Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2012-04 > 1334178701

From: Caroline Gurney <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] contracts for services
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 22:11:41 +0100
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> On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM, Billie Elias <> wrote:
>> I'm really, really new.  I'm wondering if there's a form that genealogists
>> use as a contract with their clients to ensure that they will be paid for
>> the agreed upon services.

Hi Billie,

Welcome to the wonderful world of professional genealogy. As in so
many areas of research, Google is your friend. When I was in the same
position as you I Googled "professional genealogy" and "contract".
That led me directly to the chapter on contracts in "Professional
Genealogy" which has already been recommended to you. Because I live
in the UK, a copy of that excellent book was not immediately available
to me and I had to order a copy via inter library loan, all the way
from the James Joyce Library in the University of Dublin. It was
worth the wait. Although our contract law here in the UK is different
from the USA, the chapter helped me considerably in drawing up my own
research agreement (I think that word frightens my clients less than
contract). All the other chapters in "Pro Gen" were a terrific help as
well - I found it essential reading.

The other result of my Google search was that it turned up a large
number of professional genealogists' websites with examples of their
own contracts for me to read. I was fascinated by how different they
all were and I learned something from each. I didn't copy anyone but,
having read a dozen or so, I was able to sit down and write my own
with a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve.

So I think it is a good thing there is no standard form we can use.
Just as the research services you offer will be unique to you, I think
your contract, agreement, call it what you will, should also be your
own creation, something that reflects what is important to you and
which you feel entirely comfortable sending to your clients.

Very best wishes in your new venture,

Caroline Gurney

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