Hire Lynn Serafinn to Make Your Family Tree

Serafini family in Brooklyn, 1928.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:

Send me a short email via the contact form on this website (https://trentinogenealogy.com/contact).

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  for projects I am able to do  from my home in the UK – OR – $375 per day of research in Trento (to cover travel and accommodation). ‘One day’ is  7.5  hours (but I have a dreadful habit of working overtime without charging my clients more).  I DO have a fair number of parish records in my home research library, so if I can do your project without having to go to Trento, I will. The higher rate for Trento-based research is to cover cost of accommodation and travel.

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.


$1 for each digital image of parish records I obtain for you. This fee is to cover the cost of what I have to pay to obtain the  images, plus a small fee for organising/labelling the images and creating a spreadsheet for them. Please note that this is for PARISH records. Some records from the State or Provincial Archives are slightly higher, but the cost is  still nominal.


$15 translation/citation/image upload per original document I find for you. This is a very detailed process that includes:

    1. Translation of each record.
    2. Analysis of each record to see what evidence it contains beyond the primary document (e.g. names of other relatives, whether grandparents are alive, consanguinity between married couples, etc.).
    3. Detailed notes explaining key terms and historical context of information in the document.
    4. Creating (with Photoshop) a neatly cropped, resized and contrast-adjusted ‘web friendly’ version of the digital image.
    5. Uploading these images to your tree.
    6. Linking images to every person mentioned in the record,
    7. Pasting translation into image. 
    8. Create a bespoke ‘source citation’, which gives the file number parish, volume and page number (as applicable).
    9. Pasting the translation in the citation, and linking the image to it.
    10. Linking the citation to every fact for which it provides evidence in your tree.
    11. Compilation of all your translations into a printable PDF, that includes table of contents, images, citations, number of documented facts, translations and analysis/notes. It also shows how each person is related to you, and instructions on how to understand citations on your tree on Ancestry dot com (if you have one). The PDF is also fully bookmarked for easy navigation when viewing it on your computer.

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.


$450 for Video Research Summary,  Family History Book and Surname History.  Many clients prefer to defer the summary if they intend to do additional research with me in the future. This bundle includes:

  • VIDEO research summary (roughly 30 minutes in length), where I walk you through the highlights of what I found for you, PLUS any additional discoveries I have made regarding  the histories of your  ancestral families.
  • FAMILY REGISTER BOOK (using Family Book Creator), a printable family register book that includes ALL the  family group charts,  research notes, translations/documents, etc.
  • SURNAME HISTORY: a detailed history of up to 8 of your family surnames.


Non-UK customers: there is also a 6% charge to cover currency conversion and PayPal fees.

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.

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  (UK) or $375 (Trento)
  • Charts and reports = $50
  • Translations/citations ($15 X 30) = $450
  • Image fees ($1 X 30) = $30
  • Research Summary = $450

$1,280 if research done in UK
$1,355  if  research is done in Trento
(Non-UK clients, add 6% currency conversion fee to the total)

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 =  $600 (UK) or  $750  (Trento)
  • Charts and reports = $50
  • Translations/citations ($15 X 60) = $900
  • Image fees ($1 X 60) = $60
  • Research Summary = $450

$2,060 if research done in UK
$2,210  if  research is done in Trento
(Non-UK clients, add 6% currency conversion fee to the total)

Splitting Up Your Payments

To help pace the payments for both of us, the project will be billed in three payments as follows:

  1. The fee for the research day(s) is due as soon as we have agreed to work together, before I do your research.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Larger and Ongoing Projects

Some of my clients work with me for many years, where I do anywhere between 7-10 days of research for them in one ‘go’, focusing on expanding different branches each time. Part of my research might include going beyond the parish registers, and digging into ‘pergamene’  (old legal documents), local histories and other resources. In such cases, translations are not always necessary (or practical) due to the size of the project. It really is down to what the client needs. I enjoy these larger projects immensely, as they enable me to dig more deeply into your family history, and I can often find connections with other research I have done in the past.

Custom Projects

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

Gene Pancheri, Cincinnati, Ohio, family historian and author of the book Pancheri: Our Story says: 

‘I have been doing research on my family in all the archives, libraries and many churches and castles in the upper Val di Non and lower Val di Sole for over 30 years. In spite of my experience and the fact that I have a fellow researcher who is heading for a professorship in history in Italy, I have hired Lynn because she offers experience in church records, a meticulous diligence and a attention to detail. In our project, she has not only mined every conceivable nugget from the birth, marriage and death records, but also from the parchment archives of the churches and communities involved, as well as the notary protocols. I may not be Lynn’s highest paying customer, but I’m probably one of them, because she adds so much to the effort of our project.’

Kay Piazzi Tsurumi, Portland Oregon says:

Just want to put in writing here what so many of you already know: Lynn Serafinn’s work is just simply amazing. She has produced a beautiful document for us, so precisely sourced, so extensive, so well organized. And she does it with enthusiasm and generosity and efficiency and clear communications. She is truly a treasure for all of us.

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:

Send me a short email via the contact form on this website (https://trentinogenealogy.com/contact).

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, genealogist at Trentino Genealogy

LYNN SERAFINN is an author and genealogist specialising in the families of the Trentino, Italy, where her father was born.

Accessing records from a variety of archives in Trento and other provinces in northern Italy, she has constructed hundreds of family trees for clients, tracing the lives of tens of thousands of people back to the 1400s.

She has also translated many thousands of documents and historical articles from both Latin and Italian into English.

A published author on other topics, she is currently working on her multi-volume Guide to Trentino Surnames for Genealogists and Family Historians.

She is also an avid blogger and video podcaster, and writer of the regularly featured column ‘Genealogy Corner’ for Filò Magazine: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans.

A former college lecturer with an MA in adult education, she also delivers workshops, helping others to trace their Italian family history, for the Society of Genealogist and other organisations.

READ MORE about Lynn on her bio page.

View the Santa Croce del Bleggio Family Tree on Ancestry:

CLICK HERE to view a searchable database of Trentini SURNAMES.

Ancestry, family trees, research, translations, genealogy advice for those with ancestors from the province of Trento, Italy (formerly Tyrol, Austria)