Our FAQs

These are a selection of questions I have been asked over the years. I will add to them from time to time.

No. However, there may be family members that are less comfortable with what they consider “raking over the past” than you. It may be wise to speak with them beforehand to offer reassurance. In addition, if you think the research may uncover an uncomfortable truth, it might be a good idea to discuss this with them in advance.

The UK government’s General Register Office (GRO) holds copies of birth, marriage and death records dating back to 1 Jul 1837. These can be easily purchased through the GRO website for a small fee. Some marriage certificates are available to view on-line through ancestry.com, for example, by searching in Anglican Church marriage registers. However, it is worth bearing in mind that while Civil Registration of a birth was a requirement from 1837, it wasn’t until 1874 that it became law with penalties for non-compliance. It may be that some births were not registered between 1837-1874. A death certificate was necessary in order to bury or cremate a body since 1837, so the majority of death certificates are available.

Yes, if that is what you would like. We will discuss and agree the output you would like at the start and during the project. I usually print out family tree drop charts on A3+ 189gsm matt paper and also supply soft copy on a .pdf file.

This depends entirely on the availability and legibility of records and documents. Many families run in to a dead end in the 1700s, but I have gone back as far as 1580 with one family. There are genealogists that specialise in pre-1700 research and I can put you in touch with one should I be unable to go back far enough for you.

I always prefer to meet face-to-face if possible but yes, we can communicate by e-mail, zoom or phone. If you have documents at home that would be useful for me to see, these can be scanned or photographed and sent through on e-mail or whatsapp.

In cases of research involving adoption, I will not make contact with living relatives, (this can only be undertaken by an Ofsted Inspected Adoption Support Agency), and I will recommend that the client does not attempt to contact them directly, including the use of social media. There are agencies that specialise in adoption cases that have the appropriate training. Please refer to the Code of Conduct section of this website.

However, if an adoptee already knows the identity of their birth parents AND those birth parents are likely to have passed away, I am able to trace the family back in the normal way. The same rule as above applies to identifying and contacting living relatives.

It depends on which country the family is from. I specialise in UK research but am able to work on certain European records if necessary. I will happily look over a prospective commission and if I feel I cannot help, I can put you in touch with a genealogist that specialises in the country concerned.

“I now have a much clearer understanding of who I am and where I came from!”

Jane D Maidenhead