Customized Research Project



When you require assistance in answering a complex question, do not know some of the information required to obtain a records, or need to have records retrieved on your behalf which will necessitate multiple hours or trips to one or more repositories, choose this offering.
I am available to travel to various locations within California, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Cruz County, San Joaquin Valley, and in some cases, Southern California. Additional work may be done outside of the area using online resources, or professional contacts in other regions.
Due to travel requirements, projects may be completed over a couple weeks to a couple months, occasionally longer as appropriate. If there are time deadlines or a specific budget you’d like to remain within, please let me know in your initial request so I can confirm that I can stay within such requests before work begins.

$50.00 /hour + expenses

Retainer upfront; Balance due on completion


Alameda, California, United States

San Francisco, California, United States

Santa Clara, California, United States

San Mateo, California, United States

Santa Cruz, California, United States

Fresno, California, United States


San Francisco City & City Hall

Alameda County CA Courthouse

San Francisco Public Library

California Genealogical Society & Library

Sutro Library

Bancroft Library

Ordering instructions from kimcotton

In your initial request, please provide:
1) A fundamental question you are trying to have answered to focus all research,
2) A brief overview of what research you’ve already accomplished,
3) Any budgetary or time restraints you need me to honor, and
4) A list of documents you already have relating to the research.

I will respond with some basic questions and the documents I will need you to upload for me to view. Include as much information as you may have. This is crucial so that I do not charge you to repeat your work.

A non-refundable retainer is required for the the first 2 hours which will always be used to assess your existing information, confirming anything that may be needed, and preparing a research or travel plan which will then be submitted to you for approval before additional work will begin. On the plan, expenses will be estimated based on best available information (such as current county clerk fees stated on appropriate website) though sometimes fees on websites may not be accurate and may be charged differently.
I will always do my best to keep you up-to-date with the progress, including a bi-weekly progress report. If I expect my research time will go over the amount you’ve authorized, I will confirm with you what I’ve done and request authorization before continuing. I will always try to stay within the time authorized, but you should know that research often takes a different path than what is planned, and adjustments to the plan may be needed.
For research plans which include more than 5 hours research (common for complex projects). I will ask for an additional retainer from you for 50% of the balance (after the initial 2 hours) when you accept the research plan. If you have any questions about this, please let me know before authorizing work.

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