We answer your FAQs, starting with “what if my ancestry is not French-Canadian?”. Spoiler alert - we work with clients of all backgrounds!
What if my ancestry is not French-Canadian?
Although I specialize in French-Canadian research, I have extensive knowledge and experience working with clients of diverse backgrounds. Over the years, I’ve tackled family history research from many corners of the globe, including England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the U.S. Should your particular request be, or become, beyond my skill set, I will happily refer you to an expert located in the relevant region and pass along any completed research for them to continue (with client approval, of course).
What does the “end product” look like?
That’s completely up to you, the client. For most research projects (such as “I’d like to grown my family tree as much as possible”), I write a report organized by generation including all the facts I’ve discovered about your relatives, with a complete source citation (where I found the information). If requested, I can also add images of photos and documents that I find along the way, as well as historical context (to answer questions like “why would the family move from A to B during this time?”, or “what was day-to-day life like for women living here during this era?”). The report can be provided in a digital format, or a printed report or book that future generations will cherish.
For French-Canadian research for a specific family name, a shorter electronic report is provided. In this case I outline birth, marriage and death information for each generation, going from the client to the earliest ancestor to come from Europe. There is also the option here to include images of photos and documents. Clients may also choose a “family branch” print that can be displayed or given as a gift, either in digital or paper/framed format (see sample on the left).
For extensive research, a family tree can also be printed via a variety of providers, ranging from a traditional to a more modern style.
What do you charge for research?
French-Canadian line. I will research a specific branch of your tree, going from one of your French-Canadian relatives all the way to their first European ancestor. The ascending line will be presented along with full source citations for baptisms, marriages and burials, in either French or English. I charge $250 for 1 line and $400 for 2 lines (maternal and paternal lines, for example).
Standard genealogy research. For all other genealogy research, I charge an hourly rate, with a minimum engagement of 4 hours. Please contact me for details.
What information do you need to get started?
As much information as you can provide! Typically I need information such as parents’ names, grandparents’ names (even great grandparents if known), along with dates and places for birth, marriage and death. Questionnaires will be provided so that you can easily input the information you know.
Can I focus on one part of family history at a time?
Definitely. You can choose to focus on one specific branch of your family tree and then, if you want to discover more about another line, we would go on from there. This allows you to pay for one family branch at a time and expand your family history knowledge at your own pace.
Do I need to take one of those DNA tests?
The short answer is no. That said, having a DNA test done can be helpful in that it tells us if we’re on the right path. It can also help break down “brick walls” by identifying relatives that you and another tester may have in common.
If you are contemplating taking a DNA test but aren’t sure which one to buy, I can also walk you through the options depending on what your objective is.
Can I get the written report in French?
Yes. Reports can be provided in French or English.
I have already started my own family tree and I would like help to publish it and share it with my family. Can you help me with this?
Of course! I would be happy to take all the information you have already collected and create a family tree, a report or upload it onto an online genealogy site so that you can easily share your family’s story. I can also verify and validate information that you have already found, in order to ensure you aren’t “climbing up someone else’s tree”.
What if you can’t find anything?
With genealogy research, there are no guarantees on what will or won’t be found. If, very early on in the research process, I come to a “brick wall” that I cannot resolve, I would let you know of any other possible avenues to proceed and return your refund.
Why should I hire a professional genealogist?
With so many popular genealogy websites out there, many folks are undertaking genealogy research themselves. So why would someone consider the help of a professional?
Time: simply put, proper genealogy research (following GPS guidelines) takes time. A professional genealogist will know the most time- and cost-efficient way to research your family, using both online and offline resources that they have access to.
Language barriers: not knowing the native language of a research country can be a barrier for many searchers. Hiring a genealogist that reads and speaks the language, and is familiar with various genealogy documents of that country, can greatly speed up results and tear down those brick walls.
Expertise: as professional genealogists can tell you, it takes time and many years of practice to become a skilled researcher. If you're new to genealogy, or simply want to validate the research you've done so far, a genealogist can help. No one wants to climb a branch for years only to find out it's the wrong one!