Frequently Asked Questions

How far back can you trace my family tree?

It is usually possible to trace family trees back to the early 1800s using civil birth, marriage and death records and census returns. Before this it gets more difficult, as quite often the only source of data is parish records, which are often incomplete, transcribed incorrectly, or only available locally. If you order a Gold Package I will trace your family tree as far back as there are records available, typically 6-8 generations.

What are your sources?

  • Civil birth, marriage and death indexes from local register offices and England and Wales General Register Office (1837-2006)
  • Civil birth and marriage certificates for England and Wales
  • Statutory birth, marriage and death indexes and images from General Register Office for Scotland (1855-2020)
  • 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns for England and Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • New 1939 Register for England and Wales
  • Parish baptism, marriage and burial records from various sources
  • National Probate Calendar
  • First World War military records
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • Other records

What if you cannot find my family?

The preliminary searches that I carry out should ensure that there are enough records available to begin your project. However, if for any reason it is not possible to continue with your research I will inform you and the total cost will be reduced, so you will only pay for the research that has been carried out successfully.

How long does the research take?

Research times vary depending on the package and the number of records that are available, but I aim to complete a Gold Package within eight weeks, and less for smaller packages. I will keep you informed with regular updates of my progress.

How much will this cost?

Please see the Packages page for details of prices.

How and when do I pay?

Payments can be made by credit/debit card or by cheque. Credit and debit card payments are processed by PayPal, but a PayPal account is not required. If you choose to pay by credit or debit card I will send you a PayPal invoice via email. Please make cheques payable to Fraser Packham. No upfront payment is required; the initial consultation and preliminary searches are free. Packages require a 50% deposit, with the remainder paid on completion.

How do I order?

To order a package contact me with the details of the package you would like to order. I will then send you a Family Information Form. Once you have returned the Family Information Form I will then carry out some preliminary searches to ascertain if there are the records available to complete the research.

Can I or someone else continue researching my family tree at a later date?

Yes. With all packages a list of source citations is included detailing the records I have searched. I will also provide a GEDCOM file which can be imported into most family tree computer programs or uploaded to family tree websites to allow further research.

If you have any other questions or require more information please do not hesitate to contact me.