Have you been working on a family tree of your Trentino ancestors? Have you hit ‘brick walls’ in your research or struggled to understand the resources you have found? Or maybe, you’d love to have a family tree, but you simply don’t have the time (or interest!) to do the legwork required.
These are all good reasons for thinking about hiring a genealogist, especially one who is familiar with the idiosyncrasies of your ancestry.
There is never a ‘one size fits all’ approach to researching someone’s ancestry. Everyone wants something different, and every family tree poses different challenges. That’s why, before I agree to work with a client, I always have a chat with them (on Skype) to discuss their project, their expectations AND their budget. Being clear about all these things from the very start is the best way to ensure my clients will be happy with the work I do for them.
To request a (free) 30-minute chat on Skype, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger:
My Research Fees
NOTE: The fees below are in USD as, although I live in England, most of my clients live in the United States. If you live outside the US, I can bill you in your local currency via PayPal.
Unlike some genealogists, I do NOT charge by the hour. This is the system I have found to be most economical for my clients, and satisfactory to my own needs:
- $300 per day of research. ‘One day’ is 6 hours at the archives in Trento, Italy (usually the diocesan archives, but it could be at the state or provincial archives, depending on your project), PLUS another hour or two at the beginning/end of the day to organise my findings (so about 8 hours altogether). As part of the research fee, I create a fresh NEW family tree for you using my Family Tree Maker software (if you are a returning client, I add to the one I previous made for you). Making a tree is the best way for me to ensure I’m getting things right. I will then upload this tree to YOUR Ancestry account if you request me to do so. I do NOT edit your existing Ancestry tree in any way.
- Small additional fees will be added to cover the costs of digital files I obtain in Trento for you. As of this writing, these fees range between $0.50 per page (for parish records) and $3.00 per page (for State and Provincial Archives), but they are subject to change.
- $15 translation/citation/image upload per original document I find for you. I analyse and translate each document I find for you, and (using Photoshop) create a neatly cropped, resized and contrast-adjusted ‘web friendly’ version of the digital image. I then upload these images to your tree, linking it to every person mentioned in the record, and pasting in the translation. I then create a ‘source citation’, which gives the file number parish, volume and page number (as applicable); I paste the translation in the citation, and link the image to it. I do all this to provide you with clear, provable EVIDENCE of the facts recorded in your tree. This is the difference between a professionally-made tree and an amateur one.
- $50 for ancestry charts and reports. After I have made your tree, I will run a selection of ancestry charts/reports, including a pedigree chart, vertical pedigree chart, surname report and ‘Ahnentafel’ report (a detailed ancestor list, by generation). If I do translations for you (see below), I will also run a media summary and documented facts report for you. If I do translations for you, I will re-run these charts after the translations are done, to reflect any changes or new discoveries that were made in the process.
- $200 for Research Summary. Lastly, I will personally write a detailed research summary, which can be anywhere from 30 to 50 pages long (and takes me SEVERAL days to write!), depending on how much I managed to find for you. This Research Summary goes well beyond mere names, dates and places, and gives you a richer understanding of your ancestors and the events in their lives from an historical, geographic and cultural perspective. Most of my clients find the Research Summary to be the most valuable part of the project.
For each client, I create a special DROPBOX folder for us, where I will upload all these digital images, reports and translations. That way you can download them, study them, and share them with family.
Do I Need to Get the Translations?
If you can read Italian and/or Latin well, you could certainly opt out of asking me to translate the documents for you. But before you decide, consider that when I translate, I am also editing/uploading the images, creating the source citations, and linking everything to the relevant people on the tree. I also analyse the information in depth, cross reference it with other information, and occasional do additional research (included in the translation fee) in order to make sense of the information. Consider also that some records may contain antiquated terms, spellings or place names with which you may be unfamiliar.
If you do decide you do not need the translations, please note that the cost of images will be slightly higher in order to cover the cost of the images PLUS labelling and organising them for you. At present, the fee is $1 for records from the diocesan archives or records I might photograph for you (as opposed to $0.50). Prices of images obtained at other archives vary, and I will advise you of these at the time of discussing your project.
How Long Does it Take?
I can usually get your tree uploaded and run some rough pedigree charts for your within a week or so of returning from Trento. However, the translations, image uploads, research summary and final pedigree reports will require a fair bit of time (sometimes a couple of months, depending on my client roster), so please be patient. I promise I will make it worth the wait.
Budgeting Your Project
When we agree to work together, I request the daily research fee is paid in advance, to cover the cost of my travel and accommodation. The fees for translations, images and reports will be billed later. This can help you spread out the expense.
Here are some estimates to give you an idea of how much your research project might cost.
ESTIMATE 1: One Day of Research
On average, in a single day of research at the diocesan archives, I can locate between 25-40 parish records for you, depending on the availability, clarity and organisation of the records. Typically (but not always), this enables me to trace some lines of your family tree back to around the beginning of the 1700s.
So, let’s say after one day of research, and I’ve found 30 documents for you. Here’s what the project would cost:
- Research fee = $300
- Charts and reports = $50
- Translations/citations ($15 X 30) = $450
- Image fees ($0.50 X 30) = $15
- Research Summary = $200
PROJECT TOTAL: $1,015
ESTIMATE 2: Two Days of Research
On average, in two days of research at the diocesan archives, I can locate between 45-70 parish records for you, depending on the availability, clarity and organisation of the records. Typically (but not always), this enables me to trace some lines of your family tree back to around the middle of the 1500s.
So, let’s say after two days of research, and I’ve found 60 documents for you. Here’s what the project would cost:
- Research fee = ($300 X 2) = $600
- Charts and reports = $50
- Translations/citations ($15 X 60) = $900
- Image fees ($0.50 X 60) = $30
- Research Summary = $200
PROJECT TOTAL: $1,780
Splitting Up Your Payments
To help pace the payments for both of us, the project will be billed in three payments as follows:
- The fee for the research day(s) is due as soon as we have agreed to work together, before I do your research.
- After I have done your research, I will ask you to pay for the cost of the digital images I have found, plus a 50% deposit towards the translations. This way, we can adjust the final bill for the number of translations it ends up being greater or lower than estimated.
- After I have finished your translations, Research Summary and run all your reports, I will send you a final bill for the other 50% of the and the fee for the reports.
In addition to the services above, I can also:
- Review and verify pre-existing research.
- Clean up and merge pre-existing trees.
- Translate documents you have already obtained.
- Write emails (in Italian) to parish priests or archivists on your behalf.
- Do ‘on location’ research in the province of Trento (occasionally in other provinces).
- Compile a custom, fully indexed ancestry book.
- Design a project to meet your specific needs.
- ‘MINI’ research: In some cases, I might have time to do a quick search for you (typically 1 hour) to obtain specific documents/information. Please not that this is not one of my standard services, and I can only offer it if/when I happen to have a free hour in my research schedule when I am in Trento. Note also that the cost of records will be slightly higher than the image fees for a full research package.
These kinds of projects will be priced individually, according to the amount of work and expenses involved. If you have an idea for a custom project, please write to me via the contact from on this site to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.
Testimonials from My Clients
Loretta Shelton, Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania says:
‘I want not only to thank Lynn publicly, but even more importantly, to tell you that in less than two months, she delivered a report that is fabulous—there is no other word. Yes, there are facts, many of them. Yes, there are records, primary evidence all translated. Yes, there are charts, lineages… But, Lynn’s toolbox involves much more than this: She operates with both high intelligence and honed instincts, and these combine to yield more than data lines. She understands the incomparable value of context, and she possesses a wealth of knowledge about how people, and their priests, thought and acted in the old times. She brings to her work a capacity to relate, not only to her client but to the old souls who populate her discoveries. She contextualizes otherwise relatively dry and largely impersonalized factual data into a fully realized tale of human lives, palpable and intimate. I know of no other genealogist who does this: a task that requires both the intellectual and creative faculties associated with the ability to write well… I am a truth seeker. Lynn is a truth teller. I am, even many days after reading Lynn’s report, still filled with feelings and images and even a sense of the presence of these ancestors, not to mention a fuller sense of myself. What were once a few wispy threads are now transformed, thanks only to Lynn, into a fully detailed, beautiful tapestry that resonates in my life, in the lives of my progeny, even in the lives of my friends.’
Judy Pedrotti Andersen from Chesterfield, Missouri says:
‘I have been wanting to write to you since the day I received my wonderful Pedrotti report. From the first day we began to work together I knew this was going to be something special. Your interest in wanting to know what I wanted from this research showed me just how you personally care, and that I wasn’t just a client. All along the way with your updates and messages while you were in Italy brought excitement with each message. When I received the report I was so impressed by your professionalism and detail. I am so anxious to share this with my Pedrotti family when we are all together this summer. I feel very blessed that I not only received a super report, but a new friend.’
To request a (free) 30-minute chat on Skype, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger:
In your email:
- Please DON’T send me your complete family history or family trees.
- Please DO give me a rough idea of how much research you have already done (if any).
- Please DO give me a rough idea of where you may be stuck in your research.
- Please DO tell me tell me the parish(es) or the part of Trentino your family came from (if you know).
- If you don’t know anything about your family’s origins, that’s OK, as long as you are sure your family came from somewhere in Trentino.
If you have any questions you before requesting a chat, drop me a line via the contact form and I will reply.
I look forward to hearing from you!
LYNN SERAFINN is a bestselling author and genealogist specialising in the families of Trentino. She is also the author of the regularly featured column ‘Genealogy Corner’ for Filò Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans.
In addition to her work for clients, her personal research project is to transcribe all the parish records for the parish of Santa Croce del Bleggio (where her father was born) from the 1400s to the current era, as well as to connect as many living people as she can who were either born in Bleggio or whose ancestors came from there. She hopes this tree, which already contains tens of thousands of people, will serve as a visual and spiritual reminder of how we are all fundamentally connected.
View the Santa Croce del Bleggio Family Tree on Ancestry: