Frequently Asked Questions

Have you got any questions? I’ve answered some FAQs below. Hopefully they’ll help you to make that informed decision to let me research your family history.

Yes! I’m a specialist DNA detective – so I evaluate and interpret confusing DNA results, providing you with your likely relationship with your new or unexpected DNA matches.

It depends which country you’re in and the likely nationality of your family members. Drop me a line and I can advise. I can also manage your DNA tests for you and provide a comprehensive report on your DNA and DNA matches.

All DNA test companies have slightly different ways of testing. For example, AncestryDNA will often not show French ancestry; it will lump it in with Britain as a whole.

Drop me a line and I will advise how I can help answer your DNA questions.

The research will depend upon availability and survival of historical records. Most research gets back to the early 1800s or late 1700s, but sometimes I can get back to around the 1600s – or even before that.

I will need some basic information to start off with, for example the names of your parents and grandparents and the places where they may have lived. Other info such as rough dates and/or locations of birth or marriage are helpful, but not essential. Giving as much info as possible at the beginning will prevent wasted time and unnecessary costs.

Yes, I can usually start from as little as your own birth certificate, but any additional info is always helpful. We can discuss more during the initial free consultation.

It all depends on what you want me to do. I work in ten hour blocks of research and writing time; at the end of that time you will receive a report of my findings. You can then choose to ask me to carry on researching for another ten hour block along a recommended line, or to stop. So you always remain in control of the budget. 

I can also give estimates for finished bespoke books – just drop me a line with your requirements.

This varies depending on the type of research, the documents needed, and where these documents are held. It can take 2-3 weeks for certificates to arrive. So allow a few weeks at the least. A whole family tree plus a book can take several months. We can discuss more during our initial consultation.

As a DNA specialist genetic detective I would be delighted to help you  find your missing or unknown relative. I can manage your DNA test results and manipulate them to find the results you seek. I have excellent results and have re-united many families and/or successfully answered their questions about their parentage or other family relationships.

If I draw a blank, I do still have to charge for my time; family history research is not dependent on 100% successful searches. You will find all genealogists work on this basis because sometimes the historical records simply don’t exist anymore but it takes a lot of research time to ascertain this. I will always show you where I have researched and how long it has taken me to do so. I am confident of being able to find some relevant and interesting facts to add to your current family history knowledge – even if we ultimately get to an unbreakable brick wall!

I will establish your requirements via email or telephone and once we are clear on what you want, I will send you an invoice for the agreed amount. My preferred payment method is by bank transfer. I can also accept payments via PayPal if you live outside the UK.

Yes, genealogy research makes a wonderful gift. I create attractive personalised gift vouchers and I also offer bespoke personalised colour books with the family history of the gift recipient all presented. Please get in touch and I’ll explain how this works. 

You will need to pay for any certificates I have to order, plus all mileage I incur for visiting relevant archives, churches etc. I charge my mileage at the standard HMRC rate of 45p per mile. Sometimes I may need to ask another genealogist at the other end of the country to visit somewhere local to them to get the records needed. I will discuss any such costs with you before incurring them: you are always in control.

Yes, I love investigating the history of houses in SE England and would be delighted to give you a bespoke quote.

Yes. Certificates are £11 each. Based on this, I will initially advise a budget of £50 to £200 for these documents and these will be included in your report/book and the originals emailed or sent to you.

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