Why commission research? A vast range of genealogical records are now available online. Some are free and others are on subscription sites. To the beginner, it can be bewildering and costly. It’s easy to spend time and money researching what turns out to be the wrong family. Many websites charge fees to search and view records but may not cover a time or place relevant for you. As a professional genealogist, I can guide you in the right direction. In all cases, you would assist me by providing as much information as you have. People often know more than they realise!
I offer different types of services.
Traditional research involves consultation with the client to develop what they already know of their family history into a fully researched report using all the relevant sources for the period. This includes searching the 1901 & 1911 censuses (earliest complete censuses for Ireland), subscription sites such as Findmypast and Ancestry, online parish records and other census substitutes. From there, certificates of birth, death and marriage are ordered (where copies of the registers are not available freely) to flesh out the tree and it may be be necessary to visit repositories such as the National Archives & the National Library to gain further details. This work would be charged on an hourly basis for a minimum of 6 hours’ work. At the end of the process, I send a report with copies of sources, recommendations for further work and, of course, a family tree.
DNA testing is now forming a significant part of genealogical research. Many people have already tested but struggle to understand their results. Advertising is geared towards ethnicity results, which are actually not that reliable. Far more important is the cousin matching, which is almost guaranteed to help you further your ancestry, once you start contacting people and sharing information. I can also help you understand the DNA results and teach you how to get the most for them. This can take the form of a one-off consultation (in person or by Zoom) or a short-term agreement to manage your results.
If you have already done some research of your own, I also offer a service to review this and advise on where to go next. Plenty of people make a start with a free online site like the census and then after a while get stuck. This is where I come in. Typically, we’d chat on the phone first and then meet in person. I can go through what you’ve done and make suggestions. People find this service particularly useful if they’re on a budget.
For people who have already done a lot of research, sometimes their online trees can get messy and confusing, particularly if at the early stages, you added information from hint systems offered by the various big subscription sites. While the hints can be useful, it’s easy for errors to creep in. I can help you sort out what’s right and wrong, and if necessary, help to create a cleaner tree for you.
If you are interested in commissioning some genealogy research or would like a consultation, please get in touch via my contact form. Give me a brief outline of the information you already have and what you would hope to achieve through research. I will contact you with a suggested outline and costs. A quote is free of charge.
I am also available for speaking engagements on a variety of genealogical topics, which can be geared towards your audience. Organisations who have previously had me as a speaker include the IGRS (in both Dublin & London), Cork Genealogical Society, Malahide Historical Society, Clare Roots, the National Library of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, UCC’s Diploma in Genealogy course and the genealogy fair Back to Our Past in both Dublin and Belfast.