Frequently Asked Questions
How much do you charge?
Mountain State Genealogy’s fee schedule is determined by the type of project.
- The initial retainer is due before research will begin and is equal to 50% of the authorized hours. The retainer will be used to review and analyze all prior research, and to prepare a personalized research plan. In cases where there has been no prior research, a free initial consultation will take place via phone or email. After that, the retainer will be applied to time spent preparing a personalized research plan. In either case, any unused retainer will be applied to the research portion of the project.
- Out of pocket expenses, if needed, will be billed separately, and will be due upon receipt. Examples of these expenses may include, but are not limited to: mileage, parking fees, costs of copies or ordering original documents, and repository entrance fees. Written consent by the client will be necessary for all expenses over $50.
What do I need to provide to you?
If you are new to genealogy and have no prior research, we’ll need to start with you and work backward. If you already have a research question, skip the first step.
- Gather what you know about your family and decide on a research question.
- Contact me to discuss your project. If you don’t have a specific question in mind, I can help you formulate a goal for the research project.
- Once a goal has been identified, a letter of agreement will be sent to you for your signature.
How long until you can start on my project?
I currently have a waiting list of two weeks. To secure a spot on my calendar, contact me today!
How long until I can expect a report?
No two genealogical projects are the same, therefore it is not easy to estimate how long the research process will take. Additionally, pandemics or local disasters may cause repositories to close or have very limited hours of access. However, there are some generalizations that hold true:
- Brick wall ancestors present unique problems. If they were easy to find, they would not be called a “brick wall.” As such, it is rare to find a single document that will answer the question for a brick wall ancestor, and even more rare to find the document in an online record group. This type of research calls for in-depth research and analysis, and it is recommended that a minimum of twenty hours be purchased for a brick wall research project. If the full twenty hours is not used, the remainder may be applied to a future research project or refunded to the client.
- Lineage society applications can often involve as much research and analysis as a brick wall ancestor project, therefore it is recommended that a minimum of twenty hours be purchased. If the full twenty hours is not used, the remainder may be applied to a future research project or refunded to the client.
- Traditional genealogy research projects involving a question regarding a targeted individual can often be completed within four hours, however, there is no guarantee of the outcome within that timeframe, and an additional block of four hours may be required depending on the era involved, for example, the further back in time, the fewer records there are, so the research must be more in-depth.