Family History Research
Searching Family is dedicated to capturing and preserving the history and stories of people's lives. From tales of great achievements to quiet
lives, devotion, love and every day life. I can take you on a fascinating journey into your family's past.
Perhaps you've heard bits and pieces of your family history from one of
your grand parents, aunts, uncles or your parents. Those stories found a
special place in your heart and mind. Over the years, those memories
remained, then suddenly, one of your loved ones passes. You now realize
how little you really know. Buried in those recollections of your
relatives, are stories just waiting to be told. I will help you to uncover
some fascinating information about your ancestors.
Once we have gathered as much information as we can
through personal interviews and accumulated documents, we can establish
your family's geographical background to some extent. I will then
begin the research through city, county, and state records, libraries and
I can assist you in learning about the creative abilities that run in your
family. Such as: singers, artists, teachers, writers, farmers,
politicians, seamstresses and tailors, to name a few. If your ancestors
did factory work, dairy farming, were a merchant or traveling salesman, I
will determine if the companies for which your ancestors worked, have had
histories written about them, and include that piece of history in your
family tree. Your family members will appreciate this particular gift of
their heritage. Also, knowing an ancestor's profession can lead to new
possibilities for illustrations for your family history book.
Within your ancestry, you will learn about your
family's health history. The more you know about it, the stronger your
family’s preventive health plan can be.
America is a nation of immigrants, so the entry into this country is a
dramatic turning point in most of our family histories. To find actual
evidence of our own ancestors' entry into America, immigration records are
the key, as these are the documents that most directly link us to the
homelands of our ancestors.
As I gather data, I record it on a computerized
genealogical software program. Where I create, compile and upload, scanned
research documents, photos, and records into your family tree. I cite the
source for all information. I am passionate about accuracy. My list of
facts from legitimate sources gives your research validity and
credibility. When I am finished with your family history, I will provide
you with your own family history book.
Writing your family history is a gift, like no other. It won't get
broken, thrown away, or replaced by a more expensive toy. It actually
increases in value over the years, rather than depreciates. It is one that
can be enjoyed by many people simultaneously. And if it isn't used or
appreciated right away, it will still be there when the recipient is ready
This special gift will be enjoyed for many generations to come.
Resources used for Genealogical research
Probate and Estate records
Ship passenger lists
Social Security Death Indexes
Tax and financial records
U.S. Slave Census
My Genealogy Research Methods
Research usually begins with an analysis of the problem, and a survey of my
published sources. The initial survey allows an estimate of probable
research success, and helps demonstrate my prospective research services.
Depending on the available records and the individual family, this survey
may produce a considerable or modest amount of information.
To ensure the preliminary survey does not merely duplicate what is already
known, I need all of the information already gathered on the specific
genealogical problem. I require a detailed report of your family tree, or
copy of your GEDCOM. I will need to know who in particular you are
interested in finding more information about.
My Genealogical Reports
I provide you with a neat, methodical, documented report. My reports
summarize the research, indicate what was found, and give suggestions for
A complete report will include a professionally prepared copy of all
research notes and identification of all sources searched; with negative as
well as positive results. It might also contain maps, photocopies of
documents, notes from interviews, and other material.
Concluding the Genealogical Research
How do you know when research on a given line or problem should be
stopped? Some persons eventually see a line traced back to a point that
satisfies them. If this happens, let me know. In other cases, I will report
that all available documents have been exhausted. In all cases, understand
there are diminishing returns in research, and it is possible that some
records remain, but chances of success are small compared to the cost.
At some point, a decision to end genealogical research altogether, will
be made. Notify me of this decision so research can then be concluded and a
final report prepared. In the end, creating biographies of ancestors with
the historical context of events they lived through; locating lost relatives
and making meaningful family connections; even publishing the results of the
research to preserve this heritage for others.
Research costs and method of payment
I feel that each pedigree is unique. I have found that most people are
interested in the history of their ancestors, like myself. Whenever
possible I do my best to keep the costs low. The names and the dates are
important, but to have a copy of each birth, death and marriage record can
be costly and cumbersome. Whenever possible, I prefer to use Vital record
books for such information. Every state has these books and are available at
their town clerk's office. It saves money and provides you with the same
details found on the actual certificates.
For single generation ancestral research, individual family line the Fee is $300. For three generation or more ancestral research, the most common course is
to send a retainer and renew this when reports are received. I ask for a
1/2 of the overall fee as the retainer to begin research, then bill you for
additional costs. Based on the information found, and the research needed
to further investigate. It is necessary for you to authorize the research
to be billed later. I do this, by emailing you a report of what I propose
needs to be done, then I await for your email response, prior to completing
In some families, several people share the cost of research. Such
arrangements can make research more affordable, allow it to proceed more
rapidly, or buy a greater range of services (e.g., compiling a family
history in addition to tracing the ancestral lines). I stand by my NO FIND, NO FEE Guarantee!