frequently asked questions
Why use us?
Genealogical research is often time-consuming. Not everyone has the time, or desire for that matter, to carefully sift through records (whether virtually or in person). We're here to assist those of you who want to learn more about your family history, but need or prefer to devote your free time to other pursuits.
Similar services through popular genealogical websites will likely cost you three times as much! And the cost of memberships to those sites isn't much better, especially when factoring in the limited time you may have to devote to your research. We offer an affordable yet reliable alternative to those seeking professional help with compiling their family tree.
You may not know where to begin with your research. Or perhaps you're not technologically savvy. Whatever your reason—we have the insight and experience to aid you in your search, and we're more than happy to help.
What areas do we serve?
We are based in Charlotte, NC. We will happily visit local and regional archives, or any other sites and sources helpful to your search. Additional fees may apply for these trips depending on the extra costs associated with them (ie. gas, parking, copy charges, etc.)
Thanks to the internet, we now have access to numerous records from all over the country. Whether you live in California or Maine or anywhere in between, we can help you. Though we won't be able to visit your local archives in person, we can certainly provide you with all you need to know in the event you'd like to check it out on your own.
For obvious reasons, our access to international records will be limited—primarily to what we can find on the internet. Should your research lead us to somewhere outside the country, we will do our best to find any existing foreign documentation, or at the very least, provide you with adequate information to consult with someone in that vicinity.
How does the process work?
1) Select a package
a. Choose one of our Research Packages and check out.
(Or select your own hours here.)
b. You will receive an email confirmation and order number for your records.
c. Your card will be charged for the full amount.
(See our Terms of Service for more information on refunds and our policy.)
2) Fill out our questionnaire
a. Check your email confirmation for a link to our online questionnaire.
(Or to download the PDF form and submit it to us by email, click here.)
b. Please fill out the form to the best of your knowledge.
In order to avoid wasted efforts on duplicate information, it is imperative that
you share with us all that you currently know about your ancestors.
3) Sit back and relax
a. Depending on the amount of research being conducted, we can establish
check-points with brief updates on our progress.
b. Generally, we'll have your research completed within a few short weeks.
4) View our findings
a. We will send you an email with a link to a password-protected webpage,
where you can download reports and supporting documents.
b. Should you order/request them, printed materials and CDs will be mailed to you
How long will it take?
As mentioned above, we will typically complete your project and share our findings within a few weeks. Smaller research projects will often have a turnaround of less than a week, depending on workload. You will be notified if we anticipate your research taking longer than usual. Please let us know in advance if you hope to stay within a specific time frame, so we can do our best to meet those needs. Projects are typically worked on in the order we receive payment.
What can I expect to learn about my family?
Our findings will vary significantly from person to person. Some individuals and families are very well-documented, with an extensive paper trail including photos, newspaper articles, and personal letters (see examples here). Unfortunately, many are not; records are sometimes lost or destroyed, or they simply don't exist. We won't know what information is available or what obstacles we'll encounter until we get started.
In terms of the nature of what we'll find, that will range from tame and mundane to down-right scandalous and enthralling! It's important to keep in mind that historical documents are only so revealing and not all stories are remarkable. Still, we believe all histories bear significance and deserve to be told, for they are arguably part of what makes us who we are. Again, we won't know until we begin digging!
What if the trail runs cold?
Our goal is to fill as many gaps as we can in your family tree. But sometimes we run into "roadblocks," or problematic barriers that make it hard for us to proceed. Should we have trouble finding information on your ancestors, you will be informed, so that you can discontinue our services if warranted. Your card will be refunded for any hours not completed on our part.