What are the benefits to hiring a genealogist? Genealogy is a fun but extremely time-consuming hobby, as you’re probably now aware. That’s where I come in! You don’t have time to sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end, reading page by page an unindexed database – but that’s my job, to do that for you. There are so many invaluable family history databases and resources available online and while many of them are well known, such as Ancestry, there are just so many more that people don’t know about or don’t think to search! Not only can I utilize all those resources, but as someone with a lot of experience, I know how to do a lot of broad, outside-of-the-box searches to account for transcription errors, misspellings, wrong dates and names, etc. Not only that, but I have the time to devote to it. Genealogy is my passion and I’m passionate about helping you find out as much as possible about your family.
What are the benefits to hiring YOU as my genealogist? There are many great genealogists out there. Some do real world research. Some work exclusively online. I do primarily online research but am flexible about the possibility of doing physical local research. My hourly rates are affordable. I have no minimum purchase requirement. I love genealogy and my passion for family history research extends to every one of my clients and helping them unlock the secrets of their family trees. The important keys are to find a genealogist familiar with the locality and cultural identity of your family and to hire someone you feel comfortable with!
How much experience do you have? I have been researching, verifying, and documenting my own family tree for about 20 years, sharing that research with many close and extended relatives. I have been doing genealogy professionally for three years now.
Do you have any professional affiliations? I am a current member of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and a former member of the Natonal Genealogical Society and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Why do you offer only online research? I offer limited local on-site research at local repositories as well as looking at microfilm at my local Family History Center, but for the most part, I conduct my research entirely online. At the moment, it is just not cost-effective for me to travel long distances to do research on site, but by limiting my research to records available online, I am able to keep my, and consequently your, costs down as I don’t have to factor in time traveled, mileage, photocopying costs, etc.
Why can’t I research my tree myself? You can, and I hope after I help you, that you do continue to research your family history yourself! But we don’t always have the time to devote to genealogy and sometimes an outside eye can help us break through a longstanding brick wall. My goal is to help you as long as you need me, but to be able to give you enough information and tools that you can take over your own research again at any point.
What are some examples of records you will use in your search? The question should be, what records DON’T I use! Depending on how much research time I have, I will look at census records, city directories, birth, marriage and death records, gravesite and cemetery records, baptismal records, newspaper archives, passenger list manifests, naturalization records, military records, school records, and more! If it’s available online, I will use it.
What should I do if I have any questions about any of the results you’ve given me? Please contact me! Even if I’ve completed all your research time, I am always available by email for questions or comments.
What will typical results look like? I will usually include some kind of report to accompany any documentation I have for you. I will send you jpgs of those document images as well as any info I find that does not have an actual image but is just a transcription. I will include sources for these documents for your records and for your future use. I will also, if its applicable, provide a Family Tree Report documenting the generations I’ve found for you.
What if you don’t find anything? Unfortunately, this sometimes happens. Either the records are not available online or they just don’t exist anymore. If they are available online, I will do my best to find them, but I can’t find for you what isn’t there. Since I might put in several hours of research and not find any results, I cannot offer refunds. While you’re paying for results, you’re also paying for my time. This is why I strongly encourage you to contact me before hiring me to discuss your research needs to make sure it is something I believe I will be able to help you with! If I don’t have any records or info to share with you, I will still do my best to provide you with the names and contact information for any on-site repositories I believe might be beneficial to your research, such as local or state archives or local churches, as well as any groups or individuals who might be able to help you, such as your local genealogy association or historical society. You might not get the results you were hoping for, but you will never walk away empty-handed.
How do I know how much time to purchase? I strongly encourage you to contact me before purchasing any time to discuss with me your research needs. The amount of research time I’ll need will depend not only on how much detail you’re looking for or how many branches backward and sideways you’d like to research, but also on what databases and records are available online, whether or not they’re indexed, and whether or not I’ll need to translate them from their original language.
Do you look at records only in English? The majority of records I research are in English, but I also have a lot of experience researching records in Spanish and German, and some experience using French and Italian records.
Do you only do American family research? For the most part, I will be able to research your family in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and Central and South America.
Do you do any on-site research? Depending on your research needs and if you’re looking for records available in a local repository, such as an archive, or at a local site, such as a cemetery, or on microfilm available through a Family History Center, I am willing to negotiate a custom order to incorporate those needs.
Do you accept credit card payments or payment by check? Yes. You can pay by credit card through this website. If you prefer to pay via Paypal, please let me know and I can send you an invoice.
How long will it take to get my results? Well, if you order four hours of research time, please don’t expect to get results four hours later! It all depends on my workload and the extent of research needed. In rare cases, you may hear back from me within 24-48 hours. On average, it will probably take 1-2 weeks but I can give you a better idea once I know what your research needs are. You may be able to get your results faster for a rush charge.
Will there ever be extra, unforeseen charges? No. All fees are upfront based on the amount of research time you purchase. If a custom order is agreed upon, there may be additional photocopying, record ordering, mileage surcharges, etc. but these will always be agreed upon ahead of time through written correspondence (email) so we both have a record.
So what's the deal with the name of your website? I love genealogy. I also love wine. And they have more in common than you think! Winemaking is very reminiscent of family trees: you plant a vine and you watch it grow. Then sometimes you take two different types of grapes and you graft those vines together and you get a new type of grape. Some grapes can grow anywhere in the world. Some are confined to specific areas. Some wines are "purebreds." Some are hybrids. Some types of wines are well known. Some are obscure but just as great. The same can be said for people and their family trees - you start a family and you watch it grow. Sometimes you marry someone with the same cultural background, and sometimes you marry someone with a completely different ethnic makeup. Some backgrounds can be found in all corners of the world, and some in just specific pockets. Some people are "purebreds." Some are mutts. Every wine has its own story and makeup and so does every person. So when it comes to my services, they're only genealogy related. But if you read my blog (and please do!), while we'll usually be talking about family history, sometimes we'll be talking about wine, and sometimes we'll be talking about both! (Like, maybe I was drinking a Long Island wine while researching a Long Island family, so let's learn more about both...)