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A genealogist is a person who collects and compiles information on his or her own family or someone else's. Genealogists range from the casual family historian to the professional researcher who works for hire. However, the term genealogist implies a systematic and responsible method of inquiry, working from reliable sources, and documenting facts such that another person could repeat his or her steps with the same results. The term may also refer to an expert in genealogy.

The genealogist's goal is not only to document facts and family relationships, but also to build a historical context, to help family members better understand and appreciate their heritage.

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