Long Island and New York City
I am a professional genealogist with over two decades of experience (thirteen with clients). I specialize in Long Island and New York City records, and particularly those of the 19th and early 20th century during the peak immigration periods from Europe.
Although I most often work with Irish family history here in NYC, I have successfully worked on the immigration or migration of almost all other ethnicities including French, Dutch, Chinese, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, African American, Swiss, Scottish, English, Eastern European Jewish, German, Italian, Puerto Rican, etc.
Library Research Services:
Areas of research I generally DO NOT cover:
DO NOT SEND ME ANY MONEY UNTIL WE HAVE MADE INITIAL CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER AND I HAVE DETERMINED THAT I CAN HELP YOU.
My basic fee is $75/hr. with a five hour minimum to start for new clients, plus a $25 expense fee per five hour block of time ($400 total per five-hour block of time). The expense fee covers only travel and/or parking and tolls. It does not include such expenses as archival fees, fees for actual documents, copying expenses, postage, etc. Those expenses are itemized separately at the end of the research block. Larger projects may require several blocks of time and that can be discussed and contracted for. Smaller projects will be reviewed and considered upon request. If you require limited document retrieval please contact me via email for an estimate.
Firm estimates are difficult, at best, to give. I will do my best to supply you with a basic (time) estimate of what I feel, from experience, a particular research task may take. But, most research time is dependent upon 1) what you are looking for, 2) the commonality of the name, 3) the frequency of that name as it appears in the records, and 4) the level of detail that you require (single searches vs. multiple county searches, indexing vs. actual record retrieval). I am fast, thorough, and accurate. But, these variables do weigh heavily upon the eventual time spent and that is one reason why I have a basic 5-hour minimum.
Payment of the minimum retainer is expected to be received before full analysis and research begins. Personal checks, money orders or Pay Pal accepted in US$ only.
Please contact me via email (preferred method) at firstname.lastname@example.org, making sure to include your name, address, and telephone number along with a brief description of the nature of the research you are requesting. Be as specific as possible with regard to names, dates, and places. Let me know how this person is related to you, but try to refer to them by name (not 'my grandfather') when discussing your research goals.
I will look over what you send me and will get back to you as soon as possible with my preliminary evaluation as to whether I believe that I am the right researcher for your case and whether I am currently taking on new clients. Please be patient. If I am out of town I may not be able to get back to you right away.
If you have to contact me by regular mail, please do not include a retainer check in your initial mailing. Please contact me by email first if at all possible.
If I am available and I have determined that I can help you, then we will begin the full analysis and interview process of what research avenues we should explore. I will require a retainer check at this point.
I begin with each new client by conducting a series of "interviews" that allows me to see what your goals are, what documents you may already have in your possession, what sources you have already researched, and what your stumbling blocks may be. Only after this interview process has been completed is a research plan drawn up and submitted to you, the client, for approval.
On average, this interview and analysis process takes about an hour's worth of time (unless you are extraordinarily organized and clear about your goals). Depending on the difficulty of the time period, some analysis takes more, some analysis takes less. Usually a little bit of time is also needed to review documents you may send me and to submit the research plan to you. If you approve, then the research begins.
At the end of the research process, another hour is usually needed to disseminate and report to you what has been found, what the clues might mean, and what research I feel should be conducted next (and also to prepare the documents for mailing).
Research plans and reports are made via email. All sources will be meticulously cited for you at that time. Documents are then sent in a hardpack via USPS. Reports are not duplicated in the mailing so it is recommended that both a printout and a backup disc be created for your records. Also, many researchers have their own method of marking up documents with source identification. For this reason, the source citings are in the reports but not on the documents themselves. Unless agreed to beforehand, the transfer of source citing (from the report to the documents) is the responsibility of the client, choosing whichever method that they prefer.
I will be happy to supply any potential client with an extensive list of references after it is determined that I can help you and that I am available. To protect my clients' privacy, however, I will never send out a reference list with their contact information before I am confident that a person is serious about a research commitment with me. And, also, never without a client's permission.
Working Hours and Contact Information:
I work a regular work week; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. All archives are closed weekends and holidays. I will alert you if I am planning to be out of town for any length of time.
Please, no nighttime calls. Try to restrict your calling to the standard 9-5 time frame (EDT or EST) unless it is an emergency.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for considering my research services. I hope that I will be able to help you explore your family's history. If I am unable to help you, I will be glad to refer you on to others who may be currently available or who may specialize in what your research needs are. I am proud to say that the NYC area is blessed with an abundance of very qualified and dedicated researchers. We are all here to help you find out about your ancestors' past in "the greatest city of immigration," New York City!