Professional genealogists are expected to abide by a code of ethical behaviour. As a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists I adhere to their code which you can find here; and also to the professional code of the Register of Qualified Genealogists which is here.
By discussing the detail of what you would like me to research before we begin I am enabled to estimate for you both the cost of the work and how long I think it will take. I will also give you a date on which I am able to begin work.
To enable me to provide you with an accurate estimate I will ask you to provide me with copies of any information you already have, including any work by other genealogists. This is to avoid unnecessary duplication, which should save both time and money.
Obviously I will do my best to provide accurate estimates, but sometimes an estimate needs to be revised, for example perhaps because of a delay in getting records. In such a case I will keep you informed and will not carry out further research without your written approval.
Discussion of sensitive questions
When you commission me to do research for you I will ask you how you feel about sensitive issues that the research might uncover – such as illegitimacy or bigamy; bankruptcy or criminal convictions; medical issues such as confinement in a lunatic asylum or suicide.
If you ask me not to include such discoveries in my report this will inevitably lead to an incomplete picture being delivered. Such issues can be discussed at any time during the project.
Once we have had a preliminary discussion to agree what research you would like me to undertake, and you have agreed the estimate for the work, then I will send you a copy of a contract for signature. This protects both of us by ensuring that a commission has been clearly agreed by both parties. I will also send you a formal quotation.
Charges and Payment
All desk based research and report writing is charged at an hourly rate of £20. Copies of certificates and pay-per-view access to Scottish records will be charged at cost. In addition any extra costs, such as for travel to archives, will be agreed with you in advance.
I will invoice you in pounds sterling and my preferred method of payment is via Paypal, but I also accept UK sterling cheques or payment by direct bank transfer. In the latter case I recommend first sending a test payment for a token amount to ensure details have been set up correctly.
Once we have agreed a contract, I will ask you for a deposit in advance, normally 50% of the estimated cost, with the balance to be paid on completion of the work and before I send you the final report. If for any reason the cost is less than the amount of the deposit the balance will be refunded to you.
Unsuccessful searches & Accuracy of records
Some searches for records are bound to be unsuccessful – for example not everyone registered a birth even when it was a legal requirement, and not all census records have survived. Not all records were accurately recorded – a parish clerk who was hard of hearing may have mis-heard names, and historically spelling of names and place names varies.
I will always do my best to find records, and will keep a record for you of where I have searched. Obviously this takes time and so will be charged for. If I have concerns about the accuracy of any historical record this will be included in the final report.
You will be the owner of a physical copy of my report. However, it remains the copyright of Anne M. Powers.
You may make a small number of personal copies of the copyrighted report, but you agree that you will not publish or make multiple copies of the report in any medium without written permission from me. Also if you publish or distribute anything that includes my research, in whole or in part, you agree to report it accurately and to credit the source. All attributions, references, document footers and copyright statements must be retained in any copy made.
You should also be aware that the copies of any documents or other materials supplied with the report may be subject to third-party copyright and should not be reproduced or sold on in any way without the express written permission of the copyright holder. I will be happy to help you seek such copyright permission if required.
Cancellation can be made by either party to the contract, under the terms of the contract including full payment for work carried out to date.
These Terms and Conditions were last reviewed on 27 September 2017.