Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the questions I have received from others who were interested in my services. If you have other questions, please contact me.
The Planning Call
Am I obligated to place an order if I book a planning call?
No, you are not obligated to place an order after a planning call. You are not obligated to make any payments until you have accepted the contract. However, I will not do research or answer research questions during the planning call, so if you have no intention of hiring a professional researcher, you should not book a planning call.
What is the purpose of a planning call?
The main purpose of the planning call is for me to understand the following:
- What you want to know about the subject, e.g., a person or a place.
- What you already know about the subject.
- What your sources of the known information are.
- How many hours you intend to authorize for the research project.
Furthermore, you can ask general questions about the process, terms etc.
Can we skip the planning call?
Record retrieval orders do not require a planning call. For research projects, I prefer to have a planning call. If you send me all the information we might discuss during a planning call, I may accept not to have a planning call with you if that is your wish. However, in my experience, the best foundation for a research project comes from a planning call.
Can you call me in the evening or during a weekend?
On most weekdays, I work from 8 am to 4 pm CET, but I am flexible about the time of the planning call. If an evening call in your local time suits you best, we will find an evening that fits me, too. If you prefer having the call during a weekend, I will do what I can to accommodate that request, but we may need to postpone the call for a week or two to find a time that suits both of us.
I can call you on your phone, or we can arrange an online meeting via Zoom or Google Meet. You may have done your own research about the subject in collaboration with a relative. If you want it, we can arrange a Zoom or Google meeting with more than just the two of us.
Should I prepare anything for the planning call?
I prefer to have an idea of the research project before the meeting, so I can prepare questions. Therefore, I encourage you to send me information about the project after I have confirmed our appointment.
It is best if you have your research about the subject on hand during the call, so we can clear up most questions about your previous research during the call.
Pricing and Payment Terms
Can I get a discount?
I offer a 10% discount on orders of 50 hours or more. The offer only applies to single orders and not a series of smaller orders, which amount to 50 hours or more in total.
I sometimes offer other time limited discounts. No discount can be combined with another discount.
Do you charge costs for photocopies etc.?
Unless otherwise agreed, I deliver the research report electronically as a PDF. If you want a hard copy of the report, you will be charged for copies and postage. The postage depends on your residence and number of pages of the report. Please let me know, if you want the report in print, so I can include the costs of that in the contract.
For projects involving information about persons born less than 110 years ago, fees for lookups in the Danish civil registry may incur. If so, such fees will be charged in addition to the hourly fee. Information about these fees will be included in the contract when relevant.
For record retrieval projects, mileage may be charged in addition to the hourly fee. If you want a photocopy of the record, copies and postage will be charged.
Do you require a prepayment (retainer fee)?
Yes, the full fee or a part of it must be prepaid as a retainer fee. The amount of the retainer fee depends on the number of hours you order and the estimated time until delivery. The terms are specified in the contract.
Is there a minimum order?
The minimum order for a research project is 10 hours. The minimum order does not apply if you only order a record retrieval.
How many hours does it take to find my ancestors?
I cannot say how many hours it takes to do the research. I do not know how many records I must research to document each event or relationship and I do not know which obstacles I encounter during the research. Some ancestors are easy to identify, while others require more work.
Before I begin your research project, you decide how many hours you wish to authorize for the project. Then I do as much research as possible within the given time and report my findings to you.
When can I expect that the project is completed?
I may have contracted with other clients before you. When I send you the contract, I will inform you of the estimated time for when I can begin your project and how long I estimate that it will take to complete it. If you have a deadline, perhaps because you intend to visit Denmark at a certain time and need some information before that, please let me know immediately, so I have a chance to let you know if I cannot meet that deadline.
Some projects require on-site research at an archive. Many local archives are only open one or two days a week. If records must be accessed at The Danish National Archives, I may have to order them up to two weeks in advance, or I may have to wait in line for access to the records if someone else has ordered the records before me. These circumstances extend the time for completion of the project.
Do I have to pay you if you cannot find the requested information?
Yes. You must pay for the time I have spent researching and writing, even if I cannot find the requested information.
The Project and the Report
What is included in a research report?
The structure of a research report varies depending on the project...
Can you identify living relatives in Denmark?
I can try, but I cannot promise that I will succeed. Beware of my obligation to inform living relatives about the data processing.
Can we agree that I will inform living relatives about the project?
No, I am obligated by law to inform them myself.
Can you write a family history book for me?
I would love to write a family history book for your family. Such a project requires several research projects in which another generation of ancestors is identified, or an ancestral couple is researched in depth to be able to write more than names and dates in the book. Also, research at local archives may turn up relevant photographs, and you may even have some photographs and anecdotes, which you want me to include in the book. It is therefore a long-term project, which requires hundreds of hours of work.
Can you retrieve a copy of a specific record for me?
In many cases, I can retrieve copies of records for you, but it depends on the type of document and when it was made.
Access restrictions apply to some documents. If access to the document in question is restricted by law, I can assist you with an application for access.
In some cases, a document cannot be retrieved. Except in Southern Jutland, the Church of Denmark is responsible for the civil registration of births and deaths in parish registers, aka church books. Certificates are made on the basis of the minister's book, which is kept by the church for 110 years. Except for legal purposes, the church is not obligated to issue certificates to someone other than the listed person himself/herself. You are therefore not entitled to receive a birth certificate for someone else. When researching Danes, the listing in the parish register is used to document a birth, because certificates about others can usually not be obtained. If the minister's book has been transferred to The Danish National Archives, you can request a certificate from the, but they can turn down the request depending on various factors.
If you are interested in hiring me to retrieve a specific record, please send me all known details about the record, and then I will send you information about the availability of the record, and how we shall proceed to obtain a copy, if possible.