Research Project Overview | Research Services Agreement | Permission To Use Research Results


  • Adoption:
    • Original Birth Records
    • Help finding birth parents
  • Deed Research
  • Family History Research
    • Conduct genealogical and historical research – everything from quick record look-ups to complex multi-generation projects spanning many geographical regions and centuries.
    • Serve as genealogy coach, suggesting lines of inquiry and identifying pertinent
  • Gravesite Care
  • Missing Person
    • Search for missing or unknown heirs
    • Analyze and verify kinship
  • Transcriptions and/or Abstracts of old letters, diaries, historical deeds and scripts, legal documents, archival microfilm, old town records, and family bibles
  • Will and Probate Courts

Research Services Agreement:

  1. I will provide Genealogist with specifics of the research to be done, or a summary of the problem with which I need help.
  2. I will provide to Genealogist any reports, summaries of previous research, copies of records, notes on sources previously searched, and any other information that has bearing on the research I have contracted Branches and Roots to perform for me. These may include, but are not limited to, family group sheets, ancestral charts, places lived, religion, and other information on my ancestors and their siblings. I understand that research on these collateral lines can result in information about my direct ancestors that may appear in other records.
  3. Branches and Roots reserves the right to duplicate some research already accomplished if Genealogist feels the attending conclusions or that research are incomplete or incorrect.
  4. I understand that most research projects exceed ten (10) hours. This allows for (a) review of previous research, (b) construction of a research plan, (c) evidence collection, (d) analysis of collected evidence, and (e) accurate and precise research reporting. Fewer than ten hours of research time is highly unlikely to yield effective results. Ten or more hours of research is recommended for most research goals.
  5. A deposit of 20% of the total commissioned project fee is required. Research will not be scheduled until the deposit has been received. The deposit will be entirely applied toward the research fees.
  6. Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses including photocopies will be charged at cost, in addition to Genealogist hourly research rate noted above.
  7. Travel time are charged at the hourly rate. Any travel outside of regular repositories (Cuyahoga County) will be charged at the standard mileage at the current U.S. rate ($0.575 per mile).
  8. Genealogist will contact Client if the need for more work is necessary to complete the goals the Client has established, and will proceed only if Client authorizes additional work and payment by telephone, mail or e-mail.
  9. Any outstanding balance will be due at the conclusion of the research project. The final research report will be delivered only after the balance has been paid.
  10. At the discretion of the Client, additional deposit may be made. Any unused funds of any such additional deposits received subsequent to the initial 20% deposit will be returned to the client.
  11. When Genealogist performs research, Client becomes the owner of that research. Branches and Roots retains the copyright to the report. Branches and Roots reserves the right to publish portions of it, giving Client the credit for underwriting the research. In addition, information Client supplies to Genealogist that is not a matter of public record will be held in confidence.
  12. Branches and Roots retains the copyright to the report and the manner in which Branches and Roots has expressed the information in it. Client may make a limited number of personal copies as a “fair use” of the copyrighted report, but Client agrees that Client will not otherwise publish, post on-line, or make multiple copies of the report without Branches and Roots written permission. Client agrees that if Client makes limited distribution of any anything that includes Genealogist’s research, in whole or in part, Client will report it accurately and credit Genealogist as the source.

Hourly Fees:

The hourly research rate is $25 per hour. This includes construction of a research plan, evidence collection and analysis, and accurate and precise research reporting.

Research Report:

The research report, including copies of all evidence, will be provided digitally in PDF format, via online delivery. All evidence will be included as high-resolution (300 dpi) scans. If paper copies are desired in addition to the digital copies, additional charges will apply.

Other Reimbursable Expenses:

  • Postage, photocopies, microfilm rental, and other incidental expenses.
  • Use of subcontractors for document retrieval as needed.

Payment Options:

Although credit card payments through PayPal is strongly recommended, I can accept checks or money orders sent through the mail.

Ethics and Standards:

I hold myself to the highest standards of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists. To read these standards, click on the links below:

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