The cost to hire an Accredited Genealogist® professional will vary according to the services they provide, the turn-around time for their projects, the rates that they charge for their services, the locations in which they research, and many other factors. You may wish to contact more than one AG® professional to discuss your research requirements.
Value cannot be determined by costs alone, but rather it is based on the researcher’s experience, knowledge of the area or subject under consideration, availability to do the project in the time required, or supportive services a particular research project might require (such as ability to convert computer files, translate documents, or copy films to CD files) to name just a few.
Most professional researchers request a retainer before beginning the research because expenses are almost immediately incurred upon starting a project. These might be costs for ordering certificates, microfilms, or searching some data files. These costs may be in addition to the hourly rate or may be included as a package.
ICAPGenSM cautions you to BEWARE of any professional researcher making claims to solve your research problem for XXX number of generations for XXX amount of dollars. If you have realistic expectations, you should understand that a genealogist will search the records and do everything possible to solve your research problem. No researcher can guarantee that your family will be found in the records. Sometimes there will be negative results, and information will not be found. It may take several research projects to solve some difficult problems. Accredited Genealogist professionals are tested on their abilities to locate the best sources as fast as possible to solve research cases in specific regions, and they must be allowed sufficient time to analyze the information that has been located against a backdrop of the family’s location, time period, and environmental influences. But there are no guarantees of absolute success.
ICAPGen has prepared the following checklist to aid in establishing research requirements:
- Identify the research problem.
- Determine what is affordable and what is not.
- Contact more than one professional researcher concerning services and charges.
- Inquire about the availability of the researcher and what to expect as far as turn-around time on the project.
- Provide the professional researcher with a brief summary of your requirements.
- Require that you receive a written report with supporting documentation, a list of specific items researched for each individual, and a financial statement.
If you are satisfied with the progress of the research, make arrangements for continuation, and provide additional funding as required.
For additional information, see Ten Effective Steps to Hiring an Accredited Genealogist Professional. To contact a professional genealogist, see the Accredited Genealogist Lists.