraries and archives in their area. Upon their next visit, they will access the resource you selected, locate the name you specified, and take a digital photo of the pages mentioning that name.
  7. When the researcher returns to their office, they will combine the digital images and title page of the resource into a .PDF file an email it to you.

The amount of information available for an individual will vary from resource to resource. The service fee is based on the amount of work involved in obtaining the information, not the amount of information found.

When you order from a non-indexed resource, you are required to pay the service fee regardless of whether or not the name you requested appears in the resource. The service fee covers the researcher's time and effort, not the results. Refunds are not given when the name you requested is not found.

If you place work orders for multiple names from the same resource (or from different resources at the same location), then you may be entitled to a partial credit. This credit will be issued only if the researcher is able to perform the work on the same visit.

Lastly, this service is intended to locate information about specific individuals in specific resources. You may NOT place an order for an entire surname. If you wish to have general research performed, please contact a professional genealogist.

Included in this service will be the Live Roots Library Collection, available online for the first time.