Our Methods and Services


Defining the researcher’s work
from Association of Professional Genealogists website

Research usually begins with an analysis of the problem and a survey of published sources. The initial survey allows an estimate of probable research success and helps you judge the prospective researcher’s services. Depending on the available records and the individual family, this survey may produce a considerable or modest amount of information.

To ensure the preliminary survey does not merely duplicate what you already know, provide the professional with all the information you have on the specific genealogical problem. In addition to this summary, include photocopies of the actual documents – not irreplaceable originals. By examining these records, including sources already checked with no positive results, the professional may find clues that have gone unnoticed.

Let your researcher know what you want. Do you want only one or two of your ancestral lines traced or do you want research on all of them? Or do you need a couple of specific records copied or translated? Is there a deadline you need to meet because you are planning a trip to the ancestral home or because the genealogy will be a gift? Allow plenty of time for your researcher to work.”

(August 2, 2000)

We will gladly discuss your research problem with you and ensure that both of us clearly understand what you want us to accomplish. A research plan will be developed, outlining what we will do to find the information you want. We will then conduct the research, analyze the findings, and report them.

Scope of Research
We will first define your goals, analyzing the issues, and developing a research plan.  This can vary depending on the nature of your research project and the amount of previous research done.  Simple tasks, such as performing a record search or evaluating a lineage, may take less time than developing a genealogy from the beginning.

A report will identify all sources searched, including negative and positive results; suggestions for further research will be given.

Guarantee or Warrantee

As professional genealogists we cannot guarantee that we will find the specific information you need. We will look at all known sources or only ones you specify.  For example if a census taker missed your great-grandfather house, we will not be able to find his name in the census.  If the Archives is missing a Criminal Court Docket for period of 1866 in Baltimore County we will not be able to include it in our findings.

Payment Structure
We ask that most clients pay a retainer for four(4) hours @ $32.00 per hour for $128.00 before the work begins. Some research projects may take less or more than 4 hours.  Your check will not be cashed until the work is started or completed. We will then work and bill against the retainer until it is spent. Then another retainer must be paid and the work continues.  Please provide enough start-up money for the project. No research project will be preformed for less then $32.00. Missing Heirs Research is $40.00 per hour and requires $160.00 paid in advance. Please call to discuss.

Vital Record Search (Birth, Marriage or Death Certificates)
When no exact citation is known such as date and place of event the record request is $32.00 per hour plus one-way travel time to Maryland State Archives (MSA).
When exact date and area known the fee is $32.00 per hour. Search for a record will only be done on the information you provide.
All searches will have a microfilm cost ($1.00 per page) and actual postage.

NOTE: When a certificate/record copy cannot be copied because it is missing from the microfilm or completely illegible/poor copy, then the index sheet will be reproduced, where applicable. When the Archivist is required to make a copy then one shall pay the Archives fee quoted by MSA.


Research Fees
Search Indexed Records (census, land, wills) if exact date known $32.00 hourly rate plus copying cost.
General Research or to Search
Un-Indexed Record Collections
$32.00 per hour
Travel Time One-way
Finding Missing Heirs $40.00 hourly rate
Copy Costs
Microfilm Maryland State Archives has revised the way to print copies and charges more fees plus more time consuming. Other research facilities will be $.50 a copy $1.50 each or $.50 each
Photocopy $0.25 each
Scan $5.00 per page
sent on diskette or as email attachment
Digital Photo $1.50 each
sent on diskette or as email attachment
Postage First Class U.S. Mail
Remit payment to:
Family Threads Genealogy
P.O. Box 276
Woodstock, Maryland 21163-0276
Make checks or money orders payable to “FamilyThreads”
We accept credit card payment only by using http://www.paypal.com. One must request our email address to use paypal.com You will be charged a $4.00 service fee if using PayPal. A check or money order is the preference. Thankyou!