Thomas P. Doherty, Ph.D.
3321 N. Rockfield Drive,
Devonshire, Wilmington DE 19810-3238
(302)-479-9595 (please phone first so we can se up the fax)
Heather H. Doherty holds an Associate in Applied Science degree with a Criminal Justice Technology major in 2003. Heather is now a professional researcher with substantial experience and skill in genealogical research methods, analysis and reporting. She is a member of the Delaware Genealogical Society.
- My Guarantee
I guarantee to apply a professional scientific method to enthusiastically research your genealogical mysteries in a time-efficient manner by identifying, locating and researching the historical and genealogical records which are most likely to provide answers to your genealogical problems, especially the original records including probate, orphans' court, tax, deed, military, census and vital records. I have expertise transcribing Colonial handwriting and am particularly familiar with the records of Delaware, surrounding counties of Maryland (particularly Cecil) and Chester and Delaware Co PA. I also have expertise searching records in Philadelphia Co PA, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, Quebec and Germany and are somewhat familiar with records in Ohio, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Chicago, St. Louis, and Ontario among others; but because of our location, I may need to search microfilms of these records and/or subcontract to other professional researchers.
- What I Cannot Guarantee
I cannot guarantee a specific genealogical result, such as proving a specific relationship or line of descent. I seek the truth, whatever it may be. I also cannot guarantee what I will find in a given searching time. What you pay for is my time in pursuit of an answer to your most pressing genealogical problems
according to your priorities.
- Research Fees
* $45/hour plus expenses, beginning with a 10 hour ($450) "retainer" fee. Please make checks payable to "Thomas P. Doherty"
* "Expenses" are any costs incurred doing your specific research, including postage, telephone, copying costs, travel expenses at the IRS rate (currently 55 cents/mile), parking/toll fees and professional services. For example, a round trip to the Delaware Public Archives in Dover is 115 miles and takes 2 hours and 20 min. To minimize traveling expenses for any particular client, projects from more than one client will be grouped together and shared. If an individual client specifically requires quick results, I can make a special trip to a repository, but that client would incur all the travel costs.
* The time charged includes not only the time it takes to consult with you, analyze your problem and research the records, but also the time it takes to travel to a research site and to analyze, organize and report the results to you. Not including travel time, in an average research task about half the time is spent in research and the other half in analysis and reporting.
- When Will I Stop Work?
You are not responsible for any work I do beyond what you have paid for or agreed to pay for. In some cases, if I am already at a particular research facility (archives, county office, historical society, etc.) I may spend additional research time to solve a particular problem, but you will not be charged for that time unless you wish to continue the research beyond what you have alrteady paid for. Then, if you wish me to continue, you will be charged periodically upon completion of any additional research you request. You may wish to place a research time or a dollar limit on this additional research, or you may be wished to be billed on a regular basis, such as monthly. Any of these payment plans (and others) are acceptable.
- How Will I Communicate the Results to You?
While I can communicate by U.S. mail and/or FAX, we prefer E-mail because it improves research productivity by facilitating an ongoing two-way conversation with the client to accurately define and prioritize the task. After the first 10 hours research (often sooner) I will write you a brief, interim progress report including which records I researched, what I learned and what the options are for continuing the research. I will also send you copies of all pertinent records, including, if possible, those of original historical documents in the form of high-quality pdf files made directly from the microfilm. I can usually attach these pdf files to an E-mail message or send a slightly lower quality paper copy via U.S. mail.
- Research Crossroads
At my suggestion or your request, I will provide a full summary report of any given phase of research to date including a full written analysis of the findings with specific detailing of several options for continuing research. While this analysis and report are time-consuming, the resulting additional insights are usually quite rewarding and well worth the time spent. During the research, there are usually times when I will need you to prioritize future reseach or to choose among various options. Some options may be very time consuming, but offer great potential, while other options may be quick, but offer less potential. In those cases, I can stop work and await your decision.
What you are buying is my research services, not the final product. While I will give you all the results of our research, I retain the right to publish my findings so that others can also benefit from the research. Publishing should be considered an added benefit to the client, because it often results in contacts with others researching the same family lines. The client also retains the right to publish the work. What I publish will most often be only part of the research, such as an entry in the Delaware Families 1787-1800 project (where the client could choose to be sole or co-submitter) or graphics for an oral presentations. I will also honor specific requests to delay publishing, so that the client can publish first. Our right to publish does not include original materials supplied by the client, such as family bible records and family letters, which I would not publish without the client's permission.
It is common to have a backlog of 2-6 months. In fairness to my clients, a new job enters the backup system the day it is received. It may take several months to complete a project, but the first interim E-mail report should be within a few weeks of starting your research.
- What will I need to know before we begin your research?
Your research will be most time and dollar efficient if you follow the advice from the Latter-day Saints sheet entitled Hiring a Professional Researcher (1987).
From the last section of that report, I quote: "In order to do the best job, your genealogist needs to know everything you know about the problem(s) you want solved."
- * Pedigree charts and family group records [names of children]
- * Names of ancestor's spouses and of brothers and sisters of their spouses...
- * Birth, death and marriage certificates
- * Obituaries, funeral cards, etc.
- * Diaries, journals, old letters, photocopies of family information from Bibles
- * Deeds, census (although we can download fully sourced census records)
- * Military records
- * Occupations
- * Family histories and family traditions and stories
- * Known residence(s) of ancestor during their life (include
places of birth, death, and marriage)
- * Copies of research you or others have already
Although you may feel your knowledge is sparse, please provide everything you possibly can. This will provide a better foundation to build on. Access to previous research will help him or her avoid costly duplication and save time and money."
- Thomas P. Doherty is a professional genealogical researcher, specializing in Delaware and surrounding counties and author of the Delaware Genealogical Research Guide (1989, 1997, 2002), a former editor of the Delaware Genealogical Society Journal, a former president of the Delaware Genealogical Society (1, and served on the DGS Board of Governors from 1986-2010. He also designed and was webmaster of delgensoc.org (the DGS web site) from 1995-2010 and is project manager of the DGS tax transcription and Delaware Families 1787-1800 projects. Tom has taught a Genealogical Research Methods lecture course since 1996 (with an introduction to Web research) combined with a Genealogy Computer Workshop since 2005 at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Delaware in Wilmington. He is also an independent futurist specializing in
technological and social trends (1997 view) and a technical consultant and technical editor for the National Textile Center. Tom earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1967, followed by a 26-year career in fibers and futures research at DuPont.
He can be contacted at:
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or at
3321 N Rockfield Dr, Devonshire
Wilmington DE 19810-3238
FAX: (302)-479-9595 [phone first before faxing]
Tom Doherty's Other Interests and Favorite Surnames: Melcher, Fassig
She may be contacted at:
3321 N. Rockfield Dr./Devonshire, Wilmington, DE 19810-3238
Ph: (302) 478-4758
Please visit her Web site at http://home.comcast.net/~nokee
for additional information.
- November 3, 2010 - comments :