I don't want to re-invent the wheel here ..
just point out that if you do want to "do-it-yourself" then there is a lot of information out there.
Read the Emery Papers: an A-Z of BRITISH GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH
Lynn Tennant has an interesting page for newcomers to Genealogy
Gen-Guide the Genealogy & Family History Guide-
Beginners Level - Information for Getting Started
Intermediate Level - Using records and adding leaves to your Family Tree
Further Realms - Solving Problems and further records for Family History
Genealogy resources on the Internet
A mailing list for Newbies
What is Cyndi's List? More than 240,000 links!
A categorized & cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet.
A list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.
A free jumping-off point for you to use in your online research.
A "card catalog" to the genealogical collection in the immense library that is the Internet.
Your genealogical research portal onto the Internet.
The oldest and largest FREE genealogy Site
Look at my How to Search page
Look at the
help offered on the different Look-up
For example for the West Riding of Yorkshire
Buy a book
2. THE SEMI PROFESSIONALS
People who have been researching for years for themselves
or the local family history society.
Offering their services for research in areas they are knowledgeable about.
Maybe just asking you to pay for postage and travel expenses.
Also offering research based on an hourly rate .. they will provide references
(more than one) if asked and will charge a few pounds an hour.
A good researcher will tell you in advance roughly how much it will cost
and will get back to you and ask permission before going over the estimate.
Genealogy as a Career
Society of Genealogists Information Leaflet No. 5
3. THE PROFESSIONALS
If you do reach a point where you really need professional help then start here:
In Great Britain The SOG and read their:
Employing a professional researcher: a practical guide
Society of Genealogists Information Leaflet No. 28
New Zealand Society of Genealogists Inc
Family history - preserving our past for the future
In the USA
The National Genealogical Society
Others around the world can be found by using
4. THE BLACK SHEEP
Genealogy is "big business" ..
Be very wary of people contacting you ..
people with flowery references openly posted on web-sites ..
I thought this was something new until I read through a few of these sites ..
seems it's being going on for 100s of years.
Myths, Hoaxes & Scams
Genealogy "Hall of Fame"