TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-04 > 1241125865
From: Noreen Manzella <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Estimates
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 14:11:05 -0700 (PDT)
You're making me envious, AGAIN, <g>, of those who can attend Samford....2011 here I come!
--- On Thu, 4/30/09, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG <> wrote:
From: Elissa Scalise Powell, CG <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Estimates
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 12:00 PM
This is a question that every research genealogist will get. Clients focus
on the product for dollars and want to know how much bang for their buck
they will get. We have to educate them that this is a professional service
in which you pay for the time spent with no guarantee of results. The
product is the research report that states how we spent the time, but that
is not really what they are buying. They are buying our time, expertise and
efficiency (because we are professionals who can get to the results sooner
than someone who has to stumble into them.)
In response to such queries, I tell them they are in total control of the
budget (authorizing so many hours at a time) but the ancestors are in
control of the records (what they left behind if anything). The researcher
is in control of the efficient research plan and execution. Most clients
want to authorize so many hours and see how you do on the first go-around.
Some also want a suggestion for what that might be. Five hours seems
reasonable on a goal of 200 years, but with the emphasis that this will only
produce a preliminary report. Alternatively, if they want to concentrate on
just one surname, the research can *possibly* go deeper but again cautioning
them that the ancestors are in control how many records they left. You can
only guarantee effort and knowledge.
This common question and others will be discussed in the "Professional
Genealogy" course at IGHR at Samford University in June. (Room still
available.) We will do some hands-on exercises and give you time to think
about this along with input from others so that you don't have to agonize
for days over what will soon become a "stock answer."
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists, used under license after periodic evaluations
by the Board.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Melanie Holtz
> Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 9:33 AM
> I have a possible client who wants an estimate on "tracing her family
back about 200
> years." How in the world do you estimate such a thing? Should I
> reasonable research segments?
> I've been throwing this around in my mind for a couple of days and
don't know what to do. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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