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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist


Updated: Apr 1, 2023

This week, we finished a few genealogy projects and sent the results to some very satisfied customers.

Unfortunately, we finished two genealogy projects this week that we were not able to solve. I understand the disappointment our clients felt. We want to solve every question that is brought to us. Our clients have the added disappointment of having paid for research that ultimately yielded no conclusion.

One was a genetic genealogy case three generations past. There weren't enough close, relevant matches to find a conclusive candidate for the biological parent in question.

The other was a records-based search to find information about where one's immigrant ancestors lived in Europe. Record resources ran out before the budgeted time did.

Researchers can't solve something if data don't exist.

In many cases, the records might exist, but the clues for where to find them are scarce and time-consuming.

In genetic genealogy cases, clients are at the mercy of who else has tested, and which testing sites are used.

A goal in professional genealogy is to perform reasonably exhaustive research for one's client. For many of our clients, however, the "reasonable" component is their budget. Most people cannot commit to a research project of 20 hours--especially when there's no guarantee that their mystery will be solved at the end of that time. Some searches take 20 hours, 100 hours, or years of frustrating dedication.

We have no idea until we dig in what we might be able to find. That's why we offer clients our research services in small increments of time. They can see as we go what progress is being made, and how likely it is that continued progress can be made. At a certain point, a project may reveal itself to be "economically unsolvable." That is, our continued work on it would not be to the client's financial advantage.

We are highly resourceful, efficient, and knowledgeable but may be limited by available data--surviving records, DNA matches, or both.

That doesn't mean we don't want to try our best at your family-history conundrum! A relatively small investment of a few hours may be just what your mystery needs.


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