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Today’s Tip:  When you need an ‘expert’ to help in genealogy, make certain they are a cultural expert as well!
On occasion I have the need for someone in the field to help me out with some specific  need in genealogy.  It might be due to a geographic limitation (as much as I’d love to go to Italy to do my own research, it isn’t in the cards right now).   Perhaps it is due to a language barrier that a simple Google translate or Babblefish won’t manage (software can decipher words, but often not the meaning held in those words).  Maybe it is that genealogical brick wall that you cannot seem to breach.
Whatever the reason, sometimes we need help.  
My tip is …. when you need this kind of help, be sure to seek out an expert in your field and make certain they are steeped in, and fully understand, the culture of the country they are working in for you.
I’ve been bamboozled a couple of times by folks who claim to be expert, but when I get the results back it is evident to me that something is missing.  Usually it is that connection of the data/information with the culture of the country it originated in.  
Luckily, I have been blessed with those occasions when I have connected with a true expert and the results are staggeringly rich and good!  The quality exceeds my expectations due in large part to the fact that their cultural knowledge base is so much richer and deeper than mine.  
My recent expert, Peter Farina, in Italy is one such example of this.  Not only did he get the information I was seeking, but he gave it to me the way it has to be in order to be accurate in the Italian culture.  Plus the learning I get to do is an incredible added bonus!
I have had the same experience with an expert in the Czech Republic with Miroslav Koudelka.  When the data is woven correctly with the cultural context, the value skyrockets!
I have had the same thing happen here in the States too.  It was as I have been trying to discover more information about the early Bohemian immigrant community of Cleveland, Ohio.  I have been blessed to find an incredible expert who not only understands the facts and figures, but perhaps more importantly, he is an expert in immigration who also fully understands the Bohemian culture.  This means he can put it all in the proper context and background.  What I get is not just numbers and dates, but a well woven cultural fabric of those times that includes those facts and figures.
So when you need to seek that expert ….. make certain they are a cultural expert as well!  You will get an ROI that will knock your socks off!
Onward To Our Past,
Scott

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