adventure awaits

finescale history

There’s a reason our featured image is of a dirt road running
through a cemetery. Come on in, take a look around,
and discover the adventure that awaits you. 

your past …

assembled, confirmed,

contextualized, memorialized,

realized, and utilized

Want to take control of your past? Finescale History offers a comprehensive, fully-integrated approach to genealogy, uncovering your family history, and preserving it for generations to come.

For both individuals and institutions, Finescale History and our companion site Finescale Design provides specialized historical services — research, finding lost heirs and relatives, DNA analysis, photographical restoration, diorama construction, exhibit curation, and much more.

what we can do for you …

building family trees

Depending on your existing knowledge, we start from scratch, build on whatever you already have, or break through “brick walls” to discover missing links.

We verify the data utilizing a wide variety of sources, including DNA wherever possible

Moving beyond bare names and dates, we look at family, architectural, social history and the like, to provide you with a much fuller expression of what your family’s actual story encompassed. 

Organization and presentation

Once the research is done it is time to present your story, be it in a website, a book, video, or other methods of presentation of your choosing. We are also available for public speaking to your organization, workplace gatherings, family reunions, or other favorite groups.

Whatever it is that is done for you, the final product envisions a thorough, written report that outlines exactly what was done, the sources used, and the results.

Restoration of vintage photography is one of our specialties and we will provide you with the photographs and other documentation we obtain (subject to applicable copyright and other laws, of course!).

DNA Banner

Specialized services

We offer a wide variety of genealogical and history-based services, including but not limited to ancestor or location research, finding lost heirs and relatives, DNA analysis, photographical restoration, diorama construction, exhibit curation, and much more.

We also understand that some people want to “do it themselves” (after all, we love doing it ourselves) but need a little help getting started or to save costs. We offer a mentorship program tailored to your specific needs to assist you in getting started and keeping you going.

Frequently Asked Questions

it wouldn’t be an adventure if there were no questions

why finescale?

We started out designing and building precision, detailed, turn-of-the-twentieth-century structures for model railroad layouts. We now carry on this “finescale” philosophy to our passion for family history. 

can you locate all of my ancestors?

No, but we will make every effort to build as complete and accurate a family tree as possible within the confines of your budget and particular circumstances.

Why can’t we get them all? Aside from inaccurate or lacking record-keeping in the past, consider this: without getting too mathematical here, it has to be understood that families trees grow exponentially. You may have had only two parents, but you also had four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great grandparents and so on. Add them all up, factor in the branches each of those ancestors of yours were a part of (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.), and it all adds up to a whole lot of people. But — and this is the good news — it also adds up to a whole lot of stories to uncover and tell! 

will my data and records be kept private?

Yes. We consider the work we do and collect on your behalf to be yours and we respect your privacy. We do not disclose what we find, where we find it, or what we did with it to anyone without your express permission. This includes your family members, as well as law enforcement (absent a warrant or subpoena).

How long will it take?

That depends on a number of factors but the biggest is how accessible the documentary evidence is. Getting DNA results back generally takes 4-6 weeks.

can we join the Finescale team?

Not only can you, but we expect you to. We’ll need your assistance in determining the scope of work, deciding what to do when the inevitable roadblocks or surprises pop up, and helping to sort through what oftentimes will be a plethora of potentially confusing data. We don’t have a team t-shirt yet but if and when we do, you’ll get one.

Surprises? what surprises?

As mentioned elsewhere, the size of a family is exponential and to build a family tree going back even a few generations will encompass a lot of people and generate a lot of stories, so there’s bound to be some surprises in there. Some of them may be painful (one of the reasons we don’t share your results with family members without your permission). We’ll be gentle, but be prepared …

what’s it going to cost?

That depends on what you want to accomplish within the constraints of your budget and is a primary component of both the Initial Consultation and the Preliminary Assessment. We’ll talk …

ready to get started?

“Why waste your money looking up your family tree?,” Mark Twain, who figures prominently in our family tree, once asked. “Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.”

Most people don’t go into politics. That’s where we come in. So if you’re ready …