$3,500 for Ancestry Genealogist – Don’t Be Fooled

Professional genealogists undergo torturous experiences perfecting their skills and presenting authentic family history research, but that does not justify unexplained hefty fees for the services. Setting a minimum of $3,500 for unexplained services or scope is extortion and goes against all the rules of discretionary spending.  

When many Irish genealogy services cost as low as $795, you’d wonder what’s in an exaggerated price tag. Luckily, with more Irish genealogy sites now available online, you have the latitude to try several and determine the best one for you.  

This guide exposes the vagueness of highly charged genealogy services, offering you reasons to consider alternatives.  

Read – 10 Common Myths about Hiring a Professional Genealogist

How Much Does An Ancestry Genealogist Cost? 

Genealogist charges at Ancestry start at $3,500, and the ceiling is determined by the scope of your research and the time taken. So, if your genealogy research involves DNA analysis, immigration research, adoption, or onsite institutional research, the fee could at least triple.  

Contrastingly, alternative genealogy sites offer more friendly rates, especially for relatively straightforward tasks like document retrieval and ancestor biography writing. Our quick search online shows that you could get a comprehensive genealogy report for your paternal side or a 10-hour research package for about $1,000.  

You wouldn’t get any of these without at least $3,500 at Ancestry. More interestingly, Ancestry provides no basis for its clearly exaggerated prices. Below are more compelling reasons to think again before paying high fees for your ancestry search.  

Reasons a minimum of $3,500 Ancestry search Price Could Be Weird 

1. It Discourages Gradual research  

For many people, genealogy research is not something you wake up and complete within a day or month, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Instead, people prefer some gradual progress, such as a few packages today, a few branches on the family tree, or a few records at a time. This enables them to easily follow up on the discoveries as they unfold and also accommodate the expense in their strict budget.  

However, with Ancestry’s minimum price set at $3,500, the equivalent of over two gradual packages, your budget gets stretched, and you could have a huge backlog of records and narratives to review about your family. If you are only looking to get a few records about your ancestors, the cost is unrealistic, especially now that almost every record may be a few clicks away.  

It also sounds unfriendly to have such a huge amount as the minimum when the service provider has yet to consider special requests that you may have or the research scope. Typically, genealogy sites offer a more affordable minimum of $250 and make necessary changes once both mutually agree.  

2. Service Delivery is Vague 

While Ancestry pronounces itself on the minimum price tag, it does very little to break down what every coin will help the genealogists achieve in your family history research. You’d expect such a high cost to come with some expectation on immediate and future research. You want to know whether it caters to everything from research hours, writing the report, acquiring copies, to mailing charges.  

Another crucial indication lacking besides the price tag is the scope researchers will cover after pay. For comparison purposes, it would be helpful to detail whether the $3,500 goes for a week or an hour and how much exactly you should pay for your unique genealogy research requirements. 

Must you pay that much if you already have your detailed family history report and only need a graphic representation? What if the professional genealogist fails to find meaningful information on the work? What will happen? 

Failure to clarify some of these pressing questions amounts to the destruction of your right to identity.  

3. No Word on the Researcher 

One common factor affecting the cost of genealogy research services is the credentials and expertise of the professional genealogists undertaking it. Surprisingly, Ancestry leaves this crucial information out, only providing a generic description typical of any other genealogy firm.  

Even after setting the minimum price tag of $3,500, Ancestry leaves potential clients in the dark about whether they could find a researcher local to a specific time period and region they want to explore in their research. For example, those seeking Irish ancestry would prefer a researcher local to their research problem than waste time and money on a jack of all trades unfamiliar with Irish conventions, locality, or record fragmentation.   

Expenses require ingenuity and only a few people would invest thousands of dollars without knowing whether their assigned researcher is qualified, has the right interpersonal skills, or can meet their timeline expectations. The lack of all these clarifications simply adds insult to injury.  

4. Benefits Are Not Unique 

When faced with a pricey genealogy research package, you expect it to offer somewhat unique perks and go out of the way. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Ancestry’s $3,500 price tag. The highlighted benefits are a duplicate of what you’d get from other genealogy service providers charging a fraction of that.  

Benefits like professional insights, understanding of historical contexts, DNA, and copies of all records and evidence are offered by all service providers you come across. For the unfamiliar, reading through the price and then following up on the promised benefits might look like a deal until you realize these are standard services of general family history research. They are the bare minimum to expect once you pay for genealogy research anywhere.  

The more unique benefits that Ancestry would have probably highlighted include whether the packages are transferable, whether they offer a money-back guarantee, free consultation, or even if you will enjoy some direct communication with your genealogist throughout the research. 

Don’t Be Fooled 

Make good use of your money by exercising some due diligence before falling prey to costly services for no unique benefit. You don’t have to pay $3,500 for a preliminary assessment or document retrieval for your genealogy research. While prices vary with the scope of work, service provider, and other factors, paying anything without consultation, clear expectations, or unique benefits is misguided.  

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