Family history is a fascinating hobby, engrossing, and hugely rewarding. However, it is often time consuming, and it is not a skill that everyone has the time or inclination to learn. Good research is painstaking, structured, and detailed. It is best undertaken by someone who understands not only the techniques and software they are using, but also the nature of records, archives, diplomatic, and paleography (the study of handwriting). If you don’t feel you can undertake the necessary research yourself, or you would like to have a go, but don’t know where to start, I can help!
I usually begin with a 1 hour consultation to establish what you would like to achieve, and to collect existing information. This can be done by telephone, but if necessary I will travel up to 45 minutes to meet you. This consultation is normally free, but there will be a fair and reasonable charge of up to £25 for off site meetings if you decide not to proceed, or purchase less that 4 hours research.
My hourly rate is £12 per hour plus expenses. You can purchase from 1 hour to 100 hours for yourself, or as a gift package. These hours can be solo work (I’ll get more done that way!) or tutoring work (I work alongside you, so you can learn how to operate the software, and constantly review your goals and priorities). Most of my clients like to begin with a block of about 10 solo hours, which is enough to give some worthwhile results, and a good springboard for further research.
Fixed price packages
I do not offer fixed price packages, because my clients needs and expectations are so varied, and because progress can be very fast or frustratingly slow! A really difficult brick wall can take many hours to break down. As a guide (and it really is only a guide), it might take eight to ten hours to follow one family line (e.g. your father, his father, his father’s father, etc.) back to the early to mid 1800s. A full five generation tree, including all 30 of your direct ancestors, aunts, auncles and cousins, might take upwards of 50 hours, depending on the level of detail required. I use a variety of sources, online and offline, visiting county archives, local studies libraries etc. as required for each project. I do not charge for travelling time to local repositories.
It is possible to do a great deal of research without incurring extra costs, however, sometimes it is desirable, necessary, or less time consuming, to purchase records from archives, or birth, marriage and death certificates. These often provide proof we are seeking, or fascinating details, which are not available elsewhere. At £9.25 per certificate from the General Register Office, and £35 from a typical Wiltshire military archive search, costs can add up quickly. You can set a maximum budget for extras, or I can check back with you each time I think it would be beneficial to purchase something.
What will you get?
- A linear tree (or trees) showing just the lines you wanted to research, or a beautiful fan tree showing all your direct line ancestors.
- A written report giving all the information I have found for each family member (this varies from simple names, dates and locations, to a great deal of extra information, depending on what records survive). I can add photographs to the report if required. I can also prepare the report for ‘on demand’ printing by yourself or family members.
- Detailed sources which prove the information provided.
- Copies or transcriptions of all the source documents.
Please remember that although my research is of a high standard, I cannot guarantee that it is entirely free from errors. Family history research is only ever as good as the documentary clues that can be found. Further research, newly available records, or more accurate transcriptions, may disprove earlier findings. I never rely on other people’s research, and I always make sure that you know of any doubts or suppositions in my work.
You can pay by cash, bank transfer, cheque, or PayPal.