FAQ

For your convenience, our most common questions are answered right here.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can reach out directly through our Contact Us page.

 

Q: How long will it take for you to do my family tree?
A: There is no real answer I can give here other than to say it is depends on exactly what kind of research needs done.  Please use the Contact Us page so I can discuss your needs and provide a better estimate on a specific time frame.

Q:  What info do you need from me to start?
A:  The basics, of course, such as dates, names, places of residence, etc. Basically, the more you give me, the better.  Even small details you think might be irrelevant, can be the breakthrough I need in discovering appropriate records.

Q:  What do you charge?
A:  Please see our Services & Rates page for detailed information on current charges.

Q:  What will you do with my private information?  Will you publish it on genealogy sites?
A:  Your information (and that of your family) is always kept private, safe and will never be published to genealogy sites.  If I find interesting information I’d like to publicly share on my blog, in written papers or genealogy journals, I will always ask for consent first.

Q: I’ve already done some research on my own but I’ve hit a brick wall.  Can you help me?
A:  I can definitely try to help you break through that barrier by examining what research you’ve already done and offering suggestions on additional places to check for records.

Q:  I’m adopted and I need help finding my biological parents.
A:  These situations have many variables but if the state you were adopted in has open records, then it might be possible.  Let’s find time to talk about what you already know about your adoption and what I can do to help you further.

Q:  I’m afraid you won’t find anything.  I don’t know much about my family.
A:  The more you tell me, the better the odds that I’ll be able to find something, though I cannot guarantee any results.

Q:  I want to prove I’m related to Richard the III.
A:  It has been said that everyone with English/European roots is likely related to the Plantagenets in one fashion or the other and this certainly might be the case when you consider that there was such a limited gene pool in England to begin with.  The problem, however, isn’t finding a familial link to the kings and queens of old – it’s in finding viable proof of that link. English parish registers began in 1538 and civil registration began in 1837 so unless your ancestors were gentry that had written records or pedigrees, proving your connection to the kings of old might be somewhat difficult.

Q.  I can’t make it to New York in person.  Can you take a picture of a headstone or retrieve a record for me?
A:  Yes, I’m certainly able to.  Costs will vary based on location, travel expenses, copying fees, etc.

Q:  Can you help us write a personal history for our grandmother as a present?
A:  Absolutely!  It’s actually one of my favorite things to do.

Q:  Can’t I just use those free genealogy sites?  Why do I need your services?
A:  While those free sites are great resources, there is much more to genealogy than just clicking a waving leaf.  Genealogists will carefully analyze every detail of a document to verify and validate the information to make ensure that the document belongs to YOUR ancestor before adding it to your tree.  There are many trees on these free sites that contain false information because the data was not verified before someone clicked and added it.