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I charge an initial fee of $5.00 to make a search for any vital record, obituary, or to search a local directory. If I find the record, I will charge an additional fee, as outlined below, to copy and send the record to you. Fees for other types of research are also detailed below.

I will begin your research within one week of receiving your request and payment. If I cannot locate your record, I will notify you by e-mail, and you will owe nothing further. If I do locate what you are looking for, I will notify you by e-mail that I have the information. For vital records, obituaries, and directory look-ups, I will then advise you what the additional cost is, and as soon as I receive the balance of your payment, I will send you the record(s) by e-mail, or by regular mail – your choice. For cemetery records, church records, and photos, there will be no additional fee.

The fees for different services vary, depending on how much time and travel is involved. Any special fees for travel will be agreed upon and paid beforehand.

The fees for services are as follows:


VITAL RECORDS (See the Vital Records link for details about these records.)

Extract of Birth, Marriage, or Death Records:
$3.00 per record (after the $5.00 search fee.) I will do a thorough search for your record, including name variations. If I locate the record, I will send you an extract of it. This means I will transcribe the record word for word for you, and will cite the record Volume and Page numbers.

Copy of Original Birth, Marriage or Death Record: (1841 - 1905 only)
$6.00 per record (after the $5.00 search fee.) These are great for those of us who like to SEE the original record, and not just know what it says. The records I work with are microfilmed copies of the original records that were kept in log books by local city and town clerks. These are large-sized records that usually have to be printed in sections, generally 2 or 3 paper copies. I cut and piece these together into a copy that is approximately 8-10” x 12-14.” This is too large to scan and e-mail, and so these copies will be mailed.

Certified Copies of Birth Records:
$5.00 per record, + cost of the copy from the city or town (after the $5.00 search fee.) Certified copies of vital records are only available from the State of MA, or from the city or town hall that has the original record. The fee that the city or town clerk charges to prepare a certified copy varies widely – generally it is between $5 and $20. I will visit any city of town hall within the Greater Springfield area and obtain a certified copy in person, which will get it to you much faster than mailing your request to the city or town hall. Click the MAPS link to see which towns are in the Greater Springfield area. I will travel to other locations in MA to obtain certified copies, for an additional fee, based on travel distance. E-mail me for a quote.

Note regarding certified copies: To prepare a certified copy, the town or city clerk looks at the original record on file, types that information onto an official form, and then affixes a seal, certifying it. In other words, the information contained in a certified copy is exactly the same as what is in the original record. The difference between a certified copy and a non-certified copy is that only the certified copy is a legal document.


OBITUARIES

Copy of Obituary or Death Notice from newspaper:
$2.00 per name (after the $5.00 search fee) for deaths 1950 - present
$3.00 per name (after the $5.00 search fee) for deaths 1900-1949
$4.00 per name (after the $5.00 search fee) for deaths before 1900

YOU MUST SUPPLY EXACT DATE OF DEATH. I will search all Springfield MA newspapers. These newspapers covered deaths in most of Western MA prior to 1950, and deaths only in Hampden County MA from 1950 to the present. See the Obituaries link for years and names of towns I can research.

Also, please note my comments about obits from the 1800's.

I will make a copy of the obituary, and will then scan it and e-mail it to you - or - mail you the paper copy, if you prefer.


CITY & TOWN DIRECTORIES

Copy of directory page:
$1.00 per copy (after the $5.00 search fee.) See the Directories link for cities and towns I can look up.


CEMETERY RECORDS

Extract of lot card (or other source of information at the cemetery:
$7.00 per name or plot I will visit the cemetery office to learn information about a person buried there; if several persons are buried in that plot, I will record whatever information is available about all of them. See the Cemetery Records link to see which areas I will visit cemeteries in.


CHURCH RECORDS

Extract of church records:
$7.00 per record I will copy the information from the church record(s) and e-mail the extract to you. See the Church Records link to see where I will travel to do this.


PHOTOS

Digital photos sent to you via email:
$5.00 per object (NO SEARCH FEE)

Digital photos sent to you as prints, via regular email:
$8.00 per object (NO SEARCH FEE)

I will take multiple photos of any particular object (a gravestone, house, business, etc.) and will send you at least 2 or 3 pictures of that object. See the Photos link to see where I will travel to for picture-taking.

Please note regarding gravestone photos: Cemetery offices often have no records as to the location of older graves (before 1900.) If a cemetery office cannot tell me where a particular grave is located, I charge $12/hour to physically search the cemetery. If the search takes me less than an hour, I will charge proportionately.


For a listing of other genealogy resources, check out Cyndi's List website: Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet