As its name suggests, the bespoke research service can be tailored to 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 some of the more common scenarios where choosing this service could be appropriate but, whatever your needs, 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 certificates 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, they remain a key source of information about those key life events before Civil Registration in 1837 and continue in use to the present day. I specialise in researching parish records in 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 1911 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 censuses 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 £20.00 per hour, plus travel expenses if your commission involves undertaking research at a Record Office within West Yorkshire. In addition, the following are charged at cost plus postage: Record Office document copying fees; Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates.
I offer a free, no obligation, initial assessment of your research objectives. This means up to one hour of my time. I’ll carefully consider the information you provide about the family or individual line(s) you want me to research, your objective(s) for doing so and your likely budget to take a project forward.
In return, I’ll let you know in writing how far I think I can meet those objectives given the availability of the historical records, propose an action plan and recommend a research package that seems to best suit your needs and pocket. In the unlikely event that I cannot undertake any meaningful research on your behalf e.g. because records are unavailable or inconclusive, I will advise on possible next steps.