Ancestry Album FAQs
Although there are many outstanding genealogy researchers in the United States, there seem to be very few who will take your ancestral information and create a beautiful book that your family will treasure forever. We saw an unfilled need and decided to bridge the gap between the researcher community and the heirloom album community.
Reasons are varied. Some clients are assembling ethical wills, a legacy of documents, books, and multi-media materials for their children and grandchildren. Others have always been curious about their families, but know that they cannot devote the time to learning how to research and use a genealogy program.
Clients often order the albums as gifts for reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, and other family events. Although our turn-around time is 6-22 weeks, you should plan for a lead time of four months to six months to have your product researched and compiled for a special event.
Simply fill out the order form, and we will email and/or mail you a questionnaire in which we ask for details of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, to the extent that you know them. We also ask for copies of certain family photos and documents listed on the questionnaire. If you have them, great. If not, we will find images that tell your family's story almost as well as personal photographs.
Our albums are beautiful and easy to follow. When we first developed them, we realized that “lay” readers often have difficulty keeping track of all the players, so to speak. That led us to develop a color-coding system (see below). Like a research report, our albums contain images of original documents and source citations. And, like a research report, our albums contain the most accurate information we can generate within the time constraints. Unlike most research reports, we compile and organize your family information with an eye to creating a coffee-table book of which you can be proud.
My family immigrated from China in 1965. Will you be able to determine four generations of my ancestry?
Probably not. We can outline four generations of most American, Canadian, Mexican, and European families. If you are Chinese and your family has been here since the early 1900's, we can probably determine the four generations. However, researching in Asian, African, and South American records for families that arrived in the U.S. after 1950 is beyond our capabilities at this point. Of course, if you know the names of the individuals in the four generations and have supporting documentation, you might be candidate for the Silver Package.
I am only interested in the Irish county of origin of my great-great grandmother. I think her last name was Collins and her family was from Tennessee. Can you research that situation?
Yes, we can. However, you should know that our standard approach begins with YOU and works back through original source documents to that great-great-grandmother. We cannot start with her because we cannot separate her Tennessee records from those of others with the same name. Working from the more recent known information to less recent unknown information produces the best results. And identifying a European county or town of origin for immigrants to the U.S. should always begin in United States records.
We use a long-standing genealogy color-coding system, assigning one color to each of your four grandparent surnames. If you picture a traditional 4-generation pedigree chart, you will see the root individual (you), two parents, four grandparents, and eight great-grandparents. There are seven couples on this chart - one parent couple, two grandparent couples, four great-grandparent couples.
Using the paternal grandparent surname, we color code three couples bearing the paternal grandfather surname with the first color, blue. One couple, the parents of the paternal grandmother, is coded green. Two couples, bearing the surname of the maternal grandfather, are coded rose. And, finally, a single couple, the parents of the maternal grandmother, is coded gold. It sounds complicated, but it is very easy to follow in the albums.
Yes, we have gotten so many requests for this service that we now offer it as a separate product, specifically the Silver Package.
Yes, you can purchase duplicate albums, loose-leaf or leather-bound, for as many relatives as you want. We will quote you an individual price of $150-$200, depending on the number of pages in your finished product. Volume discounts for more than 10 copies also apply.
Several reasons exist, but mostly we are limited by time and records. Please consider that you have 16 great-great-grandparents (back 4 generations) and 32 great-great-great grandparents (back 5 generations). Tracing back 5 generations may take you back to 1800-10850, and it is the rare family tree where we or any other researcher will be able to adequately document all 32 lines – principally because records such as birth certificates and every-name censuses do not exist. Documenting ancestry prior to 1850 may take many months or years to prove a single additional generation on your family tree. In addition, your ancestors’ records differ from what you are used to today. Records from 1825, for example, may contain much less information than late 20th-century records. Many records commonly created today – birth certificates, for example – did not exist 100 and 200 years ago in most locations.