Terms and Conditions
I start from the premise that the person who knows most about your family is you; I therefore ask you to share with me any research, pictures or certificates that you already have, which might help with my research (and prevent duplication), together with your degree of confidence about the accuracy of the information.
If possible, send digital copies of photographs or documents. If you do send originals, please ensure that these precious artefacts are securely packaged and tracked. I will return them via the same service.
Based on what you have told me, I do some free preliminary research to see if there is enough material to reach a satisfactory outcome.
After the initial assessment, I will send you a written summary of the scope and time scale that we have agreed and ask for a first payment.
I will complete the work in the time stated unless unforeseen events, such as the closure of archives, make this impossible.
I will inform you of any delays. If you require the work by a specific date, let me know. I will keep you updated on progress at regular intervals.
I carry out all local research myself but if I need to research in another part of the country I may enlist the help of another professional genealogist listed by AGRA, I would seek your approval before doing this.
Family Tree packages
It is often possible to research back to the early 1800s / late 1700s, however we sometimes hit a solid brick wall in part of a tree (this was the case for many years with my own paternal Grandfather). If this happens, we can decide whether to cancel the project or continue with a part of it; this will be reflected in the price.
Prices quoted for hourly research include a summarised report and analysis of the findings, both positive (what I have discovered) and negative (what I have discounted) and digital copies of online documents.
Fees for obtaining copies of documents are charged at cost. PDFs of Birth (1837 to 1916), Marriage and Death certificates (1837 to 1957) obtained from the General Record Office (GRO) will be charged at cost (currently £7). For travel to archives outside the area (including the National Archives in Kew, London) I will add my standard class rail fare. I will only do this if I need to look through a bundle of uncatalogued documents, I will otherwise use the document copying service. I will try to combine research in the National Archives with other projects to share the cost of travel.
If you need to cancel a commission, you can do so. In the case of a pre-paid package, I will convert the work already done to an hourly, daily, or weekly rate (whichever is lowest) and deduct this from the deposit. I will refund any portion of the deposit unused and send you the results of any completed research already paid for.
I will keep digital copies of my research, documents, and photographs unless you ask for them to be deleted. This will enable further research or copies of photo books to be printed in the future.
I will use your personal information:
as the basis of my research and to construct a family tree
to communicate with you and to send you completed reports, documents etc.
to process payment
Your personal information will be stored on a computer secured with a password, it will not be shared with a third party (e.g. a printing company or A.G.R.A genealogist) without your permission.
I hope you will be happy with the results of the research, if you have any reservations, please contact me.
I will proof-read all the material before sending it out. In many cases there are differences in spellings of names, dates, birth places etc. I will include the most likely/common variant but draw attention to alternatives. (In the case of my maternal grandmother, it appears from her birth certificate that she was celebrating her birthday a day early for the whole of her life!)
Please check your photo book, family tree and report carefully before ordering any extra copies. If you find an error that is my fault, I will correct it as quickly as possible.
I am an Associate of A.G.R.A. (The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) and abide by its code of Practice.
This states that Associates should:
Be honest and discreet in relations with clients, the public and fellow professionals.
Avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and research.
Offer candid advice concerning the possible or probable results of any projected research.
Endeavour to keep clients informed and updated as to progress with research projects.
Make reports as clear and as definite as the facts allow.
Clearly explain, if unable to resolve a client's problems, the reason why, and if possible, suggest alternative avenues of research.
Strive at all times to avoid the misquotation of any documents, or the citing as authoritative of any questionable source.
Seek, wherever possible, to examine original sources.
Respect the confidentiality of client’s work, and only share research commissioned by the client with their permission.
Endeavour to keep abreast of all relevant developments in family history research and best practice in business.
Declare any personal or financial interest which might compromise impartiality towards a client.
If involved in a complaint, co-operate fully with the Association in its investigation.
There are additional guidelines for research involving adoption, which will be shared with the client in relevant cases.
'Accidents happen in the best regulated families' and research can unearth sensitive issues. Family myths may be debunked, and surprising new discoveries may take their place. I record the findings in a neutral, factual way and will consult you before including any such information in a narrative photo book.
A deposit of 50% of the fixed package price is payable in advance, with the balance due on completion, before I send you the finished project.
A deposit of £50 is required for hourly research and £100 for daily and weekly research. For longer term projects payment by instalments can be arranged.
Payment can be made via direct bank transfer, cheque or PayPal. Details can be found on the invoice, balance payable within 30 days of the date of issue.
If you have any further questions, please contact me via the web page contact form.
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