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How Genlighten Works

Posted On: May 19th, 2009 | Posted by: Dean


Diane Haddad was kind enough to mention Genlighten on her Genealogy Insider blog today. For those of you who are visiting this blog as a result of Diane’s post, I thought I’d offer a brief overview of “How Genlighten Works”.

First and foremost, we’re an online marketplace for genealogy document research and retrieval services — or genealogy lookups for short.

If you’re looking for specific genealogy documents — death certificates, marriage licenses, obituaries, probate records, etc. — and they’re not already available online, you can use Genlighten to connect with a local researcher who may have access to the documents you want. You can get help from our local researchers — we call them lookup providers — in two different ways.

First, you can search our lookup listings geographically by county. For example, if you need a record for Chicago or elsewhere in Cook County Illinois,  you simply select that locality on our lookup search page. You’ll see a list of our providers and the lookups they offer, their fees, and client ratings they’ve received. If you see a lookup you’re interested in, you’ll click through to get more details, enter the data the provider needs to perform the lookup, and add the lookup to your shopping cart. The provider will then retrieve the document and upload a digital image to the site for you to view and download.

Second, if we don’t currently offer the lookup you’re after, you can submit a custom lookup request. Here you’ll define a document retrieval task you’d like performed, set a target price and a specify a deadline. Our providers will be alerted to your request and submit quotes. You can then choose from among them the one that best meets your needs. Providers can’t see each others’ quotes, so there’s less chance of a “race to the bottom”.

Our site is still not fully operational yet, and we won’t be open to a wide audience for another month or two. For now, you can register to be invited to our private beta. We’ll send you an invite code when the site is ready for you to try out. If you have questions in the meantime, please feel free to click on the “Contact” link above for ways you can get in touch with us. If you’re interested in becoming one of our lookup providers, you’re welcome to download a copy of our free Provider “How To” Guide. Thanks!

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