Researching your ancestors

Family Photos8

I will help you to uncover your ancestors and their stories prior to the 19th century using records available both online and in local and national archives. In particular, I specialise researching in court records (Chancery court, manorial courts, criminal courts etc), deeds and wills all of which can include several generations of a family both past and present.

Whether you need help researching a single ancestor, a family line or larger project to uncover your wider family history I am here to help, whatever your budget.

Every research project is different, from a one-off enquiry to extended research over an extended period, and i wil therefore tailor my family history research service to your needs.

All research includes a report and a family tree (if appropriate) provided in pdf. These can be provided in print for an extra cost.

All research is subject to a deposit with payment plans available.


Bespoke family history

This can include specific searches to help you break down a brick wall or confirm or otherwise a family theory or story, archive look-ups and obtaining records, or simply tailoring my service to meet your needs.

Please contact me for more details.


For that extra special touch or that special gift why not have your family history research presented hard back book. This can be produced as a ‘stand alone’ item or alongside your family history research package.

Production time can vary as each book is unique and will include time to check and approve our draft and for us to make any corrections and modifications that are required. Prices varying depending on the number of pages.

Please contact me for more details.


Chancery court records

These comprise records of court cases which deal with possession of or the right to use land where the claim is against the conscience of a person or several people (law of Equity).

The pleadings might state that in the year xx the plaintiff’s great grandfather held a certain piece of land and will details the descent of the land through the generations often with dates of death and terms of wills.  This can be particularly helpful in identifying several generations of people with the same name. Virtually no other source of information can include so many generations within one document.

Manorial court records

There were essentially two Manorial Courts. The Court Leet was responsible for minor criminal offences which occurred with the Lords manor such as breach of the peace

The Court Baron dealt with minor civil disputes such as boundary disputes and debts, and the transfer of land and property rights, most commonly customary or copyhold land. Where ancestors held copyhold land, these records can be used to follow the descent of the property through generations and provide details of those family connections.

Quarter session and Assize court records

These were the Criminal courts prior to 1971 and they were responsible for local administration before local governments were introduced in 1888.

Alongside ciminal cases, the most common cases seen by the quarter sessions were offences against bye-laws and licensing laws, non-payment of tithes and taxes, poor law offences, particularly vagrancy, problems with settlement and removal, bastardy orders and the failure of  reputed fathers to pay maintenance.

Their administration functions included for example amongst many: licensing and regulations of public houses, weights and measures, gamekeepers etc; county rates; juror lists/freeholder lists; land tax assessments.

These records can therefore provide an insight into the life of an ancestor and the society in which they lived.

GIFT vouchers

Gift vouchers can be another perfect unique present for that someone who has everything!

Available for both family history and house history research my gift vouchers start at £60 for two hours research, I also offer gift vouchers, the perfect unique present for someone with an interest in family history or house history research. Please contact me for more details.