Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
A researcher is a person who systematically investigates information to establish facts. Researchers dig deeply into a their subject matter, employ scientific methods to arrive at their conclusions, and carefully back up their research with documentation from reliable sources. Researchers may or may not be professionals in their field. However, the mark of a good researcher is to document his or her research such that another person could repeat the steps with the same result. Researchers who specialize in genealogical or family history research, are referred to as genealogists.
Genealogy researchers utilize a variety of sources and visit a number of repositories such as libraries, court houses, historical societies and archives. They may also visit cemeteries or other locations, and may conduct research over the Internet. Those working on their personal family history gather information from a variety of home and family sources, and often collaborate and share information with others working on the same family line.