Don't overlook asking Libraries, Archives and Museums for help. My husband's ancestor Michael Jackson (yes truly that is his name) lived in Nenagh, Tipperary Ireland. Finding details on him or his family have been challenging!
|Marriage Michael Jackson & Mary Moynahan 1835|
4 February 1847: Rate for the Relief of the Poor of Nenagh Union: Michael Minihan" house and land, Sarah Minihan, Michael JacksonBut I wanted details! After a search of various websites to find out where these records might be held, I learned from the National Archives of Ireland that the Tipperary Public Library had the Rate Books. An hour on their website didn't yield any information that led me to believe they offered any research services, and I could not find a working email address.
Since I'm not one to give up, I ended up "creating" a few email addresses based on their domain name tipperarylibraries.ie. Most websites have an admin address and other standard ones such as "info". So I wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org and a few others I thought might work. None bounced back so that seemed successful. Of course whether or not anyone would respond was another matter. I kept my email request concise but provided necessary details, offered to pay for research services and requested assistance.
To my surprise and delight, early this morning I received a lovely email from a woman who is part of a Tipperary Studies project. I guess one of my emails was forwarded to her. She took quite a bit of time to research all the Rate books on my behalf, as well as gravestone inscriptions and prison records. She also provided a link to a subscription Irish Newspaper site where I could search for the individuals in question.
What a lovely surprise that was! I now have more details on Michael Jackson and his possible brother-in-law Michael Minihan.
So never hesitate to ask. Offer to pay for services, keep your email brief but be sure to give details needed (names, dates, locations), and ask for help with ONE question. You never know - you might get lucky.