Saturday’s Dilemma ~ What Was She Thinking?

question markAbout 6 months ago I completed an 8-generation chart for a client. She was thrilled with the results. Several times since then she has emailed me to tell me how pleased she was. Do not get me wrong, I was glad she was satisfied with the work and was excited over some of the documents I had found. I have just never had anyone contact me about the chart this many months out. Then this happened….

Yesterday I received an email from a gentleman who said he was referred to me by this Surprise_Surprise_2015woman. He shared her 3x Great Grandfather and he wanted to know more about him. Apparently, this client would not share the information she paid for, so she told him to contact me. Then he wrote, “______ mentioned that since she owned the chart that you were to provide me with the information at no charge”. No, you read that right!

Ok, I have to admit I felt like hitting my head against the wall. Never in all my years of working with clients, I have never come across something like this. I am interested in how you would handle this situation. Have you ever encountered any situation like this?


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

10 thoughts on “Saturday’s Dilemma ~ What Was She Thinking?

  1. I would provide all the information to the gentleman, in an encrypted file. You have performed your part of her deal and have nothing else to do. If he would like to see the real data then he can pay for the key file. If she is not willing to give out the data then I don’t see why you have to give it out free.

    1. I agree. Valerie, I don’t know the conditions of you research contract with this woman. 1. Is she permitted to share with family? 2. If not, why/what is the reason the man if requesting info? 3. She with the info found via your paid research, prefers not to share with this man directly – and wants he to also pay for it himself? I know with some family members – that don’t share – and yet want everyone to give them their found family research – that cost them years and much money in the process…. and they still don’t reply or share with others their family info.

  2. Surely your contract was fulfilled when you sent all the info to your client. It’s then up to her to share or not. He therefore would be a new client possibly at a reduced rate since the research has been done.

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