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?
- State a specific research objective. Tell me as specifically as possible what you want me to do.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The client has granted permission for use of this report on this web site only.
- 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.
- The report is copyrighted. Violation of copyright may result in criminal penalties and/or civil damages.
- Identifying information in the report has been blacked out to protect the client’s privacy.
- The report contains an embedded digital signature that uniquely identifies me as the author.