Family History Search & Professional Genealogy F.A.Q.

Please choose a topic to the left to view the questions and answers.
How do I know what kind of reporting you will provide me with?
See our reporting section for details on what reports involve, and to see some sample reports. 
In which time periods and regions does your firm conduct research?
Our research covers a wide period, though mostly from the 17th century to the present. We also cover a wide array of countries, but predominately search within Canada. 
I think you're right for us. Now what do we need to get you started on our search?
This depends on what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
See here if you are legal counsel or an Executor.
See here if you are an heir or a beneficiary.
See here for family history and genealogy.

Your firm offers a Guarantee on the price. How does that work for me?
If you have a written quote from us and you find and obtain a competitor’s written quote for the same comparable service that beats our price, we will work for you for 10% less than what our competitor’s price.  
What other benefits do your clients get?
GEN-FIND highly appreciates a client’s casework and long-term commitments to continued service. Our firm will do whatever we can to make sure that you continue to feel 'value' for dollars spent with us.

At any point, we welcome improvement suggestions or questions regarding our research, reports and charges to you. Our aim is always to make the working relationship good for both of us.

Our office is aware that other competitor will at times have fee rates less than ours, though many may not have the management capability, specialist support, and success rates that we offer. These elements are just as important as the hourly rate. Case budgets and completion dates have to be respected. Remember: a half-done job from a non-professional means you’re spending double to get it done again.

In addition, clients get:
• Access to our Clients’ Only Resource Centre which houses a database of research articles, “how-to” information, genealogical codes of conduct and genealogical terminology, and information on publishing your genealogy
• A regular newsletter of announcements on research specials and new resources coming available a secure site for data exchange (upload and download of files), with more resource and reference material added each month.
• A 10% discount from all of our GENStore products.
I am about to pay my invoice from you. How can I do that?
Please see our fee information here.
Forensic Estate Casework
How much does it cost and how long will it take to trace the heirs of any given line?
In our experience, blood relatives can be traced in as little as a couple of days to several months; though, these timelines can vary significantly, depending upon the trouble in locating some or all of them. Costs can also vary widely depending upon the search strategies needed.
If we don’t want a full-blown heir search, but rather only some civil vital records or other documents extracted for our own investigation, do we need to pay retainers?
No, and most of those types of searches can be conducted fairly quickly. Although some repositories and government agencies are very slow in processing requests for documents, most respond within a couple of weeks. In these cases, we ask for a 50% deposit up-front.

Our firm is working on an estate case and we don’t really want to conduct Time & Expense fee arrangements. Can we work on some sort of contingency arrangement: if the heirs are not found, there is no fee?
Most definitely. This would be our Contingency Finder’s Fee option, which you can find here.  This option is particularly useful when you have known heirs already and don’t want to burden their entitlements with fees to locate other branches of the family.
We have an urgent case that needs research done now. We cannot wait weeks or months for results. Can you do it?
Please phone us. We will see what we can do. Normally, we can expedite the case ahead of our other work schedule, though you may still have to wait for response times from outside parties during an investigation. Those factors are out of our control. Normally, however, we can push through some, if not all, of the research to help alleviate your urgency problem. Note that you will have higher fees for doing this. 
Family History Casework
How much will it cost me to have my family history researched?
Sadly, there is no direct answer to this question because results are strongly linked to what is known beforehand and what information can be found. There are too many variables to give even a close cost estimate.  

A certain base amount of information is required to search for an individual or family. That individual or family needs to have been prolific at leaving historical records. The more migratory a person was, who did not leave much record of his presence in any one location, will significantly affect the ability to trace his or her later whereabouts and the time involved to do that.
When will I see some results from you on my family history search?
Normally, a report will be available within two to four months from the date we begin the investigation. In smaller searches, (e.g., searches for civil vital records) the results and documents may be available within a few weeks.

Know that there are a lot of steps to genealogical research and much of them are dependent upon responses from others.  Many genealogical resources, particularly on contemporary period research, are held by private/public repositories and government agencies whose collections are only accessible by them. Staffing cutbacks, and many more genealogical enquiries than ever before, now significantly impede response times with many of these organizations. A researcher is often dependent upon their response time-lines in completing a series of search strategies. Sometimes, wait periods can be lengthy. 
I am a little confused about the fees I would be paying with your firm. I just want to have my family history investigated. What types of fees would I be paying?
If you want a full investigation of your family or a lineage, generally you would be looking at a fee arrangement known as Time and Expense, found here. You would decide on a budget, and we would work on an hourly or daily basis within that budget limit.

First, a research plan would be developed, and a set of strategies would be outlined to meet that plan. Then, we would conduct a series of investigations based on those strategies in an attempt to meet your goals. Finally, a report is prepared for you, detailing our findings.

Your hourly or daily rate would be dependent upon the pricing schedule at the time you contact us, so you need to discuss that with us when you are ready to proceed.  In addition to our fees, you would have additional costs for our disbursements outlaid on your behalf during the billing period. If you have a small investigation, you might want to consider our Flat or Fixed Fee option. For larger projects, Percentage of Completion might work better for you.

All billing arrangements are detailed on our Fees page, here
Do you undertake Aboriginal, Métis, and adoption research?
Yes, though we would like to know the known case details first before committing to such a project. Some basic known information is paramount to being able to start these types of cases.
Lectures & Seminars
Do you have a calendar which tells us what dates you have available for presenting at our conference?
Unfortunately, lectures take a back-seat to our main research, travel associated with that, and the day-to-day management of GEN-FIND. The best thing for you to do is to send us e-mail or letter and we can try to work an arrangement out based on when your organization would like to hold their function. Please try and give us at least six months advance notice.
We are doing a small one-day seminar and would like to have some suggestions from your firm on what you might be able to present for us on genealogy. How can we get some topic ideas?
A couple of options are available to you for deciding on subject material. Most planners develop a theme for their seminar, like: Scottish Research or Migration Patterns, or Research into Heirs and 20th Century Investigations. Then, presentations are organized around that theme.

You could also look through our available pre-made lectures here for what we can offer. If you would like us to develop a new lecture or two, unique for your organization, that’s possible too.  

In any of these cases, we suggest that you e-mail or write us with your plans and we can provide you wish some added ideas and options.
My society is looking to organize a weekend conference. We are looking at speakers and topics for presentation. How much would you charge us for a couple of lectures?
Much of our lecturing is based around sharing knowledge instead of making a profit. Mostly, we’d like to keep our firm in people’s minds as a reputable genealogical research service provider. We look only towards recouping some of our costs and a small honorarium for our speaker.

For specifics on lecture costs and fees we invite you to please contact us and tell us more about your plans.
Do we need to sign a contract for lecture services?
Yes, please. This clearly sets out what everyone should expect and avoids any misunderstandings, particularly on the day of the presentations. Written into the contract will be:
• Details on the lecture
• Who will provide the lecture
• When and where the lectures will be presented
• How the speaker is to be transported and accommodated
• What the organization needs to provide the speaker
• What compensation package has been arranged and when it is due
• Any other important details