Frequently Asked Questions
How far back can you trace my family?
Using the abundance of detailed Victorian records, is possible to trace most post people's English ancestors back to individuals born in the early 1800s or late 1700s. When the research has been completed up to this point, I can advise on the potential for the line to be researched further. Because of the unpredictability of research in earlier records, any further work usually has to be on the basis of an hourly rate plus expenses. As with all genealogical research, the documentation may not survive, so there can never be any absolute certainty of success.
Can all my ancestral lines be covered in one Heirloom project?
The number of ancestral lines in your pedigree doubles at every preceding generation (unless cousins have married) - you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents etc. Back in 1800 your pedigree could easily have branched into 32 or more separate ancestral lines, represented by different surnames. For an in-depth Heirloom Report, tracing the thread of your family in a meaningful way across the decades, it is really necessary to focussing on one ancestral line only. If multiple ancestral lines are to be researched within the same project, a different approach needs to be taken, usually involving covering fewer generations, and with a computer-generated report as the most practical means of presentation.
Which line of my ancestry should I choose for an Heirloom family history book?
Many clients choose to follow a particular family surname. Alternatively, you may wish to trace those engaged in a particular profession, the purely maternal line, or a line associated with a particular town or village.
What do I need to send to get started?
You will need to send me copies of any relevant documents you may have in the family ~ the birth or marriage certificate of a parent or grandparent from the early 1900s is an ideal starting point. The more information you can send, the more progress I will be able to make. If you wish, a welcome pack can be provided to help you record the information you already know.
Can existing research be used as the basis of an Heirloom report?
It is always very helpful to see any pre-existing research - for instance, you can send me an invitation to your Ancestry tree, or a GedCom file from your family history computer program. How existing work will affect the cost of your project depends on how thorough and accurate it has been. Sometimes it can even take longer to understand someone else's notes, and work out why conclusions have been drawn, than to repeat the research from scratch. When correct documents (such as civil registration certificates) have already been obtained, I do not need to purchase them again, so this will result in a saving.
How long will it take to complete the project?
I will do my best to estimate a completion time before you place your commission. However, family history research often leads into unpredictable areas, making it impossible to guarantee a deadline. Large projects may take many months to complete.
What happens if my ancestors can't be found?
Sometimes an ancestral line will be untraceable in English records due to loss of the archives, illegitimacy, adoption, immigration etc. If your preferred line of research cannot be followed, it may be necessary to switch to another line. For fixed-price projects, in the unlikely event that fewer direct ancestors are traced than expected, a proportional refund will be given.
Please don't hesitate to contact me to find out how I can help you.
Dear Angela, The Family Tree arrived today, my dad was absolutely amazed ... I will never be able to thank you enough, for all your hard work and the final product is outstanding, the quality is brilliant. Its more than just a family tree, its my dads family history which he knew so little about but this has meant so much more than words can describe. You did an amazing job, thank you so very much.
~ Rachel C. (Gloucestershire)
Information was both in depth and presented in an easy to read format. The background presentation and accompanying research appendices were highly informative ....
~ George R. (Bristol)
Dear Angela, A belated thank you for the completed project and apologies for not contacting you before to let you know how delighted we all are with it... We have been fascinated to learn of the history of our ancestors (good and bad!) ... The 'finished product' is wonderful and has exceeded expectations - many thanks for all your hard work.
~ Lynne S. (Herts)