How to find the right researcher for you
Researching your family tree is a wonderful delight, however, some will see it as an opportunity to make a quick buck and you'll end up with the wrong outcome and your income disappearing fast.
One guarantee is to choose a researcher registered with AGRA, the Association of Genealogists in Archives who provide a stringent code of practice for their members. However, this is quite expensive as the researcher has to qualify and pay registration fees that they need to recover in their charges to you.
Not every researcher is able to meet their stringent registration criteria due to time, other commitments and money. In the absence of AGRA membership then, look for a researcher's experience and what they offer, especially in terms of evidence of their work.
Many researchers offering their services have worked on their own trees and maybe helped a few friends and consider that sufficient to qualify them to work and research your tree. You must always pick someone with more extensive experience and who will provide documented evidence of every name they find. It won't make exciting reading and - believe me - it's tedious to prepare, but it is most definitely an essential mark of a competent researcher, giving their research accountability.
WHY CHOOSE ME?
I'm not a member of AGRA, as much as I would love to be. I have not been able to embark on the degree course which they require for a start. I do, however, have 40 years experience, not only working on my own and my husband's family trees, but working as a researcher, consultant, teacher and speaker so I have literally helped hundreds of people with their research over the years, coming across a huge variety of scenarios and brick walls in the process. I provide fully documented evidence of all sources that I have used in order to create your family tree. This also includes a narrative of my reasoning in why I have selected or rejected possible names where necessary.
I have access to all of the main subscription websites as well as being able to visit many of the County Records Offices in Northampton and surrounding counties. If you are thinking of having me do some research for you, I will first give you a FREE one hour consultation to discuss what you already know and what you want me to find out for you. I will then do some quick feasibility checks to ascertain how viable your request is and discuss this with you before charging a penny. I will keep in touch with you regularly as I go along and will never incur extra expenses or charges without first consulting with you.
As you will see from our Family Tree category in the shop we can transfer our research into a beautifully presented picture for you and your family to cherish for years to come. In addition this I can also create a book containing a more social history about each person on your tree. That includes where they lived, churches where they may have been christened, married or buried, information about their occupations and so on. This comes presented in a totally unique wooden covered ring binder with the pages printed on single sided in card. This means that as a family you can continue to add further information such as descendants as they come along and make it even more personalised.
So choosing me to research your family tree for you will truly give you a "Picture of YOUR Past. "
Parish Registers & Other Records
A great deal of records are available online nowadays, and that will form the starting point for any genealogist, however, things get a lot more tricky, prior to 1837 (when civil registration started). Once you start going into the early 1800s and beyond you are into the realms of mainly using parish records – and you are at the mercy of so many variables as to what information is available.
The registers may be damaged, illegible, missing or difficult to access and then you may have non-conformists, illegitimacy, parish migration and many other scenarios that will affect the ability of the researcher to locate records relating to your family.
If you have ancestors in a particular county it can make sense to look for a researcher who has, not only access to the local county archives for that area, but also a degree of local knowledge, especially if your ancestors were Irish.
Whilst many parish registers for christenings, marriages and burials are online, it may be necessary to look for other documents such as wills, settlement certificates, quarter sessions etc that may contain more information about them to help verify a connection. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.