Guidelines and FAQ’s for Volunteers

Requesting Guidelines for Lookups

Our staff has put together this Guide for becoming a volunteer for you to view and read before making any decisions.

The purpose of this site is to help others obtain copies of documents, pictures of tombstones, etc., that can not be obtained easily by those who do not live in the area of their ancestors.

Volunteering Rules

Follow these common rules when volunteering and fulfilling request for lookups.

  • Ideally, you should reside in the area for which you volunteer.
  • Please read our Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers below before volunteering.
  • Register and create your Profile. Be sure to select volunteer as the role.
  • Create a Listing with our automated form or submit a manual listing.
  • Automated Listings should be able to be seen immediately, Manual listing forms should be posted within 3 days.
  • Your volunteers listing will be located in the Volunteer Directory.
  • When you receive a request, please at least acknowledge that you received it and try to give a rough estimate of a timeline if you decide to accept it.
  • Most request should completed within two weeks at most.
  • If you misplace the request or get a bad email then contact the site admins.
  • You may ask for reimbursement for your expenses in fulfilling a request. For example, like copies, printing fees, postage, film or video tape, parking fees, etc.
  • If you ask for money for expenses please use paypal or an equivalent service. Never ask for people to send cash or checks by mail.

Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers

Ideally, you should reside in the area for which you volunteer, since this is a site where volunteers do the legwork for others.

You are expected to reply to a new request between 48 hours and 2 weeks of receipt. This response lets them know that you have received the request and whether you can honor it or not. Your reply should also advise the requester if there will be any reimbursement of costs that may occur and a general idea of that total. You need to give them a time frame within which you feel you can accomplish their request. If you cannot honor the request you need to let them know this as well, so they can move on to another volunteer.

The purpose of this site is to help others obtain copies of documents, pictures of tombstones, etc., that can not be obtained easily by those who do not live in the area of their ancestors.

Documents could be death records, marriage records, land records, wills, baptismal records from churches, cemetery information in the form of photos of tombstones, military records, obituaries and the list goes on. Of course, all those documents mentioned may or may not be available for copying depending on the location.

The purpose of this site is to help others obtain copies of documents, pictures of tombstones, and other types of secondary/primary sources as proof of lineage. Lookups from a book for every reference to a specific surname can be beneficial, but the ability to do so would be more productive if posted to one of the many genealogical forums (message boards) on the Internet.

You may charge reimbursement only for postage, film, video tapes, cost of making copies, and possibly parking fees. No charges may be made for your time.

Professional genealogists are most welcome to participate as RAOGK volunteers. If you choose to serve as a RAOGK volunteer, be careful to keep professional and volunteer activities separate. You must not use your volunteer position to advertise or recruit clients.

Your name should appear within one to five days. All Volunteers have to be approved. To check your listing, go to the lookup directory. If you do not see your name listed within one week please let us know.

We recommend only ONCE per month but you may choose to do it as often as you like. We believe that a volunteer can spare one day a month to aid another researcher.

We suggest that you keep a waiting list. We have advised requesters they may be put on a waiting list and to please be patient. Please inform those that are on a waiting list of this fact.

If you find yourself swamped, you may go on “Temporary Status” for a period of time so you can catch up on fulfilling your requests without receiving any new ones. Temporary status will remove you from being viewable on the website, but maintain your information in our database. Temporary status can be used if you go on vacation, become ill or having computer problems.

Reply to the requester and ask them to give you more information about their ancestor and to state exactly what they want you to lookup. If you still receive an unreasonable request contact the staff.

Let them know what location the request pertains to and state the problem. The staff member who handles your area will advise you in the matter.

  • Some volunteers choose to honor them. If you do not choose to, simply reply to the requestor and remind them of the RAOGK guidelines.From the FAQ’s for Requester’sThey may request one or two items concerning one or two ancestors.They can not ask a volunteer to do anything outside of their specified location or to do anything for which they have not volunteered.

    Volunteers are only obligated to do one look-up per month. If they make more than one request of any one volunteer per month, that volunteer may request a fee. It’s up to the volunteer to decide what to charge for this.

No, we do not keep a record of how many lookups you have received and completed.

We have a log of all the requests that are made through our site. There are staff members that go through these requests on a daily basis. Their job is to cull out duplicate requests that are sent to more than one volunteer in the same area. In order to give these staff members time to find and notify the requesters, along with the volunteers involved, we would like for you to wait 48 hours before acknowledging receipt of any request you receive.

When a duplicate request is detected, a message is sent out to the requester with the volunteers involved being copied on the message. If you receive one of these duplicate messages, it will contain a message for the requester to select which volunteer they want to do the lookup and to write the others not to bother.

Feel free to link to your profile. Another good way is to post on social media outlets.

Not at this time. We are working on a forum to handle this issue

Please double check to make sure your question has not been answered as it may be covered in an answer to another question.

If your question still has not been answered, please go to our contact us page for information.

When you get to the submit page for signing up below, please enter your name as you would like for it to appear on the site. Please enter your e-mail address correctly, double check (we all make typos).

The next item to check off or fill in is very important, it is your act of kindness (AOK). You need to be as specific as possible as to what you can do, only you know your limitations. You also must remember that a few people will not know much about the area you are located. Many people do not realize that a county/region can be hundreds of miles across so if you can only research in a certain area of the county or region you must specify this in your act of kindness. We ask you to be specific.

After volunteering if you find that you are receiving requests you cannot fulfill, or too many requests, your act of kindness may be too general in scope. You can change your act of kindness anytime by logging in and editing your profile

To volunteer please register here. Then Submit your listing here.