Please read our Terms and Conditions below so you are informed of the Scope of our Service. Your payment for Research Services indicates your agreement with these terms.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE
The performance of services by H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy (“we,” “us,” “H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy”) for you, our client, is subject to the following terms and conditions; and, your use of our services constitutes your acknowledgement that you have read, understand, accept and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions of Use.
1. PAYMENTS AND REFUNDS
1.1 We will not provide research results until contract amount is paid in full.
1.2 Preferred method of payment is via PayPal, which can be by cash from your bank or a credit/debit card.
1.3 Payments made by paper check are converted into an electronic funds transfer, which results in no additional fees to you but may result in faster processing time. By sending a completed, signed check to us, you authorize us to use the account information from the check to make an electronic fund transfer from your account for the same amount as is written on the check.
1.4 If you request a refund before work on your project has begun and no later than six months after your initial payment, your full deposit will be refunded. We do not provide full refunds once we have commenced work; however, a partial refund may be granted based on time remaining on the contract. Refund can not be based on research results, as no certain results can be guaranteed.
2. RESEARCH AND COMPLETION TIME
2.1 We will commence research only after we have received the necessary information from you. You are requested to provide to us a detailed research request that includes all known information concerning the family or individual to be researched as well as any previous research that has been conducted. We are not responsible for duplication or misdirection of effort due to a lack on your part to provide all necessary information.
2.2 Do not send original records or your only copy of documents or books. We claim no responsibility for record damage or loss.
2.3 We often ask Clients for a completed Power of Attorney form which includes a copy of your driver’s license or other identification. This is not mandatory and is used only for requesting genealogical records from government agencies.
2.4 Client login information to family tree databases (MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Ancestry, etc.) may be shared internally with your H.A.W.K.S Team.
2.5 We handle research projects in the order in which the deposit, research goals, and genealogical information are received from our clients. We strive to return completed projects to you within 4 weeks after research hours have depleted. However, we cannot control how soon we receive records from repositories worldwide and a project may take longer to complete than anticipated and completion time cannot be guaranteed.
2.6 We utilize a Team approach which allows research to be overseen and supported by multiple team members. Project time is a combination of research, peer review, project administration, and client support.
2.7 We reserve the right to delete a client web page (if one has been made) one year after a project is finished without reorder.
3. SHARING OF INFORMATION
3.1 We allow clients to use reports, documents, and data that we’ve provided to them, including the use of these things in family history books and on the Internet, provided that excerpts from our reports are not altered and accurately portray our written conclusions. When information that we found is used, please include us as a source or as the author of the information using the following citation: “H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy, https://hawksgenealogy.com.”
Any use of reports, documents, and data which we’ve provided you other than as specifically permitted herein or without our prior written consent is expressly prohibited.
3.2 We allow others (e.g., family history societies, journalists) to reproduce content published in our blog posts as long as they comply with the following policies:
(a) Printed materials and presentations: Others may reproduce content from our blog posts in printed materials and presentations as long as they provide credit to H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy by including a link to (or a direct link to the original blog post) in their publication or presentation.
(b) Internet and electronic communications: Others may reproduce content from our blog posts on the Internet or in electronic communications as long as they include a link to our original blog post. Reproductions should constitute:
(1) select quotations and/or readers’ original summaries with
(2) a link to the post rather than extensive reproductions of the post’s contents (i.e., more than two paragraphs).
3.3 We reserve the right to talk about our research triumphs and challenges in our blog and in other online, print, and audio communications. This can include talking about locations, records (including images or partial images of records), and other information involving a genealogy research problem, but we change names and avoid using identifying details unless we have prior permission. You waive any right to royalties or other compensation which may arise or which may be related to the use of information as described above. You also hereby hold harmless and release and forever discharge H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy from all claims, demands, and causes of action which you or any other person acting on your behalf or on behalf of your estate have or may have. For clients who prefer that their research never be discussed publicly in any way, an opt-out form can be provided. Research reports are also shared internally and with our referring partners for quality control and training.
3.4 By default, digital client reports and files are password protected for privacy. We offer the option to provide clients with an additional public report with the names of living persons removed in an effort to provide increased help in cousin collaboration and family tree sourcing.
If a client chooses to receive an additional public report, this report will be indexed by search engines and may also be used in genealogy teaching situations or as a sample of our work product.
No client contact information will be included; those seeking to contact a H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy client based on information in a public report are advised to contact us and we will pass their information on to the client who may return contact at his/her discretion.
We accept no liability for any outcomes to clients, relatives, or others based on information included in a public report, including accidental inclusion of the names of living persons or incorrect conclusions based on information discovered at the time.
Clients accepting the option to receive a public report waive the right to bring a claim against us for disclosing any information contained therein and also waive any right to royalties or other compensation which may arise or which may be related to the use of information as described above.
3.5 Clients acknowledge and agree that we may choose to disclose or withhold disclosure of their information if we believe we are required to do so by law or if such action is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with a legal process or government request;
(b) enforce this or any other agreement with a client;
(c) respond to claims that our content violates the rights of third parties; or
(d) protect the rights, property, or safety of H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy, our clients, our potential clients, or the public.
4. PROJECTS INVOLVING DNA TESTING AND ANALYSIS
At such time that we start offering and performing any activities or projects related to DNA the following will apply.
4.1 By ordering a DNA-related project with us or engaging with us through DNA testing, you certify that you are 18 years of age or older and that any sample you submit is either your DNA, the DNA of a minor for whom you are the legal guardian, or DNA data you have permission to share. You also consent to the following: (1) testing your and/or your minor child’s DNA through a third party, (2) distribution of the DNA testing results to those you authorize to receive them, (3) potential storage of the DNA for genetic testing and archival purposes. Legal guardians of minors will be held responsible for minors who disregard these terms and conditions and order a DNA project with us or who take any other unauthorized action.
4.2 By engaging with us for DNA-related work, you agree that we may perform the following actions on your behalf unless otherwise indicated by you in writing. You also certify that you have received written permission for these actions to be taken on the behalf of those for whom you have provided or will provide DNA data to us:
use login and password information to access and analyze test results (we assume no responsibility for consequences that may arise as a result of having login and password information)
contact DNA matches to request correspondence and collaboration
attach a preliminary family tree, list of surnames and list of family locations to genetic profile(s)
join group projects and upload direct line test results to public databases (Y and mtDNA)
download DNA data from applicable DNA testing companies
study DNA data using third party sites, including but not limited to DNAGEDCom and GenomeMate
transfer autosomal test results to other companies and sites, including but not limited to Family Tree DNA and Gedmatch.com (let us know if you would like to opt out of this public database)
4.3 While we offer recommendations and analysis regarding DNA testing, we accept no responsibility for testing outcomes. Those tested understand that DNA testing “can reveal unexpected information about the tester and his or her immediate family, ancestors, and/or descendants. For example, both DNA test results and traditional genealogical records can reveal misattributed parentage, adoption, health information, previously unknown family members, and errors in well-researched family trees, among other unexpected outcomes” (“Genetic Genealogy Standards,” 10 January 2015). Accordingly, by ordering a DNA project, you release H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy from all demands, claims, or liens related to the submission, testing, storage, and use of your DNA, including, but not limited to, reporting errors or omissions, defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress, or economic loss. We also accept no responsibility for outcomes to third parties who may be contacted through information we provided to a client.
4.4 By ordering a DNA project, you agree that you will not acquire rights in any research or commercial products that H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy or third parties may develop using the results of your DNA testing.
4.5 If you reside outside the United States, you certify that your sample is not subject to any export ban or restriction and that you will be held solely liable for violation of any country’s laws or regulations. You further certify that you have waived all applicable laws or regulations regarding DNA testing and storage and that your sample will be tested and stored in the United States.
5. PROJECTS INVOLVING PROBATE OR DUAL CITIZENSHIP
5.1 H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy is limited to document retrieval and analysis. Any information or communication we provide is not intended to constitute legal advice. Clients who require assistance with dual citizenship, probate, or other legal matters should contact a qualified attorney in addition to requesting our services. We may not be held liable for disclosing or failing to disclose or locate information relating to a legal matter. We may ship materials through the United States Postal Service (USPS), the United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx, their affiliates, or other established carriers. Clients agree to shipment via such carriers and agree not to hold H.A.W.K.S. Genealogy liable for loss, damage, delay, or detention of original records or other materials that occurs during shipping and handling.
6. WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
6.1 The amount payable to us is based upon the value of the services we provide and is not related to the various uses to which you may put our research, nor are results guaranteed. For example, if you are using our research for the purpose of establishing genealogy for purposes of qualifying for grants, scholarships or other benefits, or are seeking to locate potential beneficiaries of a decedent or gain dual citizenship status, the cost of our services has not been determined with reference to such uses, but has been determined solely by reference to the amount of time we spend performing our research services. We are not an insurer of any risk relating to the uses to which you may put our research.
6.2 To the fullest extent permitted by law, you acknowledge and agree that we have not made and do not make any representations or warranties (whether by statute, common law, custom, usage or otherwise) regarding the accuracy or completeness of our search results, and specifically disclaim any and all implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall we be liable to you or any other person for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages or claims for loss of business or profits, damage to reputation or otherwise under contract, tort (including negligence) or other legal or equitable theory, regardless of the cause of action and even if we have been advised of the possibility of such potential loss or damage.
6.3 To the fullest extent permitted by law, you agree that it is impractical and extremely difficult to fix the actual damages, if any, which may proximately result from failure on our part to perform any of our obligations, and that if we should be found liable for loss, damage, or injury due to our services in any respect, our liability shall be limited to the amount you pay for our services, regardless of whether such loss, damage or injury results directly or indirectly from our negligence or active, passive, intentional or other act.
If you desire us to assume a greater liability, please notify us and we will attach a rider to these Terms and Conditions of Use setting forth the amount of additional liability and additional amount payable by you for an assumption by us of such greater liability.
7. MODIFICATION OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE
We reserve the right at any time and at our sole discretion to modify these Terms and Conditions of Use. Modifications will be posted online or communicated to you via email or regular mail. We likewise reserve the right to refuse service to any potential client at our sole discretion.