Another option worth considering for Making Your Own Family Tree, but it’s an expensive one: is hiring a professional genealogist. If you chose one with experience, sense of responsibility and dedication you might get high quality results.
It’s a good idea of course to hire a professional, especially if you’re stuck. But it is vital you do your homework when you’re looking for one. Unfortunately there are a lot of organizations eager to take your money rather than giving you all the information you need to put up your tree.
Try to find out some background about the professional. Has he or she been useful to others? How far is he able to go back in history? You might also want to know his way of working. Where does he get his information, how come you couldn’t get that and what can you expect of him?
While you are investigating him / her, you also want to know how accurate the tree is the professional will deliver to you. A tree full of errors does you no good, and you have no means to check the tree for its authenticity, so you need a guarantee upfront.
So it is vital to get references before you hire a professional and to understand what this pro really can contribute. Checking him with the Better Business Bureau or another organization like that also makes sense.
There are also genealogist societies online and which can point you in the right direction and professional / qualified genealogists are usually advertising in your local yellow pages. Keep you eyes peeled and choose with care.
Personally I’d start with online software at ancestry.com as their database is growing rapidly.