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.
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.
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.
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.