Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do?
I can trace your family history using original records and historical documents, providing the Source documentation to allow you to confirm the details
Another aspect of my work is problem-solving – seeking to overcome blockages in family trees which may have existed for many years, which have been caused by lack of records in the more obvious places. if you have a ‘ready made’ family tree on-line, to ask me to verify it, or to confirm that it was incorrect and find the true ancestors instead.
Why research ancestry?
Tracing family trees is now one of Britain’s most popular pastimes. In an increasingly dislocated world, it means a lot to be able to find out where our families lived, how we ended up where we are today and what life was like for our ancestors.
Learning about family history also opens fascinating windows on local, social and national history, and reveals unexpected connections with people, places, countries, occupations, faiths and historical events,
Why hire a genealogist?
Ancestry Research can be very time consuming, confusing and needs some understanding of records , So hiring me to research on your behalf can get round these problems. In addition, family history reports can make marvelous presents for birthdays, weddings and wedding anniversaries, Christmas or other special occasions.
You may be enjoying researching your family tree, but are stuck. If so, you can hire me to try to overcome a particular problem.
You might want to know all about your family but lack the necessary time or knowledge of the sources.
Why hire you?
I have been researching family history for over 20 years, starting when most documents could only be seen by traveling to local record offices and ordering documents to look at 1 at a time or on Microfilm. I have experienced research amongst records ranging from birth certificates to Medieval tax lists; Tudor heralds’ pedigrees to workhouse records and ancient gravestones.
How do we start?
With the databases I am accessing, generally events in the last 100 years are not available to view, so ideally so I can begin researching ,I need you to provide as much information as possile that you already know about your family in the last 100 years. When taking on a client I will set up a Google Drive folder which will contain documents for you to fill in and you can upload scans /pictures of any documents there, or you can send the details by e-mail or post them to me. It is useful – and interesting – if you can let me have copies of any relevant documents – please do not send original documents in the post.
When thinking about the information to provide me, even vague dates or places can be a starting point for me, so the more information the better (but please try and indicate on the forms whether its definate or guesstimate)
If you already have a large family tree but want to work back from the earliest ancestor, it will only really be necessary for me to know about the earliest couple of generations. Also if there is just one part of the family or line you are interested in this can be reflected on the forms.
If you have the chance to ask any elderly relatives what they can remember, I would recommend doing so, as they can be goldmines of information. And if you are such an “elderly goldmine” yourself, don’t forget that younger cousins might have inherited old family papers or bibles.
How do I pay?
Payment can be made by paypal, once you have setup an account there will be a payment section available to you.
What will I receive?
I will report back to you by e-mail telling you exactly what research has been undertaken, what the results were, and what they mean, i will upload copies of any documents obtained in the process. The clearest and most efficient method of reporting back is to do so in one go, on completion of the project.
I will also upload an outline family tree to enable you to see what progress has been made and how the results fit together.
As the software I use connects directly to Ancestry.co.uk I can also supply a link to a Family tree on Ancestry.co.uk for you to view.
Can you guarantee results?
It is essential to point out that positive results cannot be guaranteed. No researcher can promise to be able to find an ancestor or a document unless they already have the results sitting in front of them. There are many reasons why births were not registered, people changed their names or gave false or misleading information about their origins.
When such problems arise, they can take a long time and a reasonable amount of money to solve. However, the detective-work of cracking difficult cases is one of the most fascinating aspects of this work.
Equally, there are cases when records have been lost, decayed, burned or eaten by rats or (in warmer countries) termites. Genealogical expertise is required to know how to locate and use alternative record sources which have survived. So, although positive results cannot be guaranteed, I can promise a full commitment to achieving the best possible results I can.
How long does it take?
This depends on the workload I have when you place your order, I will generally complete research within 2 months of receiving the information from you, if workloads are high i will warn you before taking your booking
You may want to commission research as a present, maybe for a birthday or Christmas. There are two options here. If you commission the research in advance, I will start the research and, even if it is not finished by the required date, I will send a progress report, to hand over as the present, with the promise of the rest to come – the other option is a gift voucher which you can give to someone as a present and they can contact me in due course.
What does it cost?
Charging for research can only be done by the time taken to do the research and any travel costs incurred. the amount which can be discovered for one family in this time can be very different to another family, very common names can be a nightmare to trace because they appear everywhere, unique names can also be just as awkward as when they get transcribed people write what they think it should be sometimes getting it totally wrong.
I offer a basic package for starting you on your familytree journey which is based around 7hrs of intensive search using search services which I subscribe to. to see the current costs please have a look at this page.