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African American?  Hire the Expert…

Johni Cerny, Chief Genealogist for African American Lives 1 & 2, Faces of America & Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.!

The 1860 census counted 3,953,760 slaves living in the southern states. Documenting the lives and relationships of those slaves may be impossible without the help of experienced professionals. African American research is so difficult that few full-time genealogists specialize in that field of study. Our services are designed to meet the needs of anyone who hires us to trace their ancestry. African Americans share several research goals, including:

  • Untangle the truths in their family’s oral history from the embellishments that have been introduced with each retelling of the story.
  • Trace their ancestors back as far as possible in the time allowed for each project.
  • Identify who owned their ancestors and where they lived as slaves.
  • Determine if any of their ancestors were free persons of color before 1865.
  • Find out where their ancestors lived in Africa.

Oral history plays a very important role in tracing African American ancestors. Over time bits and pieces of family stories change. Some become so distorted that they lead amateur researchers far from the truth. A professional genealogist does not have an emotional attachment to oral history and will attempt to document each fact and set aside those that cannot be proved.

After tracing an African American family back to 1865, our focus turns to identifying who owned them before the Emancipation.  During slavery, we look for your ancestors names in public records filed by an owner.  We search property, estate, and court records, as well as slave schedules, to prove the owner-slave relationship. Sometimes public records are silent about that relationship, which limits the number of generations that a family can be traced. If we hit a dead-end on one family line, we’ll move to another and see where it goes. All during this process, the story of your slave ancestors will unfold.

Get started by choosing the research package below that fits your goals and budget.

Lineages charges 40% less than most competitors!

African American Easy Payment Plan $75.00

On a budget? Want to share the cost of tracing your ancestry with family members?
Make a $100.00 minimum down payment and when your account reaches $600.00 our professional staff will start your research project. Send family members a link to this page and they can contribute hours to your project. They will need your account number to order. They can also order a copy of the report and documents for a nominal fee.

Project fees include:

  • The time required to review previous research, interact with you, other family members, and persons who share your ancestry by email, telephone or mail.
  • Research, locating and acquiring documents, analysis, creating your family tree, report writing, and preparing your project for shipping.
  • Copying, postage, shipping, handling, and extra copies of each report.
  • When it looks like research costs might exceed 10% of a retainer, you will be asked to provide written approval, preferably by email.
  • We endeavor to accomplish your research goals in the time that you purchase, but sometimes a wish list exceeds what can be accomplished in a fixed amount of time. If that happens, a consultant will ask if you want to wrap-up the project or purchase additional hours.
  • Retainers are non-refundable.

Depending on workload and unless otherwise negotiated, it may take 3-4 months from the time of purchase to complete your project.

African American Basic Research Project $750.00

This research package is designed to introduce new customers to our in-depth research services. Our staff will search multiple record sources to accomplish your research goals. Since only ten research hours are devoted to this project, we will focus on documenting several of your ancestral families back to the Emancipation. Also choose this Basic Research Project to:

  • Begin linking slave ancestors to their owners.
  • Have a professional take a crack at solving a  family mystery.
  • Look for a relative or ancestor who moved away from the family and never returned.
  • Get past a long-standing research roadblock.

Project fees include:

  • The time required to review previous research, interact with you, other family members, and persons who share your ancestry by email, telephone or mail.
  • Research, locating and acquiring documents, analysis, creating your family tree, report writing, and preparing your project for shipping.
  • Copying, postage, shipping, handling, and extra copies of each report.
  • When it looks like research costs might exceed 10% of a retainer, you will be asked to provide written approval, preferably by email.
  • We endeavor to accomplish your research goals in the time that you purchase, but sometimes a wish list exceeds what can be accomplished in a fixed amount of time. If that happens, a consultant will ask if you want to wrap-up the project or purchase additional hours.
  • Retainers are non-refundable.

Depending on workload and unless otherwise negotiated, it may take 3-4 months from the time of purchase to complete your project. We recommend, but do not require, that clients take a minimum of one and preferably two DNA tests. These tests play a big role in getting past road blocks caused by record loss and undefined relationships. A research consultant will guide you in choosing a DNA testing service. If you agree to test, research will not begin until the results have been delivered.

Call 801-571-6122 to discuss rush research pricing.

African American Extra Copies of Research Reports $75.00

Share your research project with family members by ordering them a copy! Price includes printing, assembling, binding, and shipping.  We can personalize each copy by putting a relative’s name on the cover page. Shipping in 5-7 days. Call 801-571-6122 to arrange rush service and delivery (additional cost).

African American Mini-Research Project $300.00

This research package is designed for customers who want to focus on a specific ancestor or ancestral family. If you want more complete family tree, choose a larger research project. Our staff will search as many records as possible in the time allowed to accomplish your research goal. A Research Consultant will work with you to refine your research needs to fit a four hour project.

Research project fees include:

  • The time required to review previous research, interact with you, other family members, and persons who share your ancestry by email, telephone or mail.
  • Research, locating and acquiring documents, analysis, creating your family tree, report writing, and preparing your project for shipping.
  • Copying, postage, shipping, handling, and extra copies of each report.
  • When it looks like research costs might exceed 10% of a retainer, you will be asked to provide written approval, preferably by email.
  • We endeavor to accomplish your research goals in the time that you purchase, but sometimes a wish list exceeds what can be accomplished in a fixed amount of time. If that happens, a consultant will ask if you want to wrap-up the project or purchase additional hours.
  • Retainers are non-refundable.

Depending on workload and unless otherwise negotiated, it may take 2-3 months from the time of purchase to complete a mini-project. We recommend, but do not require, that clients take a minimum of one and preferably two DNA tests. These tests play a big role in getting past road blocks caused by record loss and undefined relationship. A research consultant will guide you in choosing a DNA testing service. If you agree to test, research will not begin until the results have been delivered.

African American Standard Research $1,500.00

Package Description

Get on free research hour as a bonus when you order this 20-hour research package. Choose this option for these types of research:

  1. Documenting each of your family lines back to the Emancipation.
  2. Searching for proof of who owned your ancestors during slavery.
  3. Solving a family relationship mystery.
  4. Taking and analyzing a DNA test to prove a relationship to an unknown person or a slave owner.

What you will receive:

  • Each completed project is compiled into a printed booklet that includes a Research Report and Document Calendar (a listing of documents that accompany the report), and mini-trees added to each generation discussed in your report.
  • Photocopies or extracts of the records found to document your family tree.
  • Printed pedigree charts.
  • A PDF version of the report is available upon request.
  • An invitation to download digitized images of your documents upon request.
  • One DNA test kit.

Project fees include:

  • The time required to review previous research, interact with you by email, telephone or mail, and interview others who share your ancestry or can contribute little-known details about your ancestors.
  • Research, locating and acquiring documents, analysis, creating your family tree, report writing, and preparing your project for shipping.
  • Copying, postage, shipping, handling, and extra copies of each report.
  • When it looks like research costs may exceed 10% of a retainer, you will be asked to provide written approval, preferably by email.
  • We endeavor to accomplish research goals in the time that you purchase, but sometimes a wish list exceeds what can be accomplished in a fixed amount of time. If that happens, a consultant will ask if you want to end research or purchase additional hours.
  • Retainers are non-refundable.
  • One DNA Test kit.

Depending on workload and unless otherwise negotiated, it may take 2-3 months from the time of purchase to complete a mini-project. We recommend, but do not require, that clients take a minimum of one and preferably two DNA tests. These tests play a big role in getting past road blocks caused by record loss and undefined relationships. A research consultant will guide you in choosing a DNA testing service. If you agree to test, research will not begin until the results have been delivered.

Call 801-571-6122 to discuss rush research pricing.

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Please contact us for more information at info@lineages.com or by phone at 801-571-6122 M-F, 9-5:00 MT.

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