RATES & SERVICES
Simple lookups: $45/hour
Genealogical coaching: $45/hour
Complex lookups and original research: $60/hour
In all cases, I provide a free assessment report, with recommendations for research and an initial time estimate.
For most jobs (except coaching), I require two (2) hours minimum paid in advance, with a written agreement that I will not exceed a certain number of hours without a review. For very small lookups, I usually agree to one hour paid in advance.
Genealogical coaching gives you one-on-one time with me to discuss your genealogical puzzle. From brand-new hobbyists to experienced genealogists who just need a fresh set of eyes to look at a problem, anyone can benefit from this service. This is great for those who want to do their own research, but need some help getting started or brainstorming a sticky problem. One-hour minimum.
A simple lookup will include such jobs as retrieving court documents or newspaper lookups when you know the newspaper and date of event in question.
Complex lookups may include newspaper research when there are several area papers and several months or years might need to be searched manually.
Land records, for example, may fall into either category, depending on the county. Monroe County land records are poorly indexed and would be considered a complex lookup; the same search in Jefferson County would constitute a simple lookup, due to the differences in organization of these offices.
Original research is when I'm given starter information about a family and asked to run it back for a defined number of generations. One of the most common types of original research is when I have been asked to determine if a particular family line has a Revolutionary war ancestor.
I provide a full documentation of all sources searched, whether successful or not. This way, you know what you are getting.
Document retainers: Depending on the job, I may also ask for a document retainer. This is a fund, generally anywhere from $25-$100 to start, to pay for documents I need to acquire for research purposes, such as vital certificates, military records, or Social Security applications. The costs of these documents is the client's responsibility, and I never charge a middleman fee to acquire them or use any service that requires one. I always explain the need for documents and never order a paid document without a client's advance permission.
Expenses: Costs such as photocopying and mailing large documents
are the client's responsibility. I minimize such costs by taking
electronic images of documents and sending through email or
Dropbox, although some genealogical offices, particularly courthouses,
do not allow photographing documents and require paid copies.
I do not charge mileage within a 30-mile radius of my home,
which covers most of Monroe, Genesee, and Livingston counties.
Mileage to other areas is on a case by case basis.
I do everything I can to reduce expenses without sacrificing quality.
In all cases with any type of research,
I am paid to look -
not to find.
I can only find what is there.
No good genealogist can guarantee the results you want. I do my very best to exhaust every possibility when searching for information, but I cannot "find" a Mayflower ancestor if there isn't one there to find.
If I come to a point in a project where the research veers off in a direction where I am not the best person to pursue it, usually because it moves into different geographical area where I have no expertise or local connections, I will do my best to help you find a professional genealogist to pick up the project to move it forward.
Payment: I accept PayPal and major credit cards, as well as personal checks. I can invoice through PayPal if that is most convenient for you.