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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 on the quote given to you.

What is a genealogical DNA test?

A genealogical DNA test is a DNA-based test used in genetic genealogy that looks at specific locations of a person’s genome in order to find or verify ancestral genealogical relationships, or (with lower reliability) to estimate the ethnic mixture of an individual. Since different testing companies use different ethnic reference groups and different matching algorithms, ethnicity estimates for an individual vary between tests, sometimes dramatically. Three principal types of genealogical DNA tests are available, with each looking at a different part of the genome and being useful for different types of genealogical research: autosomal (atDNA), mitochondrial (mtDNA), and Y-DNA.

What types of clients does GEN-FIND support?

Our skills extend far beyond family lineage tracing and documenting. For court purposes, we know the techniques, the resources, and the best practices for relevant information with cost-effective delivery. Below is a list of a few of the types of clients that partner with GEN-FIND.

  • Public Guardians and Trustees
  • Estate Administrator and Executors
  • Banks and Insurance firms
  • Solicitors and Attorneys
  • Oil and Gas ClientsHeir Search Firms
  • Police & Military Services
  • Government Legal Agencies
  • Private Individuals
  • Public and Private Corporations
  • Conference/Seminar Planners
  • Manuscript Builders/Publishers
What other benefits do your clients get?

GEN-FIND highly appreciates a client’s casework and long-term commitment 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 competitors 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, here are some of the important benefits that clients get with GEN-FIND:

  • Experienced professional certified/accredited staff, familiar with ALL record collections for their areas of specialization.
  • Free case assessments.
  • Broad network of employees and agents, national & internationally to satisfy client requests.
  • Prompt service on case work.
  • Flexible fee structures and reduced fees for long-time clients. Five different fee structures to choose from. Namely: time & expense, flat or fixed fees, beneficiary contingency fees, finder’s fee contingency fees, and percentage of completion fees.
  • Multiple lowering fee group rates depending upon the amount and dollars of work you bring our way.
  • Comprehensive and flexible reporting.
  • Easy and flexible payment options.
  • Extensive in-house library of research material and collections;
  • Reductions on prices to our in-house product store (GENStore) if you are an existing client.
  • Quarterly newsletters to clients of announcements on research specials and new resources coming available on a secure site for data exchange (upload and download of files), with more resources and reference material added each month.
  • Clients have exclusive access to our Data Xchange Portal for uploading documents and downloading reports and exhibits. The portal also houses a database of research articles, “how-to” information, genealogical codes of conduct, genealogical terminology, and information on publishing your own 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 our competitor’s price.

We have an urgent case that needs research done now. We cannot wait weeks or months for results. Can you do it?

Please contact us promptly. 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 as it takes away from others on the work list. Remember, though, that all forensic cases receive priority (to one degree or another) when we take on the case.

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
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 on 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. The honorarium will be based on the estimated number of people attending your event. On larger venues, we will ask for a larger honorarium while small organizations with a small number of attendees will be asked for a small honorarium. For the latter, you should anticipate about $250 per lecture; for large venues anticipate an honorarium of $450 per lecture, at minimum.

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 the subject material. Most planners develop a theme for their seminars, like Scottish Research or Migration Patterns, or Research into Heirs and 20th Century Investigations. Then, presentations are organized around that theme. Look at our Lecture Services to see if any of those fit your seminar and if not, please contact us and we can probably develop a custom lecture for your function at a small additional cost.

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 contact us 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 seven months’ advance notice for in-person lectures and at least 3 months’ notice on Zoom lectures.

Do you undertake Aboriginal, Métis, and adoption research?

Yes, though we would like to understand the details first before committing to such a project. Some basic known information is paramount to being able to start these types of cases. Our work in these cases amounts to about 10% of our usual clientele, by choice, as they can be very time-consuming.

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 on Professional Research Fees. You would decide on a budget, and we would work on an hourly or daily basis within that budget limit. Charges on expenses are factored in separately from the hourly or daily rate.

First, a research plan would be developed, and a set of strategies would be outlined to meet that plan. A client would approve 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 which are marked up 20% to cover our additional time & internal costs. If you have a small investigation and a defined budget, you might want to consider our Flat or Fixed Fee option.

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 days to a few weeks. In forensic cases, those can often be resolved in one to three weeks from inception.

Know that there are a lot of steps to genealogical research and much of them are dependent upon responses from others outside this organization. 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 totally dependent upon their response timelines in completing a series of search strategies. Sometimes, waiting periods can be very lengthy, particularly on civil vital records.

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 many records of his presence in any one location, will significantly affected the ability to trace his or her later whereabouts and the time involved to do that.

Further, if one wants production on charts, graphs and a manuscript produced those costs increase from there if a researcher is looking for more than just the raw research findings. Once you have some idea of what you want to accomplish, contact us and we can maybe provide you with a better ballpark figure.

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 more details under Professional Research Fees. 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.

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 on the search strategies needed to meet the client’s objectives.

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, however predominantly we search within Canada and a few other English-speaking countries. Please refer to Research Areas Served for more details.