Family Tree Research FAQs:


If you are looking for someone to trace your family tree, you will no doubt have many questions about such an important project. I've tried to answer the most common questions here, but please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to know anything else.

How far back can you trace my tree?
The fixed price packages use predominantly 19th and 20th century civil records (birth, marriage, death and census), with these it is possible to trace most families back to the early 1800s or even the late 1700s - there are of course exceptions to this - your ancestors may have been immigrants for example. If you wanted to take your family tree further back, the main earlier source would be parish registers.Some parish records exist as far back as 1538 but realistically research from parish records may take your family tree back to the late 1600s - 1700s. I would normally recommend researching back to the early 1800s first, then the cost and feasibility of tracing back further through parish and non parochial registers can be better assessed. Parish registers are most often held at local County Records Offices, I can undertake pre 19th Century research in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire; for locations further afield I can if required co-ordinate research with a local 3rd party researcher.

What happens if you can't find my Ancestors?
Once you've provided some initial information I will carry out some preliminary checks to ensure that there is an adequate starting point for your project and to assess the feasibility; no charge is made for this initial research phase. These checks will ensure a good starting point for the research, but as research progresses the trail could run dry in certain circumstances; adoption, changes of name, immigration and sheer lack of records may cause such an obstruction. Should it not be possible to complete youre research I will reduce the fee accordingly, pro-rata, so you'll only pay for the research that has been carried out successfully.


How is the research presented?
Research is presented in a sleeved A4 display book.
Please refer to package details to see what's included.


How long will the research take?
Projects typically take 2 - 3 months.During this time you'll be kept regularly informed about the progress of your research. If research is required for a gift please state at time of ordering, if time is short I can arrange a preliminary or interim report for you to present as a gift; a taster of the finished product!


Do you cover Scotland and Ireland?
Yes we can cover Scotland and Ireland (Northern and the Republic). But please note the following differences: For Scotland, civil registration of births, deaths and marriages began in 1855 (compared to 1837 for England and Wales). For Ireland, civil registration did not begin until 1864, also only the 1901 and 1911 censuses have survived for Ireland, so it may not be possible to trace the family back further than the mid 1800s.


Can you obtain military records?
This may be possible, please note that only around a third of WW1 records have survived, but we can obtain surviving records on your behalf. For WW2 records (or servicemen after 1920), their records are still held by the MOD. We can apply to the MOD on your behalf to obtain a copy of their records, at the time of writing the MOD fee for a search was £30.