Re: Is this bill customary for genealogical research #general


Carol Blumenthal-Cohen wrote:
Although many of these documents seem unrelated to my family at this
time, one set seems to indicate that my great grandfather had an older
brother that no one in my mother's family knew existed. Do I consider the
documents that I can't connect wasted money? No way >>

I agree that it might be nice to have a bunch of documents for various
people with your surname, but there are a couple of important things here.

1. What was the original request? If one person's death certificate was
requested, that is what he should pay for (nothing because it was not
found). With a common surname, it could quickly become a very expensive
job to copy everything you could find and maybe he was expecting 1 or 2

2. How much is he supposed to spend? Maybe the requester is rich and $500
is pocket change, maybe not. If I did not order all those documents, it is
because I did not want a $500 bill for service. On the other hand, is the
researcher taking advantage?

3. Translation is translation. He did not get that. Whatever the fee for
translation, that is not due.

4. Yes, the travel and time are due-that was part of the order and whatever
was agreed on should be paid.

When I hired a researcher (many years ago), I specified what information I
had, what I wanted (a death certificate within about 6 years when an index
was available and the name unusual for the area). I also specified that I
would pay a certain amount for the search, with maybe further work later-I
was in school and the amount was not large. I was lucky because I had a
recommendation for someone who did very good work for me, got what I
wanted, checked a couple things that he could check easily within my price
limit, and told me the wife of the person had died a few years later (did
I want a death certificate), and suggested further investigation would be
difficult because we did not know exactly where the people lived. This is

Sally Bruckheimer
Buffalo, NY

My only questions in the current case is what exactly was agreed on.

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