Can you handle the truth?
There’s no telling what family stories you’ll discover when it comes to genealogy. Our ancestors’ stories can be uplifting, inspiring, and empowering. Others may be painful, difficult, upsetting, or shocking.
The fact is we all start with a blank slate. And there is no telling what we’ll find in the course of researching your ancestors and kin. At Genealogy Adventures, we go where the documents and information trail leads us.
Here at Genealogy Adventures, we embrace all of it. Our ancestors’ life experiences and their strength is what makes us who we are.
When it comes to oral family histories? Well, from our own experience researching our own families, we proved some to be true. Equally, we’ve proved others not to be true. You’ll never know how things will pan out until the research is done.
Our best advice is to approach genealogy with an open mind.
We cut our genealogy baby teeth researching our own ancestors in Edgefield County, South Carolina. Hands down, this county has consistently thrown every manner of research barrier in our path:
- Ancestors with only one name;
- 200+ years of endogamy (continuous marriages between 1st and 2nd cousins generation after generation – usually due to religion and/or the remoteness of where they were living);
- Non-Paternity Events;
- Commonly used family names (where everyone in a large family uses a small pool of popular family names for their children). Imagine 20 or so Willie Simkins all born within a few years of each other – and all living in the same county!
- Ancestors who chopped and changed between 2 or 3 different last names Ancestors who alternated between using their first name or a middle name in official and vital records;
- Conflicting information in birth, marriage, and death records;
- Changes in an ancestor’s racial designation (e.g. going from
‘black/mulatto’, to ‘white’ within their lifetime);
- Mass migrations from the south between 1880 to 1930 to points north
and west; and
- Informal internal family adoptions
This is by no means an exhaustive list. We’ve provided it as a guide because more than likely, you’ve experienced one or two of the same issues. As we’ve said before, we don’t just understand the common genealogy pain points. We’ve experienced them firsthand… and overcome them
Areas of Genealogy Research Expertise
American Ancestral Research
- Colonial Era American family research,
including colonial frontier ancestors
- Free people of color
- Enslaved African-descended people
- American Mass Migrations from the
southern United States to other parts of
- General American genealogy research
Genetic Genealogy (limited)
European ancestral research
- English, Welsh, Scottish
- French genealogy (limited)
- German genealogy (limited)
Typical genealogy records we source, if available
- Vital records (birth, baptism, marriage,
and death records)
- Social security application information
- Newspaper articles
- Antiquarian lineage books (the UK, Ireland,
France, and Germany)
- Family bible records
- Military records
- Probate records
Research process outline:
Define the Research Problem. We first review the information a client already has. We discuss the research problem and make sure clients clearly understand what they want the team to accomplish;
Develop a Research Plan. We next develop a research plan that outlines what we will do to find the information clients want.
Conduct the Research. Typically visit libraries, courthouses, archives, cemeteries, and other places to search for the information. Research material includes, and is not limited to: vital records, census returns, baptism records, court document, probate records, land deeds, newspapers, and military records. As we search, we photocopy pertinent records or acquire official copies;
Analyze the Findings. Regularly review research and make conclusions about what has been found. The team also compare our findings with other documents to confirm or disprove conclusions;
Report the Findings. Periodically, the team prepare reports about our research activities. Reports include photocopies or abstracts of important information. It may also include suggestions for continued research;
Prepare Forms. Upon agreement, the team prepares forms such as pedigree charts, family group sheets, and applications to lineage societies; and
Share Results. The team can also help clients share the results of the research. This can include contributing the findings to genealogical databases such as Family Tree or prepare articles or books.
- Research: US$ 35/hour
- Administrative: US$ 15/hr
- Any applicable expenses will be agreed in advance before they are accrued
Genealogist’s fees are computed at the hourly rates in effect at the time the services are rendered. Genealogist’s fees are currently $35.00 per research hour, and $15.00 per correspondence hour. Client authorizes up to # of research hours and # of correspondence hours of Genealogist’s time to complete the work contemplated under our Agreement. Client understands that it is impossible to determine in advance the amount of time it will take Genealogist to complete the services to be rendered under our Agreement.
After submitting the contact form below, and upon agreement to hire genealogy services, I agree to pay Genealogy Adventures (herein called “Genealogist”), for genealogical services to be performed on my behalf at the rate of $35 per hour. The hourly fee should be applied as follows: review of client’s existing information (all previous research bearing on the research goal must be provided prior to the start of the project), development of a research plan which is confirmed by client (a specific research goal must be defined prior to research), review of all new material for accuracy and consistency, an evaluation of client’s research objectives in terms of new information, and preparation of a detailed report (will include information detailing negative searches).
I agree to pay a retainer fee of three hundred fifty (350) dollars. This retainer includes up to ten (10) hours of time before an hourly fee of twenty (20) dollars is charged. The retainer will be used towards researching purposes, and building a tree for client’s review with correlating documentation. Payment will either be by PayPal or money order. The retainer fee is to be paid in full at time of contract. All fees for returned checks will be paid by me.
Client shall also reimburse Genealogist for the actual costs of photocopies, photographs, microfilm rental fees, postage, parking fees, and other necessary out-of-pocket expenses, provided Genealogist submits an itemized bill, and provided that the total of expenses do not exceed $25. If Genealogist anticipates that expenses may exceed this $25 maximum, she shall notify Client in writing and obtain his/her agreement, also in writing, to the reimbursement of additional expenses.
I am returning the following items to the Genealogist: signed Contract, Retainer Fee and my research that I have already collected. Upon receiving all items, Genealogist will begin research immediately.
Genealogist will perform this work as an independent contractor in accordance with prevailing professional standards in genealogy, including the Code of Ethics of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Code of Ethics adopted by the Board of Certification of Genealogists, and the Standards recommended by the National Genealogical Society.
I understand that Genealogist shall hold Client’s name, address, telephone number, and other identifying information about Client in confidence, unless Client authorizes their release in writing. Genealogist shall also accord confidentiality to all material furnished by Client which contains (a) information that is not a matter of public record or which cannot be rightfully obtained from another non-confidential source; (b) information that no one else has independently developed; and (c) information that Client has not disclosed to anyone else except under a strict, written, confidentiality agreement that has the effect of preventing disclosure by any other person or entity. Client understands that even though Genealogist may agree to keep certain information confidential, a court can compel Genealogist to disclose that information.
Client agrees that if there is distribution or publication of any information taken from Genealogist’s report, that information will be reported accurately and Client will credit Genealogist’s report as the source. Genealogist retains the copyright to the report and the manner in which she has expressed the information in it. Client may make a limited number of personal copies as a “fair use” of the copyrighted report, but Client agrees that the report will not otherwise be published, or multiple copies made, without written permission from Genealogist.