No matter where you go, family history is the key to who we are, our genetics, and who we could become. If you’re looking for more insight into your family tree or working on a research project and you’ve hit a brick wall, consider hiring freelance genealogy researchers instead of relying on genealogy websites like Ancestry.com or Familysearch.org. Upwork can help you find cost-effective, professional genealogists that can help reveal everything you need to know about your family line.
Genealogy researchers are typically historians, academic educators, or professional researchers that train for hours to specialize and hone their skills across family histories and generational information.
The cost to hire a freelance genealogy researcher will vary due to many factors, including years of experience, the scope of work, the project timeline, market conditions, and the freelancer’s location.
Experience and Expertise
When hiring professional genealogists, it’s important to consider their level of expertise and years of experience in family research or genealogy services. You can find out this information through a free consultation. A more seasoned freelance genealogy researcher with access to census records and other vital records, may command rates starting around $50 an hour. A freelancer new to genealogy and still using free resources may be more flexible in their price and start around $10 an hour.
Keep in mind that a genealogy researcher with experience in DNA testing, DNA analysis, or advanced research processes could be valuable to aid in your search, but their level of expertise could also increase the overall costs of the job.
Scope of Work
Before hiring a professional genealogist, you must first define the research project scope including research goals. Is this for a family history project? Are you looking for details on a family story or tradition? The scope of work is a step-by-step outline of the amount of work, expertise, and recommended experience level needed to get the job done.
What genealogy research freelancers charge will depend on the number of hours spent on the research project, the familial assets available from you as the client (like photocopies), and what free resources or paid databases they have available to them. Depending on these factors, the project could take several weeks to months for a breakthrough.
In any case, if you are on a strict timeline or need the project completed last-minute, no matter the price, the amount of research involved could prevent the freelancer from finding such sensitive information in a short amount of time.
The cost of hiring a genealogy researcher can also be affected by their geographic location. Outsourcing your project to freelancers in another country, with a lower cost of living or in the country that has the vital records you are looking for, can help reduce your cost to hire or your ability to negotiate a fixed price. However, if you hire freelancers that live in a country with a higher cost of living, you may have to adjust your expected pricing for their time and effort.
Popular genealogy projects & costs examples
Genealogy research services can be sensitive, as genealogy records can uncover so much information about a person or their family. Different family research projects require different research specialties, assets, and research plans.
With that said, here are a few common genealogy jobs you can find on Upwork:
Locating Birth Records: $100-$250/hourly rate
Whether you’re looking for your birth records or trying to track down the birth records of a family member who needs them for government filings or medical diagnoses, a genealogist may be able to help. This type of genealogy research project will depend on the freelancers’ skill level and knowledge for the specific research goals.
Tracking Family Line: $200-$400/hourly rate
Getting a research report on your family lineage or family tree so family stories at holiday dinners start to make more sense is something a genealogy professional on Upwork can help you with. This type of genealogy research project will depend on the freelancers' skill level and knowledge for the specific research goals.
Locate Lost Family History: $500-$750/hourly rate
Finding out information about a family member in a history book makes you want to know more without paying a hefty retainer. This type of genealogy research project will depend on the freelancers' skill level and knowledge of the specific research goals.
Find Talent at the World’s Work Marketplace
Hiring a genealogy researcher can help transform a potentially difficult experience into a more exciting revelation. At Upwork, let us help you get access to top genealogy professionals and freelancers who can help you uncover lost history and vital records while staying within budget.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.