[APG Public List] Problem with professional genealogist; formerly, Repeating client's work

MFP courthouseresearcher at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 12:36:12 MDT 2010

I have received several off-list replies to my inquiry that tell me I
omitted two key points when submitting my query to this list:
1. the three genealogists commissioned by our family to research our family
ancestry have been three separate genealogists researching three different
families in three different states. We have not had problems, thankfully,
with three different genealogist working on the present family;
2. our initial letter of inquiry to the present genealogist was actually a
question: would that person review our gathered research papers that ranged
from 1714-1790, read them and give us an opinion as to whether there was
interest in finding our ancestor. We fully requested and expected review of
our research efforts from stated time periods; however, we wanted no
research whatsoever of any kind after the year 1815. We had all we wanted
from that time period.

It is this last portion of our working with present genealogist that is
causing distress to us. We do not want to pay for any work after the year
1815, and have so stated in three various formats.

I appreciate very much the time of those folks who respond with advice,
opinions, instructions, constructive criticisms, suggestions as to how to
deal with present problem.


On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM, MFP <courthouseresearcher at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 4:14 AM, Israel P <IsraelP at pikholz.org> wrote:
>> What do you folks do when - after asking client the three basic questions
>> what do you know, what do you want to learn and what resources have you
>> already checked - client then says "Why did you spend two hours on such
>> and such?  I already looked at that."
> I have a question that pertains to perhaps the opposite of this situation
> and look forward to guidance from knowledgeable members of this list.
> We (our family research group of six members) commissioned a genealogist to
> search for parentage of our ancestor who was born (our best guesstimate ca
> 1768) In our initial exchanges of correspondence, we wrote: "if it happened
> after 1815, we either have it already or don't want it if we don't have it".
> That guideline was included among  a number of exchanges both on the
> telephone, written letter and email.
> To our chagrin, we found that this genealogist is reviewing on the web,
> children of the ancestor whose parentage we seek! In our explicit
> instruction we included data on all thirteen of the ancestor's children and
> stated clearly as I wrote above----if it happened after 1815, etc.
> We have paid a three hundred dollar retainer to cover basic expenses, and
> would like to retrieve our money, but have no idea how to proceed. In
> addition to statement of our research goals that included our verbatim
> statement of "no research of this family after the year 1815, the contract
> read simply: "after research of several sources, I will inform client of
> findings and decide whether to proceed". The hourly rates were specified.
> The genealogist has been informed of our finding the research being done on
> the web, and so far, no response.
> This experience, one of three such unhappy results of commissioning
> professional researchers (one of which was caused by my self), has convinced
> me it is time to prepare myself to do my own research.
> Please advise/offer opinions as to how to proceed with this genealogist.
> Mag Parker
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