Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

I'm really starting to dig this new product by Ancestry.com, "ExpertConnect," though it's still rough around the edges. I accepted my first project last night, to document a man's mother's family back as far as possible in TWO WEEKS, in time for her 80th birthday. Thank goodness, they lived in two states where there are lots of documents available online, and where few county courthouses were burned. I'm sure I'll be able to pull it off.

What's funny about this whole project is the total lack of understanding some people have about the genealogical research process. One person wanted us to "find as much about my family as possible," yet she was prepared to pay only ONE DOLLAR. Yeah, let's hold our breath to see how many researchers take her up on her offer. Others, however, have done quite a bit of research on their own (some good, some bad) and just need a little help getting over one brick wall. In the end, though, I'm loving reading through all the potential projects and the bidding process.

However, in one case, I was clicking along with one person, had already found the answer to her question and was just waiting for her to approve my bid (I bid $50 more than she had originally offered, but I knew it would take me more time to finish the project, thoroughly), but without notice, she canceled the project. Was it me, my price, or did I just give her too much information and she decided to finish it on her own? I'll probably never know. My first thought was that she didn't want to work with me because I'm black, but since her family came from Canada to Pennsylvania (two areas in which I have EXTENSIVE experience), the project seemed tailor made for me. Oh, well.

So, I have to get going on getting this two-week project done, printed, bound, and converted into an attractive PowerPoint presentation they can show at her birthday. Should be fun ... pant, pant.

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Hi, Lisa. Charge whatever you feel is fair and don't sell yourself short. If people think your fee is too high, suggest they go elsewhere. Most better researchers charge from $25.00 - $40.00 and hour, and many add costs of gasoline, copies and such like, Next time when asked what you find, relate just enough to let the client know that you are quite able to do the work, then insist on your money. Research is not charity !!!!!

Be careful using only Ancestry.com or any other internet pay-far site. They put the old "razzle-dazzle" on folks with talk about having researched names up to 600 jillion or whatever greater number they can get by with, though what they really have is little more than bits and pieces of what is available. Remember that less than 5% of the records available to you are yet on the net, so to do a thorough job you will need to search the counties and States where the ancestors resided. The folks who now live at those places know more about what records are available than do ANY other people or sites on the net. Good luck.

Paul
(www.DrakesBooks.com)
Thanks, Paul. I've been doing research for years, usually getting clients from word of mouth and, quite honestly, I really wasn't feeling like doing anybody else's research for a while, since I'm still working to finish my CG work (which is due next month). But this whole project has intrigued me, and since Ancestry is the largest genealogy Web site on the planet, I think it deserves our attention, for better or for worse. And they do seem quite willing to make changes/corrections/additions based on our feedback.

Again, thanks for the kind words. All the best to you, my friend.
Hi Lisa,
If you like the idea of picking up freelance work, be sure to keep an eye on a website called GenealogyFreelancers.com. They have a really great setup where people can post projects and others can bid on them. Personally I like the way they manage it much better than Ancestry, plus I think they take a smaller share of the total, which means the genealogist pockets a bigger percentage of the $. Also the people that run the site are really quick to reply to e-mails if you have questions, and they're really nice too.

I'm not affiliated with the folks at GenealogyFreelancers.com but I have posted a project and am waiting for my report now. So far I've been very happy with the process of hiring a genealogist.
Tami;

I wasn't aware of GenealogyFreelancers.com. I'll take a look. The only reason I got involved with Ancestry was because they approached us, the APGers, and I think it's an interesting concept. Will let you know what I think about Freelancers.

All the best to you, my friend.
thanks Tami for the mention of Genealogy Freelancers - really appreciate it!! We have relied completely on our users suggestions (both the pro and the seeker) in order to bring a service to the community that all feel they have a say in. Everyone has a voice with us - we don't exist without them!
And thanks Lisa for checking us out - very kind of you for the consideration.

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