The Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan (PGSM) has had volunteers on the Research Request team since 2017. The team started out small but currently consists of 10 volunteers with various areas of expertise. The skill areas include Michigan, Detroit, Thumb area counties with additional expertise in Galicia, Northeast Poland, & Prussia. Several of the volunteers have assisted with transcribing German Sutterlin script while others have helped with Polish document assistance. From the beginning the volunteers would answer requests using their personal resources and their own subscription based accounts. They would visit local repositories, libraries, Family History Centers, and sometimes visited cemeteries to take photographs of headstones. Presently the program has a 63% overall success rate. With researchers asking for more specific help, which the volunteers are happy to do, it becomes a question for the volunteer whether to only use homebased sources or would a visit to a library, or other facility yield the result the requestor is seeking. Over the years the group has tried to keep this service fee of charge with volunteers giving generously of their time and experience, while offering documents for free but the time has come to make a change.
There will now be fees associated with research requests. The initial reseach fee is $20.00 for up to 4 hours of research. If after 4 hours of research the volunteer finds that more time is required phase 2 of the payment schedule will apply. The volunteer will make contact by email to request the authorization for further work and payment. If the volunteer feels that a visit to an off-site location is required than, once again, the person requesting service will be contact and advised that travel will be necessary. Payment must be received before any travel will begin. The travel component of the Research Request is $30.00 USD. Please visit the link below for further details on the fee structure for research requests.