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Bespoke Research

Tailored to meet your particular needs or objectives


It’s the ideal option if you want to commission a specific piece of research into the lives and times of a particular family, group of families, or individual.

The following examples highlight scenarios where choosing this option might be appropriate. Whatever your needs may be, no commission or project is too small

● Civil Registration of births, marriages and deaths started on 1 July 1837 in England and Wales, and on 1 January 1855 in Scotland. I will search the General Register Office Birth, Marriage or Death Indexes for registration details to obtain, on your behalf, a copy of the certificate(s) you’re interested in.

● Baptisms, marriages and burials were recorded in Parish Records by local clergy. The records were formally introduced in 1538. Although many of the earliest records are now lost, those that remain and are legible are key sources of information about those life events before Civil Registration in 1837. I specialise in researching parish records throughout West Yorkshire but will undertake research for any area of the UK to help take your family tree back as far as possible.

● Census returns are perhaps the most valuable of all historical records. There has been a census every ten years since 1801, except in 1941 due to the war. However, only those that date from 1841 are of real value for research purposes today. Census records are closed for 100 years, to protect the privacy of those possibly still living. The 1921 census is therefore the latest available for research. Finding ancestors in the censuses provides a unique snapshot into their lives which can often be tracked over several decades.

● The 1939 Register was compiled on the eve of World War 2 and became a critical tool in coordinating the war effort at home. It was used to issue identity cards, organise rationing and, after the war, was also used in the founding of the National Health Service.

House histories. Census returns can also reveal house names, numbers and street names. Of course, with the passage of time and the impacts of war, re-development and general improvements many dwellings have ceased to exist and many streets have disappeared or been re-named. If you live in a house that’s over 100 years’ old, its history and the fortunes of families that lived there before you can bring fascinating and rewarding insights.

● A fixed price package may not suit your needs because more detailed or focused research is required. Perhaps you already have some information about your ancestors but need help in moving forward or filling particular gaps in your own research; or you want to focus on a particular aspect of an individual’s life e.g. their military service or emigration from the UK to start a new life in another country.

Bespoke research is charged at £30.00 per hour, plus travel expenses if your commission involves undertaking research at a Record Office in the Yorkshire area. In addition, the following are charged at cost plus P&P: Record Office document copying fees; Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates. Due to the image supplier's pricing structure, 1921 census pages may attract an additional charge. Note that any future government COVID-19 restrictions may from time to time mean that personal research in Record Offices is restricted or unavailable.

Get in touch to commission bespoke research

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