Setting up your project for success.
- Ask yourself, what are you wanting to accomplish?
- Are you looking for your birth parents?
- DNA testing to authenticate your research?
- A balanced family tree?
- Focusing on one particular ancestor or several generations?
- What type of information are you looking for? Names, dates, places? Or a short biography with an assortment of information?
- Are you planning a family reunion?
- Will the information be for personal use or distributed electronically to family members?
- End result: Electronic or a paper report with a compilation of records?
- What is the timeline you need this project finished by?
- It's very important to define how you want the project time to be spent
Background Information. Start making the list.
Below are important elements in preparing the project foundation.
It's critical that client's share everything they already know about the
ancestor(s) to be investigated. This will lessen costs and duplication
of work. Presentation of materials is also important. Information should
be relevant and organized.
- Ancestor names
- Birth, marriage and death dates
- Places where your known ancestors lived
- Gather your documentation: birth, marriage, death certificates, obituaries, religious certificates
- You may include other documentation, family stories, photos and artifacts (e.g. military medals), etc.
- Communicating clear expectations is necessary. Normally a one-hour
preliminary search is completed free of charge discussing what can be
reasonably accomplished before a case is accepted.
What to expect.
Family Research is an investment in your heritage and a legacy to
pass on to the next generation. Quality research is not inexpensive.
- Costs vary with every project, along with the
number of hours devoted to research. Documentation expenses are extra
and some repositories have onsite fees. Sometimes referrals or
subcontracting international genealogists is necessary. There are no
- Depending on the project, research takes time. From
familiarization of the clients needs, review of records presented,
developing a plan, researching, evaluating and writing the final report
takes a significant amount of time.
- Finished Products. Clients receive a comprehensive
report that will be the narrative of their familial profile. Information
is supported by citations acknowledging the relevance of the published
or unpublished work and generally its origin or location. Accompanying
the report are certified documents or photocopies. These sources provide
the evidence that confirms the narrative report. The exception is DNA
- With DNA analysis screen shots of relationship clustering, X and
Y-chromosome charting and more. Sometimes interviews or mediation work
is needed. Several emails can be sent with screen shots noting research
progression and common ancestors. A brief report is written noting
success, and or suggesting next steps or outcome for the client.