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Archiver > APG > 2009-07 > 1248275982

From: "" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] APG Digest, Vol 4, Issue 442
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 11:19:42 -0400

James is right, at least from own experience as well. Clients come in all
sorts of stripes and skill levels. One of my clients does NOT want me
writing narrative reports, just report summaries of one leg of the
research, with analysis if I so choose. I am careful to document each
source in memo form. However, she then goes off on her own and may do all
sorts of research via the computer (she is house-bound) and then come back
to me "don't you remember when you found...." No, I don't remember
anything, actually. She is the one who has connected all the dots, not me.
I am just basically sending her raw material with comments. She has been a
long-term client and I have even visited her personally. Yes, a genealogist
who makes house calls!

Another client engaged me for an extremely in depth family genealogy. At a
certain point, the whole thing was stopped. Two years later, the client is
back wanting to resume where we left off. In her case, she had insisted on
a narrative report from the beginning, which took twice as long as just
doing the research. But thank God we did that, because I would clueless
without that report in hand now.

Larry, if I were you I'd stress the importance of having a document that
will ultimatley (hopefully) be shared with others and read my unknown
hundreds of researchers down the road. What good will it be if nothing in
it is sourced? You might tell him that if he insists on this type of
product, you will have to make mention of that in your introduction...in
other words it is his fault, not yours. I'd be uncomfortable with sort of

Best, Craig


Message: 3
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 11:52:01 -0600
From: "James W. Petty" <>
Subject: [APG] Research Reports
To: <>
Message-ID: <008301ca0a2b$f3df7560$db9e6020$@net>
Content-Type: text/plain;charset="utf-8"

Larry wrote:

What about in the case of a client being absolutely adamant that he doesn't
want, and will not accept, a full narrative report with analysis/argument
proofs. Nor does he accept a list of areas checked, source citations, and
so on. It's a large multiple family line project nearing completion, and
he's paid accordingly (not a case of where he's trying to reduce costs).

His attitude is 'you're the professional, I trust that what you give me
will be as accurate as is possible, and I don't need to see the rest'. For
his purposes I know that what interests him is basically names and event
dates (the ultimate purpose is a very fascinating visual display that he's
having created at great expense).

He does want copies of the originals (a wide range of documents), so one
option for me is to put a note on the back of each saying how they relate
as evidence, plus cite them. It doesn't cut my work that's for certain
because it means doing each entry independently (and I've made him aware
that of that fact).

I've established a good working relationship with this client over a two
year period, so that's also something I want to protect. I'm not going to
force anything on him that he doesn't want, but I still need to be
comfortable myself with the wrap up.

Suggestions or comments?

We?ve worked with a number of people on this kind of basis. They think
that by reducing the amount of time spent in preparing a research calendar,
or writing a narrative report, more time will be available for research,
and they can evaluate the documents themselves. We always point out that
if they are purchasing our research time, which they are; and if they
intend to have an on-going professional relationship with us, then
understand, the research calendars and narrative reports are for our
benefit, not the clients?. The client is only conscious of research on one
set of family lines; whereas the researcher may be involved with fifty to
one hundred clients over a period of time. When we return to renew
research on a client project, we need to know where we were and what was
done. It doesn?t just spring to mind or is obvious from a set of
documents. We need to know what the theory was at the end of the last
period of research in order to pick up anew without a lot of!
duplication from the previous research period. That is where the savings
come in.

James W. Petty, AG?, CGSM, B.A. (History), B.S. (Genealogy)

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