Links & tips

I have only one or two names and rough dates –
can you trace my ancestors?

It is often possible to get results from minimal information – perhaps stories passed down through the family, or a birth certificate.

If you have no definite dates or places, we might start by looking at a more recent generation where you are certain that the information is correct. I will then work systematically back in time, providing supporting evidence along the way.

What information should I send you?

Tell me what you definitely know, what you think you know, and what you would like to know!

I will work logically, step by step, trying to solve the puzzle, backed up with supporting evidence. Reduce your research time by giving me:

  • full details of definite facts about your family, e.g. names, occupations, dates and places of  birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial. You may choose to include a family tree or pedigree chart.
  • details of the documents where you found your information (if possible with reference numbers), e.g. birth, marriage and death certificates, census returns and wills.
  • details of family myths & legends – there is often some truth in them!
  • details of all records you have already searched with ‘negative’ results. If you do not tell me that you have looked at a particular record, then I may look at that same record again, duplicating time and effort – I want to keep your costs to a minimum!

May I make more than one request at once?

Yes, you can.

I may choose to carry out the work in a different order to that listed, to be more cost effective for you. However, if you have a specific preference, please state it clearly on the form. Please be aware that I might reach your cost or time limit before completing all the requests.

What happens if I don’t get the results that I hoped for?

I will make every effort to find as much information as possible, tracing your ancestry with as much enthusiasm as if it were my own.

Sometimes however, even a lengthy search will produce no positive findings at all – I cannot provide positive results if the entries are not there! On these occasions you should console yourself with knowing that at least those sources shouldn’t have to be searched again! All searches, whether positive or negative, must be paid for.

Links and Tips

Tracing your ancestors back into the mists of time can be very exciting, but also can be a frustrating experience. I can guarantee it will consume a great deal of your time, but in the end will be an extremely rewarding experience.

To start on this journey into your past you will at first need to pull together what you already know. I suggest you talk to elderly relatives and find out from them as much as possible about your ancestors. Make sure you have a plan, prepare a list of questions to ask and be prepared for them to relate anecdotes about ‘Uncle Albert’ or the relative who is not spoken about. If possible record the conversations, you can then play them back to see if you missed anything or have any follow up questions.

Once you have this background you will be able to continue your journey using the information that is available either online and in your local record office or archives. The ideal starting point is the census, the last one published is the 1911 census, so if you can find an ancestor born prior to 1911 you should be able to find them in the census.

Censuses for England & Wales from 1841 through to 1911 are available from subscription websites such as Ancestry and FindmyPast. The 1939 Identity Card Register is available on FindmyPast and Ancestry, it is a very useful census substitute to discover more about your ancestors born in the early 20th Century. The England and Wales 1921 Census is available only on FindmyPast.

Scottish Census records from 1841 to 1921 can be obtained via Scotlands People  . Family Heritage Search has access to a number of genealogy sites both here in UK and overseas, so why not let us do the research for you.

Certified copies of Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates for England and Wales can be obtained from the Local Registry Office in the town or city where your ancestor lived or they can be obtained directly from the General Register Office . The certificates will give you more information about your ancestor and their parents. Certificates from the Local Registry Office  and certified copies from the General Register Office are priced at £11.00 each. Uncertified PDF Versions of Birth (1837-1922) and Death Certificates (1837-1957) are available at £7 each. Instant Digital Views are available for Birth Certificates (1837-1922) and for Death Certificates (1837-1887) priced at £2.50 each. The Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates process for Scotland and Northern Ireland are different, details can be found at ScotlandsPeople and NIDirect for Northern Ireland.

Why not let Family Heritage Search undertake the work in identifying and obtaining the certificates for you – contact me to find out more.