Family tree research can help you learn more about yourself and enable you to see how your ancestors lived and worked. It can reveal remarkable stories as well as hardship but whatever you find out will enhance your understanding of where you have come from and how this has helped to shape your own life.
My services are focused primarily on the United Kingdom and Ireland but can extend to other countries depending on available data. I typically build family trees from scratch following one surname branch at a time. For each surname line I research your tree back as far as online records allow. This will typically take your tree back four generations to the late 1700s or early 1800s but can be further depending on the available records.
The process I follow in developing your tree is fairly straightforward:
To begin with I will carry out a free initial assessment. This involves completing a questionnaire to gather information about your family and your research aims. I will then review this with you, in person if you live nearby (Herts, Essex, London) or by phone.
Once I have this information I will assess the feasibility of developing your family tree and report back to you within a few days with a confirmed quotation. In the majority of cases I would expect to proceed without issue but in a small number of cases where the baseline information is very limited I may be unable to proceed.
Following your agreement to proceed I will research your chosen family surname(s) back as far as online resources will allow. I use many resources to develop your family tree which may include, for example:
Your own family information – especially any birth, marriage and death information or certificates you can provide
Birth, marriage and death records
Census records which provide details of ages, occupations and where your ancestors lived
Military service records – these can provide information such as postings, military engagements and personal information such as height, weight, hair colour and distinguishing features
Wills and Probate records
Newspapers and commercial directories
Emigration and immigration records
Photographs of your ancestors
It is likely that at some point I will need to purchase one or more birth, marriage or death (BMD) certificates to confirm your ancestry. If this is the case I will inform you with the relevant cost and request your agreement before ordering.
REPORTS AND FAMILY TREE CHARTS
Upon completion of the research I will provide you with the following:
- Family Tree Report – a printed document in a presentation binder detailing all my findings such as birth, marriage and death details of your ancestors, where they lived and what they did for a living, details of your ancestors’ brothers and sister, copies of census returns for your direct ancestor and any BMD certificates purchased on your behalf. The report will also include any other information found such as military service, probate records etc as well as details of sources and references used for your family tree.
- Family Tree Chart - a poster-sized print illustrating your family tree including any photographs of your ancestors you would like me to include.
TIMESCALES AND FEES
The time taken to develop a family tree varies considerably. In some cases it can take 2-4 weeks per family surname but on occasions can be up to 4-6 weeks especially if I need to wait to receive a BMD certificate before proceeding. I will however keep you informed of the progress we are making. Indeed I always send snippets of my findings to keep you up to date.
Please contact me for details of fees and a quotation.