This page sets our our terms of business so that you know what to expect if you hire us.
Ethics and Privacy
We will keep confidential any information about living or sensitive matters which are not already a matter of public record. We are a member of the Association of Professional Genealogist and will abide by the APG’s Code of Ethics.
Ethical conduct is extremely important to members of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Every member of APG signs a code of professional ethics, stating that the professional will:
- Promote a coherent, truthful approach to genealogy, family history and local history;
- Clearly present research results and opinions in a clear, well-organized manner, with accurately-cited references;
- Advertise services and credentials honestly;
- Explain without concealment or misrepresentation all fees, charges, and payment structures;
- Abide by agreements regarding project scope, number of hours, and deadlines or reporting schedules;
- Refrain from knowingly violating or encouraging others to violate laws and regulations concerning copyright and right to privacy;
- Give proper credit to those who supply information and provide assistance.
Clients can count on APG professional genealogists to give them high-quality services, and to produce high-quality results.
Before starting research we will send you a draft research agreement for approval. The agreement will set out the objectives of the research, the number of hours you wish to authorize, terms of the payment, and format and timeframe for reporting. Once you approve the research agreement it will be signed and a copy sent to you for your records.
Avoiding Duplication of Information
We will spend the time necessary before research begins, to identify what information you and your family possess. It is important that you share everything you know to avoid duplication. If you do not and we end up researching things you already know, it will be a waste of time and money.
It is impossible to predict in advance whether research will produce the desired results. Because we put in the time and effort to do the research, we have to charge for the time spent on the research, even it it draws a blank. However, we will always try to keep time spent on unproductive research to an absolute minimum. Rather than proceed, we will stop the work and report back to you and explain the problem and receive further instructions.
Family history research is not for the easily shocked. If you are not prepared to uncover uncomfortable or embarassing information about your ancestors than it is best not to start researching them. The APG Code of Ethics requires us to “refrain from withholding , suppressing, or knowingly misquoting or misinterpreting sources or data,” so if we find such information when researching, we must report it to you.
All factual information in our research can be freely used but, under American Law, copyright in the research report as a whole belongs to the author. We are happy for clients to share our reports privately but do ask that you seek the author’s agreement if you wish to publish what we have written. Custom charts that we may provide are also copyrighted. Again, the facts included in the charts can be shared freely but the look and design of the charts belong to us.
We ask this to protect our intellectual property, the way in which we have conducted our research, the discoveries we have made and how we have structured our analysis and arguments. Without copyright someone could pass off our work as their own and take credit that rightfully belongs to us. They could benefit financially from our work by reselling it in printed or digital form.
Copyright protects our professional reputation. Without it, some could publish our work in a truncated, altered, or misleading form, while attributing it to us. Others might then judge us to be poor researchers on the basis of what we had supposedly written.
We usually request a 50% retainer before the work begins. We accept all forms of payment from checks to credit cards. If your prefer checks we ask that they be drawn by personal check drawn in US dollars, make payable to Family Legacy Genealogy and mail to:
Family Legacy Genealogy, C/O Lynette Banks, 13258 Berry Patch Court, Draper, Utah, 84020