While professional researchers all follow a Genealogical Standard, many follow their own process. This process can vary from researcher to researcher, country to country, specialty to specialty. Our process is outlined below to help you understand what we will be doing and what to expect if you work with us on your project. Written from the perspective of a family request, it is the same process for other requests as well.
You are encouraged to ask questions during your project and are free to alter your request or place your project on hold.
There is no set time frame for research to take place and no researcher can guarantee your results.
Step #1 : Assessment
Once you have submitted your background information a free 3-hour assessment search begins.
The purpose is for me to familiarize myself with your request and allows me to verify that I am the appropriate researcher for you.
There will be questions for you to address during this time, as a first research plan is drafted for you.
The project contract will need to be completed and deposit paid prior to the second stage beginning but can be done with the preliminary sign-up.
A preliminary search can take anywhere from 3 hours to several days, depending on your request. Any search beyond 3 hours is billable.
Step #2 : Genealogy Search
In this step, I will start to gather all the basic facts on record that I can for your genealogy only.
You should still expect a few questions in this stage and be prepared to advise on the direction to take your project. Sometimes the initial request is strictly followed. Other times clients decide to follow a new path, from research discoveries.
You will receive regular updates in draft format and an invoice on your project. Your updates will introduce a variety of report and chart styles appropriate to your project. Allowing you to select a preferred option as well as personalizing fonts, colors and backgrounds; if you wish.
Some projects remain in this stage for several days, for others several months. The time frame is determined by your specific request and records available.
Step #3 : Analysis Phase
At some point, an analysis is necessary for all projects. Entering the analysis phase is slower paced to the previous stage. Here we will build on the genealogy previously found.
Additional records are searched and we can begin to fill in a greater detail of the family. If there are unknown periods of time we will see them emerge in this step as we interpret records consulted.
This is also the phase where we may have more on site research at distant facilities which could raise costs. It will be discussed with you prior to any of that work being done, should it be a necessary cost.
This stage can also be several days or several months. You will still receive regular updates and invoices.
Step #4 : Organizing Research
With a reasonably exhaustive search behind us and our interpretations starting to form. The timeline has been checked for unknown periods, we can now refocus the search.
We can start to fill in any of those time gaps and resolve any conflicts
in the discovered data. Later, in this stage, our interpretations are completed.
It's important to note that Steps 2, 3 and 4 can run in a loop function, a seamless transition to clients and unpredictable in time.
As in the previous steps, you will receive updates and invoices on regular intervals.
Step #5 : Forming Conclusions
We will form our conclusions from the interpretations in the previous stage. Further records are consulted in this stage only if necessary.
I very carefully verify that our conclusions are supported by the records available. Complete and accurate citations are verified and noted in this stage.
If you have a story-time narrative as part of your project it will be written in this stage. Your research narrative will be written based on these conclusions.
Again, you will receive updates and your invoice during this time. Though it's likely that the costs could be lower than previous stages.
Step #6 : Completing the Project
In our final step, the completion stage, a last verification is made on the records, citations and narratives.
We will then arrange delivery. Each project is delivered in two formats hard copy and soft copy. A hard copy is something hands on such as a printed version. A soft copy is one for the computer such as a disc. There are several options for both formats available.
All original records and the final copy of your project will be given to you. Copies will be maintained by Relative Theory Genealogy.
Timelines cannot be guaranteed for completed projects. Each family is different and therefore, timelines vary.