Research and Report Writing
The usual hourly Research Rate is $40 per hour, plus expenses. This rate applies to the time it takes to perform the research and to write the research findings report.
Package research rates are also available, and you may find them more appropriate for detailed family research.
Special Package Rates:
Package #1: 6 hours, plus 1 hour free (7 hours for the price of 6), $240, plus expenses.
Package #2: 10 hours, plus 2 hours free (12 hours for the price of 10), $400, plus expenses.
The hourly Tutoring Rate is $40, which includes any class materials.
Package Tutoring Rates are also available, and you may find them more appropriate for in-depth learning. See Special Package Rates listed above.
Travel and Archive Record Retreival
Mileage Rate: 0.51/mile
Travel Rate $20/hour
Sample Contract Language
I thank you for the honor of allowing me to research your family history.
You have asked me to undertake professional genealogical services for you. This letter, with the accompanying Research Plan and Cost Estimate, describes the agreement between us regarding these services. If you agree with the terms, please sign both copies in the space provided at the end and return one to me.
What Should You Do First? To avoid being charged for duplicate work, please provide me with whatever material you already have on the person or family to be researched.
How much Will it Cost? Genealogical services will be performed at a rate of $40 per hour plus out-of-pocket costs, and travel, for an amount not to exceed $ __________ (time and expenses), unless a Research Package has been selected.
I ask for a deposit of 50% upon signature of this agreement. Balance in full is due before final report will be sent to you.
Out-of-pocket costs including but not limited to photocopies, postage and handling, repository entrance fees, parking fees and the like, up to $50, will be billed separately.
What do you get for your Money? I hold your family history and your family members in the highest regard, therefore my research and report writing is kept within professional standards in genealogy, including the Code of Ethics adopted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and the Standards recommended by the Association of Professional Genealogists.
The scope of the services and/or project that I will perform for you is found on an attached page.
The work covered by the retainer includes a review and analysis of all prior research, and preparation of a research plan addressing your focused research goal, as outlined in the attached Scope of Services.
The planned research shall be carried out using all available resources, and then analyzed for accuracy, consistency, and conclusions.
At the completion of the project, you shall be provided a fully documented, detailed report describing the findings and the basis for my conclusions, along with extracts or copies of all relevant documents.
Thank you for this opportunity to be of service.
Other Questions You May Have
Are There any Guarantees? Record destruction, indexing errors and unexpected ancestor behavior are just some of the reasons why I might not find the information we are looking for. Seeking alternative records, employing different search strategies, and broadening the inquiry may provide the answer to the research question. All this takes my time, which is what you pay for.
If it seems that I cannot meet your objectives in the agreed time, I will discuss the alternatives with you.
Why a Report? Why not just give me copies of the documents? Copies of documents are important for you to see. The report explains how they are relevant to your family history. The report lays out research and findings, both positive and negative, so that any future researcher should not need to repeat the work. The research report includes source citations, so future researchers can easily find and examine the documents or make new assessments of the evidence.
What About Confidentiality and Sensitive Issues? I hold your family history and your family members in the highest regard, therefore I will hold confidential any information you provide that is not already a matter of public record or public knowledge. I will treat with discretion, even if they are already matters of public record, issues that concern living persons, their parents, or immediate families. In addition, I will keep confidential your name, address, phone number or any other identifying information about you.
Genealogical research may uncover information that you may find uncomfortable or distressing. Some examples are illegitimacies, divorces, arrests, imprisonments, medical conditions, and suicides.
If you do not want to hear about certain issues, please tell me so that I can respect your wishes. It would otherwise be unethical not to report such findings to you, as the research would be incomplete and potentially misleading.
Can this Research be Published? You may use the information obtained in this report or project at will. You may share, publish (journal, magazine, newspaper, pamphlet) or distribute on the Internet any information in the reports and documents discovered and produced by me, with the following provisions:
I ask that, if you distribute to others or publish any information taken from the report, you please report them accurately, and include any qualifiers (for example, the words probable or possible, when accompanying a conclusion), and that you credit my report as the source. As with all types of authors, genealogists too retain the copyright to their written reports or projects.
I would be grateful for your permission to make further use of the results of this work, including publication in articles or books, with acknowledgement of your sponsorship of the research, unless you request anonymity.
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Colchester, Vermont 05446, USA