Family History and Forensic Research
Stone House Historical Research provides services from retrieval of a single document to legal affidavits of kinship and multigenerational family histories. Consultation to discuss the scope of your project is always free. As the principal researcher, I conduct onsite research at the Vermont Historical Society, the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society, and other local repositories. Research in digitized original documents and newspapers is conducted online through multiple open and subscription services. Documents from other localities are obtained through microfilm rental or from Stone House’s network of associate researchers. I also make periodic research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, to Lancaster and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania, as well as to other out of state research facilities. A trip to Ireland for client research is in the planning stages. If you have Irish ancestors, please contact me to discuss adding your research to my trip! Genealogical research is completed at $45/hour, plus the actual costs of items such as photocopies, certified records and postage. Forensic research, because of the priority it is given and the issues inherent when dealing with the living, is completed at a higher rate.
In-depth research projects
I can provide documentation of family lines using a wide variety of online and local resources to establish links between generations and provide details about your ancestors' lives. These projects might take the form of locating the parent of a particular ancestor using land, probate and other documents, or may involve researching multiple ancestors using broad array of sources. All in-depth research projects are delivered digitally and include a fully documented research report with a detailed analysis of findings, recommendations for the next steps in your research, and copies of source-cited documents. This type of project is usually best completed in segments of ten to twenty hours. "Brick wall" cases require a minimum authorization of 20 hours in order to adequately review your research and begin to gather evidence, which is often indirect in nature. These cases are much like completing a jigsaw puzzle - one needs to gather enough pieces of the puzzle on the table before a picture begins to emerge. Of course, if the project is completed in less time you are only billed for the actual time used.
Forensic work involves confidential research regarding the identity and present whereabouts of unknown or missing heirs and family lines, evaluating kinship evidence, and preparing due diligence affidavits. Sources used to prove relationships include probate and other court records, census records, vital records, city directories, newspaper obituaries and cemetery records, among others. Fully documented and notarized reports and charts are prepared for court proceedings. Stone House Historical Research has experience documenting next-of-kin for probate and title insurance matters and locating descendants of beneficiaries in trust matters. We also complete military repatriation cases for the U.S. Army, finding family members of missing soldiers from past wars.
Focused, limited-scope research projects
Perhaps you need a search for a specified type of record, such as a copy of a Vermont death register, deed, or probate file. Or maybe you would like a a copy or information from a particular resource you found in the online catalog for the Vermont Historical Society. I can search for and obtain copies of these types of specific documents. I can also do look-ups in my personal genealogical library, or make a trip to a Vermont Town Clerk's office for you.
Why Research Your Family History?
Knowing the men and women who have come before us is important of understanding ourselves. What is the origin of our talents, values and beliefs? What is our family’s place in history? We all learned the big picture of our country’s history in school. But how did our family participate in these events? Connecting our own family’s history to the larger story of our nation's and world's history helps us and helps our children understand life’s continuum in a new way.