Answers and advice from the team at Trace

Discovery Phase

How does your process work?

See our How It Works page for more info.

What type of information will you need from me?

We will want to know what information you already have, to include dates/locations of birth, marriage and death for the research subject and all immediate family members that you are aware of. If you can provide us with a family tree this often provides much of this information. Any records you have pertaining to the research subject are also very helpful. This can include (but is certainly not limited to) census records, vital records and newspaper clippings. Even records that may not seem applicable to this project may contain clues that will be of value to our experts. Finally, if you have already searched places and found negative results that can be helpful to our researchers as well.

How do I share my tree with you?

On under the name of your Tree there is an option called “Tree Settings”. From here you can send an email inviting us to see your tree. Please send your invite to [email protected] with a guest role. For a visual reference click here.

Will you verify my information?

Yes! It's vital to genealogical research that we verify information you provide to ensure we don't go down the wrong path, wasting time and money. To achieve this, we will review the information and records you have already found to ensure research begins at a sound starting point. Please don’t misunderstand this process for duplicating research, as being told the name of an ancestor from a family member is not the same as having a sourced record and we would not be providing you with high quality research if we didn’t take this important step.

Can we start my research “across the pond” right away?

It depends. Sometimes we know that an ancestor was from “Germany” but Germany is quite a large area! We need to discover and verify information in the US to tell us exactly where across the pond to look. In this case we will likely match you with a researcher who is US based to find concrete records telling us where to go next, and then recommend that research to you as a next step if you would like to continue. If you already have sourced records that help us narrow down a specific area then we will usually start with research in that country.

I am going on a trip and need my results before then. Can you do that?

Please inform us of any trips you have so that we can be aware of the timeline and include that in our brief for our researchers. Depending on the objective and the timeline for you trip we may be able to do this and will let you know whether or not it is feasible.

Where are your researchers located?

We have researchers throughout the world. Some projects can be done online, utilizing records that have been scanned in, other projects require onsite assistance, and some projects require a blend of both.

How long does it take to get bids?

After we’ve collected your information, it usually takes 2-5 weeks to work with our researchers to compile a research proposal (or proposals). Sometimes this may take a little longer, depending on your project.

How many bids will I get?

Typically we see 1 to 3 bids. Sometimes these are from different researchers and sometimes a researcher provides more than one bid if there are a few different approaches, and therefore costs, they can take.

Can you guarantee that I will get proposals?

No, we cannot guarantee that you will get a proposal. When this happens we provide you with all the information we learned as we tried to get a proposal, such as the reasons that our researchers felt that this project was not feasible. Sometimes we recommend that you take a DNA test or take another next step that will help provide our researchers with more information to go off of. While this can be a disappointing result, it provides you with valuable information curated over several experts and prevents you from spending a large sum of money on a project that will likely not provide a positive result.

Why We're Different

The research system is broken. We're fixing it.

Research Agencies

Unknown risks and feasibility of project

Large retainer to get started

Small network in few locales

Often focused on specific area

Unexpected fees throughout project

Small team

Uncertain customer service

We de-risk your project before we start

Focused on your end-goal, not billable hours

4,000 researchers in 90+ countries

Global research expertise

No hidden fees or expenses

Thousands of active professionals

Dedicated customer support team