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How to Post a Custom Research Request

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Need a little research help? Try posting a custom research request.

Here’s how:

1) Log into Genlighten. (If you don’t have an account, just create one. It’s quick and easy.)

2) Click on the “Find Helpful Researchers” tab.

3) Click on the “Submit Public Research Request” button.

4) Tell the Genlighten community what you need. You should be specific, but you don’t need to write a novel or share details that you’d rather keep private.

Include the record type, the place, and an approximate date range in the title.

“Boston Naturalization Record, c. 1920”

“1943 Probate Search in Kane County, Illinois”

Use the description field to explain what your project will involve.

“I need someone to check an index and locate a naturalization record for my grandfather who arrived in Boston in 1911 and lived out his life there.”

“My uncle died in Kane County in 1943. I need someone to check the probate index and obtain a copy of the file, if it’s available.”

Give providers an idea of your research budget.

Be realistic. Estimate time and expenses for your request and budget accordingly.

Once you click the “Post Public Request” button, site administrators will receive email notification that your request is ready for review. If it’s a legitimate request—not spam—it will appear on the site pretty quickly. If we’re by our computers, it might just be a matter of minutes. If we’re not, it can take a few hours.

If a provider can help, he or she will message you for more information and/or submit a quote for your project. You can then review the quote, check the provider’s profile, view previous feedback, ask questions, and provide more information, if needed.

If you find someone you’d like to work with, you can accept a quote to get the project underway. If you receive a quotes that won’t work for you, you can just decline them.

Custom research requests without quotes expire in 14 days but you’re always welcome to post again.

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