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

Jeanette Daniels jeanettedaniels8667 at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 22 07:07:12 MDT 2010


It's hard when the genealogist is in a foreign country.  I've had similar 
experiences.  It just means that I never hire that genealogist again and spread 
the word that he isn't to be trusted so that others don't either.

There is no way to get the money back.  


From: MFP <courthouseresearcher at gmail.com>
To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Thu, July 22, 2010 6:41:48 AM
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Problem with professional genealogist; formerly, 
Repeating client's work

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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