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

Ray Beere Johnson II raybeere at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 22 15:40:59 MDT 2010

--- On Thu, 7/22/10, Michael John Neill <mjnrootdig at gmail.com> wrote:

> While the location is not mentioned, I would not accept any such 
> conditions on a contract, nor would I impose them. I can think of 
> numerous situations where one key element, lead, etc. appears in some 
> record written or created well after the person of interest was born. 
> In time periods where contemporary records are scant, clues in records 
> at the end of a person's life may be pivotal. 

     While I agree with you - I wouldn't agree to work with such a condition imposed - I also agree with Mag. From her account, it seems that the genealogist in question didn't refuse to accept that limitation, then wait to see if she wanted to proceed anyway. If you don't believe you can offer a good result within the limits a client wishes to impose, fine. Reject that client, or engage in a dialogue with them in an effort to convince them they are wrong.
     If I contacted a genealogist, I'd consider either of those reactions reasonable. If, however, they accepted my limitation silently, then ignored it, the _only_ way I would be persuaded I was not being cheated was if they produced the result I was seeking - _without_ additional charges. (If you actually get results, without charging anything more, then you get a "free pass", in my opinion.) Otherwise, I'd consider it dishonest to simply ignore my stated instructions.
     Again, if a genealogist is unhappy with a client's instructions, it is reasonable to reject them and refund any deposit. Or discuss the issue with the client. But just going ahead in violation of those instructions is crossing a line, in my opinion.
                            Ray Beere Johnson II


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