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Research fees are $30.00 per hour plus expenses*.  There is no fee for the initial consultation to determine the scope of your research project.   A minimum of 4 hours is required for most research projects but will be determined on a case by case basis.

When conducting any research we follow the Genealogical Proof Standard which requires a reasonably exhaustive search; complete and accurate source citations; analysis and correlation; resolution of any conflicting evidence; and a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

*Expenses are out of pocket costs related to your research project.  This includes, but is not limited to, some of the following:

  • Document Copy Fees
  • Photocopies
  • Postage
  • Parking
  • Film Rental Fees
  • Travel Time & Costs
  • Archives Admission Fees

These expenses are charged at actual cost.  Where ever possible we combine projects and split any travel expenses equally between clients.  

A 50% deposit of the total amount authorized by you is required for all new clients before any research begins.  The balance and expenses will be invoiced and sent to you upon completion of the project.  Your research report and all supporting documents will be sent after your final payment is received.

Tracing your family history is not an exact science.  Many people ask how much information will be found in a given time frame.  No one can predict the outcome of a research project.  Each genealogical case is unique.  Some research problems are very easy to solve, while others may not be.  There are many factors involved.  Some of these factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Location – Much depends on the geographical location and time period in which your family lived.  If it was in an area and time when records were well kept much information may be located in a short amount of time.  If they were in an area or time frame when few records are available the research may take much longer.
  • Availability of records – Not all historical records are available.  In some cases none were recorded and in others they no longer survive.  They may have been destroyed somehow.  For example, most of the United States Census records for 1910 were lost in a fire. 
  • Migration – It may be very difficult to trace a family who moved around.  If they migrated out west for example, they may or may not have left records along the way.    
  • Records Indexing – While many records have been indexed, many have not.  Indexing makes locating the records much quicker.  Without an index, records need to be searched line by line and page by page.  This greatly adds to the amount of research time required.
  •  Surnames – When searching a very common surname such as Smith, Jones, or Johnson, a larger amount of time needs to be allotted.  There will be many records to be researched and analyzed before family connections can be made.

There are no guarantee’s as to what, if any, information will be found to document your family history.  A detailed report of the research done and what was or was not found will be provided. 


Thornhill Genealogy 631.398.4547