I am so excited by the events of the past week. I have been hearing from descendants of Edward. They are contributing information and funding. This past week I received a $25.00 donation from each of 3 different descendants. As promised, all proceeds of this blog will be used to pay for retrieving documents to assist in the project.
This is the first time in the 14 years of our existence that Ne-Do-Ba has ever hired someone to do research (even I don’t get paid!). So, now that I had some money to work with I needed to discover the best way to contract with a professional. I also needed to decide what documents to go looking for.
While exploring Edward’s pension records, I learned that in 1820 his wife owned land and that she received it from Charles K. White. I also know that Edward lived in Concord (Lisbon) for a while after the war and before settling in Lyman. Perhaps exploring deeds will provide me with information and names for his wives, confirmation that Edward Jr. was his son, confirmation of when Edward arrived in Concord and when he moved to Lyman, and just maybe I could learn something about Edward’s origins or parents. I decided that with a little luck Grafton County deeds had the potential to be a very good investment.
Just about this time I received a package in the mail from a descendant. They had sent me some printed family group sheets and a CD containing a Legacy file on it. I was heartbroken when I realized that not one single piece of data was sourced. This descendant had obviously put a lot of time into collecting information and was proud of his data. But why oh way did he neglect to record the source of the data? I know the answer, because I was there once. When you first begin a family history project it is usually out of curiosity and unless you are a trained researcher you just don’t understand that data in and of itself is useless if you don’t know it comes from a reliable source. But I digress – the package did contain a list of Book & Page numbers along with some names found on Grafton County deeds. So I thought this could make things easy for a researcher (and hopefully save me some money!).
Now I have a plan of what I want to find (list of specific deeds) and where to look (Grafton Co. Registry of Deeds). All I need now is a reliable person to retrieve the deeds.
I have been seeing little bits of information recently on genealogy blogs about this website called Genealogy Freelancers and decided to go check out their website www.genealogyfreelancers.com.
I explored the site, reading all the information provided and watched the video presentation. The site looked very promising. A person just needs to sign up for a free account and post the project details along with a price range they are willing to pay. Then professional researchers bid on your job. Then you need to choose which professional to work with. Once the professional has accepted the job, you move the agreed fee into an escrow account. Once the job is finished (and you are satisfied!) you release the escrow account and the professional is paid. If you are not satisfied, they have a system in place to help resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction.
I decided to sleep on it. The next morning I signed up and posted my list of deeds and names with a price range of “under $100”. I also made sure to note that I could not be certain of the correctness of book and page numbers and I understood it would change the amount of work involved if they were not correct.
Five professionals bid on my project. Prices varied and the time they required to complete the job varied from 3 days to 30 days. Two of them specifically noted the book numbers I had were certainly not correct because they were familiar with book numbers for Grafton Co. deeds. They also noted the records were well indexed, so it should be no problem finding the deeds I was looking for. Before accepting a bid, I was able to visit each professional’s profile page and see the jobs they had completed and the reviews from their clients. I held my breath and selected the lowest bidder.
I am now very pleased to report this has been a wonderful experience. Believe it or not, I am now (3 days later) in procession of all the deeds I was looking for plus a few others and I didn’t blow my whole budget in the process. The professional I chose to work provided the deeds in question. She also e-mailed me the Grantor and Grantee index pages covering the name Marden and asked if there were any other deeds of interest along with the expected cost per deed to retrieve additional ones.
So here I sit with 11 deeds and lots of new information. The posts I had ready for this week are now obsolete – which I think is a good thing because it means I am making progress. On the other hand it means there may not be any posts this week! I need time to digest this new material and incorporate it into the time line and map and I planned to post.
In summary – my first experience with genealogyfreelancers.com has been very positive and I certainly will use this service in the future. I am also considering applying to be an affiliate and help promote the service to others.
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