Mark Windover Professional Genealogist, Logo

(413) 217-0056

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My Background, Services, and Fees

I travel extensively and frequently to access needed records.  Of course, I work for numerous clients on any given trip, thus pro-rating - and greatly reducing - travel costs for any one client.  Consequently, most of the bill you receive is for my time, as it should be.  Most frequently, I travel throughout the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington D. C., Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Ontario (including Ottawa), Quebec, and the Canadian Maritimes.    

In addition, however, I do travel to any locale in North America where it may be advantageous, necessary, and cost-effective, as well as many overseas locations, particularly throughout the British Isles. Of course, I also do research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, visiting there several times each year for one to two weeks.

The records I can search include vital (birth, marriage, or death) records, land and probate records, tax records, state and federal censuses, court and naturalization records, ship passenger lists, military and pension records, church records, manuscripts, actual graveyards and/or cemetery records, all variety of published materials, library and society holdings, and much more!

I am therefore well able to assist you, whether your ancestors lived in one spot or moved about a great deal. Indeed, because I can stay with a project as the ancestors' activity shifts from one geographical area to another, I have developed something of a specialty of dealing with the problems relating to the migration of families, a point at which many genealogists become stuck.

While I believe my work is first class, I also believe my fees are reasonable and competitive. $55 per hour is charged for my time and expertise, which is below many researchers' current rates. There are also incidental costs which are billed to the client — primarily copies and the prorated travel costs already mentioned. Finally, there is a very small charge, called an office charge, which pertains to the overhead cost of operating my office. Overall, however, most of any bill you receive will be for my time, whereas these other costs are relatively small.

Unfortunately, a genealogist can seldom provide solid dollars and cents estimates concerning the likely cost of a project due to the many highly variable circumstances one may encounter. However, you control the amount spent on a project by means of your authorizations of a certain amount of money's worth of work — $300, $600, $1,000, or whatever. If your project is completed before your bill reaches approximately that amount, a report and bill will be prepared at that point. Otherwise, you will receive a report when your bill approximately equals your authorization, and I will include an advisement of whether, and to what extent, further research might be worthwhile.

For work you authorize, I do require a retainer equal to at least one half of the authorized amount. For example, if you were to authorize approximately $600 worth of research, I would require an advance of at least $300. You may make any payments by credit card, check or money order, and these should be made payable to "Mark K. Windover, Genealogist."