Flat Fees: $100 per hour (for Reparational Genealogy serving the African-American community, go here)
Many online genealogy services charge $350 per hour, without giving the client a clear sense of the scope of the work.
Ancestry.com will give you a free estimate, but their standard professional genealogical and family history research pricing starts at $2300. That’s just to begin working with one of their professional genealogists.
WOW. That doesn’t make sense.
We believe that knowing one’s own history is a right, not a privilege. We want to give you our best and satisfy your individual needs. We also understand the limits of the average bank account, so we strive to balance the two. To clarify, here’s what we do and how we do it.
How Do We Do the Work?
- WE INTERVIEW. All genealogy starts with family-held documents like letters, certificates, and newspaper clippings. It also starts with folklore. We kick things off with an interview in which we gather BMDD data (birth, marriage, divorce and death) that includes names, dates and places (even guesses help). This usually takes an hour, and we can interview on the phone, via video chat, or in person if you are in the Huntington, New York area.
- WE BUILD A TREE. With the data we gather in your interview, we start an Ancestry.com account. We send you an invitation to view the tree as we work. We enter the data and doggedly pursue all provided hints, then research further in Ancestry to attach all correct records to each of your ancestors.
- WE SHRUB. Instead of trying to go straight backwards, which yields limited data, we go sideways, gathering BMDD data on aunts, uncles and cousins. Why? One classic problem in genealogy is finding a woman’s maiden name. All women are known in genealogy by their maiden names. A woman might change her name once in her life, from maiden to married, or if she has multiple husbands, she may change it three, four or five times, going back and forth between maiden and married names. We find all of a woman’s names, maiden and married, by examining the death-related records of all of her children. This allows us to include all husbands of a given woman, and her maiden name takes us back a generation to her father. Then, we do it all over again with her mother. This is how we build backwards. And if you are interested in finding far-flung living cousins, shrubbing is the way to go.
- WE CONNECT. We can connect your entire Ancestry tree to FamilySearch, a free world family tree site run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). They are the world leaders in family history research.
- WE SCOUR NEWSPAPERS. If you are interested in finding in-depth facts about 20th-century relatives, we can research names in Newspapers.com, clip articles, and attach them to your Ancestry tree.
- WE TEACH. If you are interested in keeping your costs low and learning how to use Ancestry and/or FamilySearch for yourself, we can teach you the basics (cheat sheets included!) so that you can continue your work on your own.
- WE DELIVER. If you want us to, we will deliver you a gedcom file (the computer file that contains all of the research in your family tree) so that you can upload it to a different online service or work with it in freestanding software.
- WE HOOK YOU UP. We help you to use Family Tree DNA, Ancestry DNA, My Heritage DNA, LivingDNA and 23andme DNA (all paid services) to get your raw autosomal DNA data, and then upload it to GEDMATCH.com and DNA.land for free analysis (LivingDNA accepts gedcom and DNA files for free). Once you have your raw DNA, we can help you contact people who test closely to you so that you can find relatives. (We can also upload your gedcom file (your family tree) to GEDmatch and LivingDNA for comparison to other people’s family trees). DNA information is particularly important for performing Reparational Genealogy.
- WE FIND GRAVES: We apply our findings to existing Find-a-Grave online records for your ancestors, linking children to parents and spouses to spouses so that you and other future researchers can use Find-a-Grave as a free, open source, online family tree.
The depth and breadth of the work we perform is up to you. We can discuss this during your free consultation.
All Research Costs the Same: $100 per hour (50% down, non-refundable)
All Teaching Costs the Same: $25 per hour, payable in full at the end of each lesson
In order to do our level best for you, we need you to sleuth a bit first. Click here for a list of data we require.