Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I get started?
I've managed to break my services down into some Standard Packages based on the most common projects I work on. These can be booked online with other services and Free Consultations. Online Booking enables me to plan my time in advance so I can still carry out effective search assignments that my clients want and love no matter what time zone I'm in.
Can you just start me off?
Absolutely, I don't just carry out online searches in the US and the UK building mature trees into software for clients to access. A starter tree can be set up online for you to access, with just one or two generations. Most commonly I enter three or four generations of one or two branches of the family, then do an online tour of the tree. Pricing depends on how much information has already been researched by the client, and therefore how much time I spend on the search or data entry. The service – Without Research means you have the data and sources that you wish to be entered as they are, without verification from me.
Will You Show Me How?
If needed I can show the client, the basics of how to use the online program or software they have chosen and then switch access to their sole use. It’s an additional service for Coaching and does carry an extra cost. You can always set up a time for a call to see if this is a fit for your requirements and whether we are on the same page so to speak prior to your booking.
What’s your cheapest service?
I have a budget option where you can purchase blocks of my time from 1 hour upwards. This is available to anyone that has already purchased a starter package from me. You can see the pricing and details of the services on my booking page. If you don't see what you are looking for here, please feel free to ask, you can email me by clicking "Contact".
What Are Location Services?
As I travel frequently across the Atlantic, I am able to complete on the ground research when and where needed. Visiting Parishes, Archives, Towns, and Villages on behalf of my clients. I take photographs of Houses, and Churches, record graveside prayers and lay flowers by Headstones as a proxy for my clients at their request.
Can You Put My Written Records on A Computer?
Some of my assignments include sifting and sorting through the records already researched before computers and online access was available. Typically, these clients are seniors or close relatives to them who do not want to see their hard work wasted now that they are in their later years. Putting the records onto the computer, or into printed reports means that more than one person can have a record. It can be a fantastic gift that triggers memories and a sense of accomplishment for the original researcher who is credited with this achievement in print.
This is listed in my bespoke services in more detail, but as each assignment is unique you may prefer to discuss the project and cover any questions you might have.
What’s different about your services compared to another Genealogist?
The short answer is I don’t know. I don’t know whom you are comparing me or my services to. I don’t know if I am a good fit for your search or not.
I work for myself and have a good set of principles and ethics which means that I don’t work with everyone that contacts me. My time is limited and sometimes I don’t see a mutual goal that is attainable. Other times I know another professional who is a specialist in your field of interest and therefore a better match, so I may offer a referral instead. I reserve the right just as you do, not to work with just anyone. It has to be a good match for us both and I mean that with the utmost respect.
I’m Adopted. Can you still trace my tree?
There is no standard answer to this question as each case differs slightly. It will depend on when and where your adoption was and whether you already have your adoption records. I understand that this can be frustrating, so email me with the details or book a free consultation and let’s see if I can help.
What’s the difference between Gifts & Tributes?
A gift is an item that you can give to another for a celebration or for no reason at all. It shows some or all of the family tree depending on what you have chosen.
Tributes are customized Memorial Trees for special birthdays or events that celebrate the life and achievements of an individual in your tree. These are often used at Funeral Services and wakes to show the connections that can never be lost. Commemorative Gifts that capture the significance of the life of your loved one, living or deceased.
What if I don’t want reports?
This is a common and a frequently asked question. Even if you do not want reports on your family tree there is a report on the actual search itself and what work has been undertaken on your behalf. This report is important and therefore is mandatory as it relates to your fees.
I don’t know who my father is can you find him?
I am not a private investigator and do not undertake searches to track down living members of your family. I do sometimes come across living descendants of a mutual ancestor. If this is the case the source of the information will be detailed in your reports so that you may decide whether to contact them independently.
What’s A Narrative version of an individual’s timeline?
A narrative version of an individual’s timeline is a written piece that adds elements of fiction, historical events and human emotion to the bare details from official records. It allows the reader to see this individual as a real person as opposed to a name who was born and died on specific dates. This is an original one-off piece written by me from the point of view of your ancestor. These are subject to copyright and are not for you to publish without my knowledge or consent. I do not publish my client’s ancestral story without their permission, and it's natural that I expect the same courtesy.
Why Have You Suspended Your Services After I have Paid You?
If you have received an email from me saying that I have suspended my services, the same message should also detail why. Here are the common reasons:
A. Your payment could not be processed- maybe you have a new debit card and need to update your payment method.
B. I am awaiting instruction from you about how you wish your search to proceed.
C. I have uncovered a family connection to my own tree. In this case, you will be invited to receive the whole of my tree at no additional cost to you. This is worth thousands of hours of research, so I need to confirm our connections first. Please bear with me.
Why Don’t You Display Your Phone Number?
I am a bit of a traveler, so it does affect time. You can book a consultation call with me and I will contact you to explore the possibilities. I don't give out my phone number for unscheduled calls because I don't involve anyone else in my business, it's just me. When I am working on a client search, I am dedicated to their records and cannot play stop-start for them. I am sure you will appreciate this as if it were your own work in progress.
Why is there a picture of my ancestor’s grave on your website or social media?
I share only pictures for which I photographed independently, purchased a license for, or I have written permission from the client for whom this was taken, to include their story and ancestor in a feature, a blog or a post. In a case such as this, it may be that you have a mutual descendant among my clients, so I'd suggest you contact me with a note about the post, photo or blog and a brief ancestral line to that ancestor.
When will my family tree be complete?
Tree packages that I offer are scheduled for me to work on as soon as I have availability. If your tree will not be ready within 10 days I will contact you with an updated completion date.
If you have a regular ongoing search then it's updated as agreed by you from the outset of your Monthly Plan. You may, of course, stop your search services whenever you wish. Just email me with a 30-day notice. I'll finish up any notes etc. You can always pick it up again at a later date if you desire.
If you’re asking when you will have everything there is to know about your family history, that’s a different answer.
Family History means the search is never over because there is always more to know or consider. It's just up to you as to how inquisitive you are about your ancestors, where they born and died is the tip of the iceberg. Where they lived, how they lived and what events they lived through tells you who they were as people.
Consider the migration of families, economic factors, religious changes, conflicts, industry collapses, famine, disease. Many of these things affected our families of the past. Just as they would affect our living family members today.
My bespoke genealogy services can include things you might not have considered before in Historical records outside the scope of the General Records Offices. Maps, Gazettes, Survey Maps, Voting Records, Passenger Lists, Wills, Court Rolls, Workhouses, Prisons, Ecclesiastical and Land Registers are examples.
Contact me to find out which options are best for your search, whether you're just starting, slogging away when you can find the time, or stuck and going round in circles. Believe me, I've been there!