Answers to Questions about My Genealogy Research Services

Some Recent Questions About My Genealogy Research Services Prompted These Answers:

1. Fees. My research fees are set to include a certain number of hours plus the costs directly associated with that work—copy costs, postage to ship reports, etc. Travel costs are negotiated ahead of time—always. Or I get your approval within a specific $ range ahead of time. I present you with no surprises. No research bills. I request my research fee upfront. If I underestimate what the project will cost, I eat the overrun. No cost surprises.

2. Photocopy costs. If I discover some great thing that I want to copy and it requires a huge outlay, I will notify you ahead of time. With reasons why the item is significant. That way the bulk of your research funds always goes to research.

3. Reports. I usually do not report online. Reports with accompanying documentation are usually multiple volume. My skills at scanning maps and documents are limited. I can transfer images to a memory stick if needed. And I prefer to have a paper copy so that we can actually write on the images if we need to. I always keep a full paper copy myself as a safeguard against loss and to refer to as needed.

4. Copyright. You own your own stuff. I usually request the right to share the research I do for you with others who may share your ancestry. You can request that I keep it private and I will honor your wishes. Even though you pay for the work I do for you, others pay for their work too. By sharing, research for both of you can go farther. Again, I will honor your wishes. My research analysis on your ancestry is a shared right. I reserve my right to use new techniques, new sources, etc. in my seminar teaching and my written works so that others can benefit from those examples. You retain the right to publish those same elements in your work. This is an example of joint ownership. I do not use documents or other materials from your own personal archive without your permission. And I do not share information on living persons with anyone. With this said, photocopies included in my reports to you may be from copyrighted works or from archives that reserve the copyright. I can share them as part of a work of original research. When you decide to publish a family history, you will need to secure permission to use those items in your printed work. Some government documents and some original sources preserved in libraries and archives carry their own copyrights. Again, permission is required when they are published.

5. Good Research Mileage. If I have two clients with research in the same set of records, I research them at the same time. This gives you good mileage through those records. Whatever analysis I do for those sources is also shared, since it applies to the same records used in more than one project. You have the right to use it and the other client also has the right to use it. Again the mileage thing. And quite often, especially in Southwestern Virginia where I currently have several clients, the research often overlaps. Ancestors of one or more clients turn out to be related by blood or by marriage. You get your names, they get theirs in that source. And my analysis. And a note of the shared ancestry. And a recommendation for a shared project. All of this holds true for field research too. My next research trip is planned for March 2009. Watch my speaking and event schedule.

6. DNA results—I have great faith in DNA identifying correct lineage connections. However, databases are still too limited and small to be definitive. So using DNA for migration patterns is still chancy. I am currently the genealogist who creates the paper trail for a family international DNA project. There are still surprises in the written documents that must be considered along with the quantums. DNA can supply the overall direction of the research, expecting it to stand alone is a mistake, in my opinion– your favorite genealogist Arlene Eakle.

You can examine the research results provided by DNA matches on the Winslow Farr Family website:





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