FAQs

What is your area of expertise?

I specialize in the 17th–19th century records of the extinct Virginia counties of Lower Norfolk (1637-1691), Norfolk (1691-1963), and Princess Anne (1691-1963s); and the existing cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

What information can you find?

The information I find depends on what sources and records are available. Most south Hampton Roads court records survive from the colonial period to the present.

What do you need to begin work?

  1. State a specific research objective. Tell me as specifically as possible what you want me to do.
  2. Define the scope of the research. What are the limits within which you want me to work? This could be in terms of: how much you are willing to spend; how much time you want me to use; geographic areas; historical periods; specific people or families; etc.
  3. Establish a research format. I usually present research results in a fixed format narrative report. However, you may want a GEDCOM file, pedigree reports, family groups sheets, etc., in addition to or in place of a report.
  4. Provide copies of previous research. I need to evaluate any previous research that you have done, or that anyone has done for you, to avoid duplicating that work and charging you for it.
  5. Make arrangements for payment.

How do you conduct the research?

Based on information you provide and your stated research objective(s), I search relevant sources and records. I conduct research where the records are located: online, or trips to court houses, libraries, etc. After I locate records, I assess their relevance to your research objective(s) and analyze them for information that suggests further research. Then I present the results in the format we previously agreed on.

How long will it take to complete the research?

I am currently able to research only on a part-time basis. Therefore, it will take me longer than a full-time researcher to complete a request. Aside from that, it is difficult to give an accurate estimate—there are too many variables involved. However, blocks of time are a convenient way of working. If the research reaches a dead-end or is not going in the right direction, then neither of us is obligated beyond the current block of time.

What will I get when you are finished?

Unless you make other arrangements, you will receive a fully documented research report that addresses your research objective(s). The report will include a research log or calendar (a list of sources that were searched), photocopies of documents that were found, an analysis and discussion of their relevance, and recommendations for further research. I can also furnish family group sheets, biographies, photos, etc, when requested.

Can I see a sample of your work?

Yes. First read the following. Then click here to view the report.

  1. The client has granted permission for use of this report on this web site only.
  2. You may view but not print this report. You may not use this report for any other purpose without written permission from me or the client.
  3. The report is copyrighted. Violation of copyright may result in criminal penalties and/or civil damages.
  4. Identifying information in the report has been blacked out to protect the client’s privacy.
  5. The report contains an embedded digital signature that uniquely identifies me as the author.