[APG Public List] client who ignores billing

Kate Foote kate at comm1net.net
Mon Feb 22 21:10:19 MST 2010

Hello Jeanette,

First let me say that I have not been closely following this thread, so my remarks are not specific to the topic of client billing. I would, however, like to state that I take issue with your statement (below) to Elizabeth. I have been doing genealogical research for over 40 years and I still have several problems that I have not identified! (I'll let you compute the hours. <g>)

As regards Elizabeth's description of developing a pattern, which I had no difficulty in understanding, I would consider that any researcher who claimed to have constructed a thorough and complete "pattern" in ten hours would immediately send up all my red flags! Even applying the most minimal standards (much less GPS standards) should require 30+ hours to develop a "pattern" depending on the many possible variables.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jeanette Daniels 
  To: eshown at comcast.net ; apgpubliclist at apgen.org 
  Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 9:36 PM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] client who ignores billing


  I'm having trouble with this.  If you can't figure out where the problems are within 10 hours - rural or not, something is wrong with the genealogical researcher's skills.


  From: "eshown at comcast.net" <eshown at comcast.net>
  To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
  Sent: Mon, February 22, 2010 7:00:12 PM
  Subject: FW: [APG Public List] client who ignores billing

  Larry wrote:

  >I agree with your description, it's how I would proceed (and how I think any experienced researcher would go).

   >There doesn't have to be a pattern in the research itself.  It can be fee based (when X fee has been reached, or x hours). 

  Larry, perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but I think you misunderstood what I meant by “pattern.” I was not referring to a client’s pattern of hiring or our pattern of collecting fees. Let me post again the words I used, then try to explain them differently:

  “In many areas across rural America, where research is far more complex and piecing together even a pattern might not be possible in less than 40 hours, reporting every ten or so hours would not work. The time would be insufficient to develop anything meaningful and clients would walk away thinking ‘once again, I got nothing from the search’.”

  “The ‘patterns’ to which I refer are evidentiary patterns developed through correlation and analysis of seemingly disparate pieces of evidence. It can take a considerable amount of research---not just on the elusive ancestor but on what I call his FAN Club (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors)---to develop patterns of migration, naming and religious practices, activities, land ownership, etc., from which we might squeeze the first viable clues to origin, identity, or parentage. In cases such as this, reporting after, say, 10 hours would provide the client with nothing of any obvious value.  


  Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG



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