Anquestory Genealogical Research & Consulting Services
Post Office Box 300
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phone by appointment
Anquestory Genealogical Research & Consulting Services
Full-time pro since 1974, 3+ years on gen. staff of the DAR, specializes in Virginia/West Virginia
Listed in Marquis' Who's Who in the South & Southwest, 1997-1998 and in Who's Who in Genealogy & Heraldry (1990);
A primary contributor to ancestry of Ronald Wilson Reagan published in both G. B. Roberts' Ancestors and Descendants of American Presidents and Burke's Presidential Families of the United States (1982 and subsequent editions); also primary contributor on Pierce ancestry of President George W. Bush in as yet unpublished edition of the latter book.
Professional consultant for the Family History Network/Family History Magazine.
Beta-testor for Virtual Roots (CommSoft), Family Gathering (CommSoft), Ultimate Family Tree (CommSoft/Palladium Interactive) and SKY Index for Windows 4.0.
Publications in which articles have appeared include NGSQ, Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Southside Virginian, Heritage Quest.
While I prefer doing research in Virginia/West Virginia, I have done research in every geographic region of the United States and on-site research in North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Ohio, as well as Virginia & West Virginia, and have traveled to Salt Lake City, so would be agreeable to taking assignments outside of Virginia/West Virginia under the proper circumstances,
for example, expanding research on a Virginia family to include branches which migrated to other states or researching a non-Virginia disstaff family of a Virginia line.
See my website for the hourly rate. Generally speaking, I am unwilling to accept an initial assignment for more than 10 hours unless the assignment is on referral from a colleague whom I know either personally or by reputation or it is otherwise clear to me that the client has a clear expectation that the work will likely take more than 10 hours.
An initial assignment can be less than 10 hours, based upon such factors as the surname(s) to be research, the location(s) to be researched, the time period(s) to be researched, how much information the client is able to provide prior to the research and the specific goals for the research. For example, when a client is unable to provide me with information which guarantees that privacy restrictions will not factor into whether the assignment can be completed, I may suggest less than 10 hours based upon my expectation of how much of a problem the privacy restrictions may prove to be. Less than 10 hours may be recommended as well when the locality to be researched it known to have suffered loss of records.
While the client is welcomed to send a deposit in the full amount of the time authorized to be used, I ask for only 50% or $35 (whichever is greater). I do this for several reasons: 1)I find that there is less-bookkeeping on my part when I bill for a balance due rather than refunded an unused portion of a deposit; 2)it is difficult to determine the likely amount of time needed to achieve a client's goals until the research is actually underway, and sometimes not even until well after the research is underway (e.g., if order book research is called for, a single order book may cover less than 1 year of time, be unindexed and take as much as 8 hours to read), and 3) it is a gesture I can make to the client to illustrate that I regard my clients as equal partners with whom both the risks and rewards are fully shared.
When the client's goals have not been achieved within the time agreed, depending upon the goals for the research, it is often to possible to come up with a fairly accurate estimate of the further time needed. If the client wishes to continued under such circumstances, or wishes to add goals or other research, no deposit for the same is required, but I do expect the client to stipulate to the maximum amount of time to be spent on the research before a report is submitted to the client, so that the amount of the bill does not come as a surprise.
Please keep in mind that all time authorized by the client for research will not necessarily be spent strictly on research. In the past in communities where everyone knew his neighbor, there was no perceived need to state the obvious, e.g., who a grantor was related to a grantee of the same surname, and terms also had different meanings--historically a son-in-law could be a the son of one's spouse by a prior marriage or a boy one otherwise has raised as if one's own son as well as the spouse of one's daughter. Therefore, as need, time authorized by the client for research can be applied to explaining the meanings of terms found in the records used for the research..
As noted earlier, I have traveled to other locations to do research, but the sites outside of Virginia or West Virginia that I visit the most frequently are the DAR Library and National Archives in Washington, DC, and the North Carolina State Archives and Library in Raleigh.
I will frequently make trips to do research for more than one client. When I do, the travel related expenses for the trip will be pro-rated among those clients based upon a formula of how much time was spent on the client's specific research and how much was accomplish in the same.
At this time, payment is accepted only by check.
Recognized by Marquis' Who's Who (in is South & Southwest, 1997-1998, edition) at http://bios.marquiswhoswho.com/michael_elwood_pollock/historian_genealogist/3767041