Saturday, 5 January 2019

Restarting my Scottish genealogy research service

For the last year I took a break from carrying out genealogy client research, working instead for a member of the Scottish Parliament as a constituency caseworker (still doing research, just in different areas!). It was a lot of fun, but from mid-January, once I have completed my next book, I am returning to carry out genealogical research for clients on a full-time basis.

A holder of a postgraduate diploma in Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde (, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (, my specialism is in research in Scotland, but I also occasionally carry out client work in Northern Ireland at PRONI (

The following is an indication of what I can do for you:

As a working genealogist since 2006, I can help bring your ancestral story back to life in a variety of ways:
  • Research in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Establishing your family tree and the history of your ancestors
  • Smashing research problems by utilising resources you may not have yet identified
  • Site visits to photograph ancestral homes and relevant gravestones
  • Providing contextual research about your ancestors
  • Searching for relatives or tracing descendants of a known ancestor

Research reports

Results will be typically provided as follows:

A RESEARCH REPORT containing every record that has been transcribed, with its relevant source number noted should you require to order a copy of the original at any stage in the future. Observations will be made along the way where appropriate, and an explanation of how any problems were addressed and overcome will be provided so that you can follow the exact research process as it happened.

Copies of an ANCESTRAL TREE from the primary individual and DESCENDANCY TREES from every one of the most distant ancestors found. These can be provided in both a book format, displayed over several pages, and as a single tree PDF file. The birth, marriage and death records will be displayed for each individual.

COPIES of any records asked for (at source cost).

Research Fees, Terms and Conditions

I charge at a rate of £12 per half hour’s research, with a one hour minimum at £24.

In addition, I charge for any expenses incurred, such as the cost of an access pass for the Glasgow Genealogy Centre or the ScotlandsPeople Centre (Edinburgh) at £15, and travel. All records are transcribed, though copies of records can be purchased, which will be charged at the rate demanded by the archive holding them. Time will also be added for the typing up of the research report, and any analysis required of records found to tease out the relevant story.

At each stage of the research I will consult you in advance to notify you of what the basic costs are likely to be.

In advance of the first day’s research a deposit is asked for via PayPal, to cover the first hour’s research, travel costs, and any potential access pass costs. Sterling based cheques are also accepted. The balance will be invoiced for upon completion.

The research I do will only successfully get underway if the initial information supplied by you as the client is as detailed as possible and accurate. If any information has been incorrectly supplied, I cannot be held liable for any failure that that may entail as a consequence and will still need to charge for time and effort.

Genealogical research is not an exact science. I will endeavour to give a best evaluation of the likelihood of success in advance – I will not carry out any work if I deem it likely to be unsuccessful.

The only exception will be with documents that you may have identified yourself and have asked me specifically to look-up, on the clear understanding that the information you seek may or may not be contained within those documents.

For further details, please see


Testimonials from happy clients are also available at!

NB: Please note I am booked already for a couple of clients, and so it will likely be week beginning 21 January before I can take on further work.

UPDATE: I've had an enquiry this morning asking if I still do Northern Irish research as well as Scottish - absolutely!

In fact, it's actually bizarrely cheaper midweek for me to get to Northern Ireland's national archive, PRONI, which is based in Belfast, from my home in Ayrshire, than it is to get to Edinburgh (the ferry is only a fiver midweek for foot passengers, plus petrol to Cairnryan & parking). As well as the Northern Irish archive records, I can also access the more recent GRONI civil birth, marrage and death records for Northern Ireland which aren't online, but which can be accessed at terminals at PRONI - as well as many newly digitised parish records which can ONLY be accessed at PRONI on its on-site computer (see…/proni-guide-church-records).

Details at


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

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