Start with what you know
Family history research can be addictive and if you are nor careful, expensive. You will save money, time and heart-ache if you can narrow down your search early.
Before you spend any money or get going on internet sites, and before you ask a researcher to do some investigating for you, compile as much information as you can on the ancestor or ancestors you are looking for. This usually means starting with yourself and with your own parents. List birth, marriage, death and burial dates and locations, for key events. Home ownership and military service records can also help. Ask your parents and grandparents what they know. Search out any birth, death, or marriage certificates hidden away at home. Check cemetery and burial records. Even old photographs can provide leads. Once you have done this, the gaps in what you know will start to appear and your next steps will become clearer. You can then go to the archives, or online repositories with clear questions in mind.
Your local family history society, or library can also be a great help.
Go to free sites and services first
You can access an abundance of records without cost at local libraries, family history and genealogy societies, and even on-line. Exhaust these sources first.
If you don’t have time or ready access to the sources you want, then move onto paid services. That may be when Australian History Detectives can help.