Genealogy & The Search For Our Past

Genealogy is growing in popularity as more and more people, curious about their roots, are finding it possible to access a vast amount of digitized genealogical data from their home computers. However, despite the wealth of information available online, the majority of original records and artifacts are still found only in libraries, courthouses, and archives. Professional genealogists are familiar with the repositories and record collections in their research locales, are trained to analyze historical records, and have the experience and skills needed to solve complex problems. If your research has stalled, or you’ve found you need access to records presently unavailable to you, or you simply don’t know how to get started, a professional researcher can be a good option.

Lantern Genealogy’s full-time principal researcher Claire Varrieur Butler can help you trace your family’s history by providing thoroughly researched, well documented reporting, which is supported by evidence and adheres to sound standards of genealogical proof. In addition to 30+ years of personal research, Claire has been assisted clients with their projects since 2010. She conducts onsite research in a number of counties in both Northwest Pennsylvania and Northwest New York, and is available to help with projects that range from locating a single historical document to compiling multi-generation family histories and solving “brickwall” problems using complex evidence and advanced methodology. Whether you’re just beginning your research, or have been at it for a while, Claire would love to help!

What Lantern Genealogy Can Do For You:


  • On-site work at local repositories whose records are not available online
  • Retrieval & analysis of deeds, probate, newspapers, and vital records
  • Grave marker photography and transcription
  • Forensic genealogy & heir search services
  • Photography of local sites of relevance to your research


  • Compiled genealogies
  • Narrative style family histories 
  • In depth research to solve complex problems and brick walls
  • Research for lineage society applications
  • House histories


  • Organizing, data entry, filing systems
  • Blog & genealogy website design
  • Education

See the Services Tab for more details.

Hiring a Professional Genealogist

The Association for Professional Genealogists has a brochure on Hiring a Professional which can answer your questions about employing a professional to help with your project, and offer guidance as you select a researcher.