The Cost of Hiring a Professional Genealogist
Over the nearly forty years in the professional genealogy business, one of the first questions asked by a potential client is, “How much does it cost to get a family history done?” It’s a good question to ask, but a difficult one to answer! For starters, we should point out that a family history is never really done. When we discover the answer to the proverbial question of “Who’s your daddy?”, it raises two more questions. Who were his parents? And so it goes on. Rather than having such an open-ended request, it helps to narrow the scope.
Narrowing the Scope of Research
We suggest having more specific research goals. Below are some of the requests we receive for research:
- My ancestors came from Italy (or plug in any foreign country here). I want to know the name of my immigrant ancestor on my (plug in a surname) line, and where in (foreign country) they came from. Then please research back further into early generations in the old country.
- My grandmother said her great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary War. I would like to join the Daughters (or Sons) of the American Revolution. Can you help me find the necessary documentation linking me to my Patriot ancestor?
- I want to have a decorative pedigree wall chart made, showing five generations on all my ancestral lines. Is that something you can do for me?
- My family has a legend of a (fill in the blank) Civil War hero, Indian princess, bank robber, etc. Can you help me verify that?
The answer to the above questions and many more, is an enthusiastic “Yes!”
Defining the Cost of Research
Then our question for the client is, “How many hours would you like for us to research?” The client sets the limit on the total cost by the number of hours they contract with us. Of course, the more hours we are given to research, the more information we can find. But budgets differ, and we accommodate.
Our hourly rate is $80, which is competitive with other reputable genealogy research companies. It is about half the hourly rate charged by the big corporate company that advertises on TV. Plus, we give away a free hour for a twenty hour order, and two free hours for an order of thirty hours, and so forth.
Quality Professional Genealogy Research
Heritage Consulting Genealogy Research Services uses only seasoned professional genealogists for our staff. Each one has many years of experience in their area of specialty. We have researchers who specialize in British Isles, Italian, German, all of western Europe, eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Latin America, as well as all areas of the United States.
There will be genealogists who charge a lower hourly rate, but do they have credentials? How many years of experience have they logged? Can they manage a research project that traces a family from California into New York and then into Italy? Or Minnesota into Norway?
At Heritage Consulting, we do whatever our clients ask us to do. They decide how many hours we will research, and they provide whatever information they already know about the ancestors in question. Our research projects culminate in a comb-bound booklet containing a professionally written, footnoted report that explains each step of the research process and the findings. A research calendar follows the report, listing the sources searched, with comments on the results of each search. Next in the booklet are the pedigree chart an
d family group sheets, followed by copies of the supporting documents. Each document is numbered to correspond with the footnotes in the report. Our website has some sample reports for preview.
Call us for a free 20 minute phone consultation regarding your family history puzzles. We would love to hear your story, and talk about a strategy. At Heritage Consulting, we are passionate about genealogy research!
Stan & Raquel Lindaas