I believe that researching your family history is a collaborative process and will always strive to share as much information that I can with you as I go. I also value any input you have on your own research, or personal stories you share about your family, and like to make myself available to help you understand source documents or how to better your own efforts. All terms are negotiable before the start of a project. However, so there are no surprises, I've listed out some general terms and conditions for you to know. If you have any questions or need help, please do contact me.
1. Research subjects
I will start research with any non-living ancestor or individual. Due to privacy regulations in some states and countries, current information on living people is difficult to obtain and not available in most searches. If you are not sure if your starting ancestor is deceased and I discover that little or no information is available on the person you are searching for, I will report the next relative I am able to locate any information on and discuss next steps or additional search strategies from that point forward.
2. Starting work
Before we begin I'll need to know about who you would like to research and/or what your research goals are. When you contact me to start, please indicate as much as you know about your ancestor and I can provide you with a detailed proposal and estimate. The proposal will contain a contract for you to sign. Any initial fees or deposits as indicated in Section 3. i. will be invoiced after your contract is signed and received. Work will begin once initial fees or deposits are paid.
3. Payment terms and fees
Fees are billed or estimated in US Dollars or British Pounds as indicated in the fees section of this site. Projects can be invoiced in your desired currency (USD or GBP). Online payments are accepted as Credit/Debit card, and ACH (in the US only). If you're a UK customer and would like to pay by bank transfer, please contact me. If you are outside of the UK and and would like to pay in Euro or another currency, please contact me to agree terms.
i. Deposits and non-refundable fees
A deposit is required before the start of any work:
Fixed price services: a non-refundable fee of £35 / $50 is required to start all fixed price projects. This fee is equivalent to 100% of a one-person research report. In the event that no information is available on your starting ancestor, I will submit a report with any information I am able to locate with suggestions on next steps and how you can move forward with your research. In the instance you have ordered a two or four generation report, I will reassess using the information I have on your starting ancestor or their parents and re-adjust/lower agreed terms on the number of ancestors searched, as necessary.
One-person research: 100% of the cost is billed and paid before the start of the project
Two generation research: £35 / $50 is billed and paid at the start of the project. The remaining amount is billed on the delivery of the final report and is due 7 days from receipt of the invoice.
Four generation research: £35 / $50 is billed and paid at the start of the project. I will check-in with updates of 4 instalments of research with each family group, at each instalment and delivery of a family group sheet you are billed £16 / $24. The remaining £16 / $24 is due with the final instalment which will include the final report for all research conducted. Each instalment is due 7 days from receipt of the invoice.
Hourly pricing: a 20% deposit of the agreed/estimated cost is due before the start of the project. The remaining amount is billed on delivery or completion of the project and due 7 days from the receipt of the invoice.
Monthly pricing: payments are invoiced at the beginning of each month of agreed work. The first month is due at the start of the project and is billed every 30 days until the negotiated completion of the project. Payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. If it becomes necessary to terminate a project early, any pre-paid work will be pro-rated and refunded for that month upon agreement.
Custom pricing: a 20% deposit of agreed/estimated cost is due before the start of the project. The remaining amount is billed on delivery or completion of the project and is due 7 days from receipt of the invoice.
All fees are non-refundable. You should be aware that I cannot guarantee to find all people or source documents I am prepared to find. In the event that a search comes back with no or limited results, you will still be charged for time or materials used even if the information is not located. If it is not possible to move forward with a family line due to lack of information, then I'm always happy to renegotiate any future promised work. In every instance, I will try my best to offer you suggestions on how to fill in missing information or other search techniques to try if we hit a brick wall with one of your ancestors.
ii. Payment due dates and late fees
You will be invoiced as specified in Section 3. i. Estimated delivery and invoice dates will be included in your proposal and contract. If there are any unintended delays (like late document delivery as an example), delivery due dates may be adjusted, but I will always communicate any expected delivery delays with you during the course of a project. Final invoices will be issued on completion of the final report or agreed on project delivery. Payment will be due 7 days from the receipt of this invoice. A 1.5% per month late fee is charged for any overdue or unpaid balances.
iii. Travel costs
Travel costs are represented as follows:
Travel inside the London Travel Zone: All travel inside the London Metropolitan Area is included in the hourly fee. If you require research at multiple London locations, please let me know.
Travel on the UK mainland and further afield: All travel to locations outside of the London Travel Zone will be billed at cost with the final invoice. I will provide an estimate of costs based on an initial agreement, but final cost will depend on rail, taxi, bus, fares, or car journeys to and from the location. Parking fees and fuel charges are also included in this cost.
iv. Entry fees
Any entry fees for museums, libraries, repositories, reading rooms, or archives will be billed at cost with the final invoice. I will do my best to research and report the fees before any visit, so you are aware of the costs to you.
v. Copy charges
All copy charges will be billed at cost with the final invoice. Please be aware that some locations may not offer copying or photography of their materials. I will do my best to include any information on copy or download policies on any location.
vi. Accommodation or food costs
In the event that an overnight stay is necessary for any contracted work, the cost of accommodation will be billed with the final invoice. The cost of food will be billed at £30 per day / $45 per day. The necessity of an overnight stay will always be agreed before the start of work and cost of accommodation included in an estimate.
4. Delivering work and project completion
Work will be delivered as specified in the initial proposal and based on the agreement of the contract.
i. Summary reports and revisions
Summary reports will be delivered as PDFs and invoiced as indicated in Section 3. i. Sometimes new information may come in, or while researching another relative a new source for a previously researched relative will emerge. In these instances, I will allow one free revision to a previously submitted report. Revisions are tracked by file naming where v.0 is the original file and v.1 is the new revision, and so on. Current and previous files will be organized and accessible for you to download in Dropbox. Additional revisions to previously submitted reports are charged at £2 / $4 per revision.
All summary and source files for a project will be organized and available to you via a Dropbox link. You do not need a Dropbox account yourself to view, download, or comment on any files shared here, but with a free account you can set up Dropbox to automatically notify you or download new source files I add to your project folder. You can find out more about the features of Dropbox and what it has to offer. If you would like to be able to send files to me through Dropbox, you can also do this without having an account. Please let me know and I can give you more information on how to do this.
5. Early termination
If for any reason, you or myself require early termination of a project, this is possible with 7 days written notice. There is no penalty fee for early termination. All work will stop and any unbilled work, including fees or costs incurred to that point, will be due at that time.