I have worked as a full time professional continuously since 1976, and have expanded on this vast experience with constant study, review, and continuing education. Because this is how I make my living, and this is the primary source of income for our family of six, it is essential that I produce excellent work. Nothing is sacrificed. I am thorough, accurate, and fully guarantee all of my work -- should my results be disproven by anyone, anytime, I shall cheerfully refund anything you paid for incorrect or inaccurate information.
I can and do provide virtually any type, degree, and extent of genealogical research. I can check a single record, trace an entire ancestry, or take on any sized effort in between.
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, as well as the Family History Library in Salt Lake City -- I am there at least every other month, and spend one to two weeks at a time. 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, at Salt Lake, I have access to all manner of records from virtually any foreign country. Also, if foreign or other records are needed, and it is not cost-effective for me to access them personally, I have agents in place on both continents who can provide additional services as needed.)
In this way, I can personally research, in the appropriate repositories, the gamut of genealogical sources. Furthermore, my depth of experience allows me to be thoroughly familiar with all of these types of records, and how they vary from state to state, and to Canadian province and foreign country.
The records I can search therefore 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 -- below many researchers' current rates. There are also incidental costs which are billed to the client -- primarily copies, and the pro-rated 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 would be prepared at that point. Otherwise, you would receive a report when your bill approximately equals your authorization, and I would include an advisement of whether, and to what extent, further research might be worthwhile.
For the first work you authorize, I do require a retainer equal to at least one-half the authorized amount -- this is a great help for cash flow purposes. 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 check or money order, and these should be made payable to "Mark K. Windover, Genealogist".
You may also use your American Express, Mastercard, or Visa account.
To order and pay by mail, you can download my suggested printable form to order research, and a second form for the use of these credit/charge cards. If you would rather, you can make a research request and/or payment by phone (toll free).
Do you still have specific questions, or specific genealogical problems you want to discuss? There are several easy ways to contact me.