If sending me an enquiry then please do include full names, places and events. I certainly do need to see what the basic problem is, so please do not be embarrassed about it, we all exprience problems with our family history research. Please do not send me a vague request as it unfortunately will elicit a vague and uninterested answer and help neither of us make any progress.
If your project has already been worked on by another professional do let me know who, and tell me specifically what added benefit I can add to their work,
I have been engaged in genealogical research since 1987 and historical research since I was 14! I have been in professional practice since 2000.
During these years I have experienced the Genealogical Revolution from Private Repositories to Record Offices, to the CDs to the vast and bewildering array of Internet based resources available to us today. I can therefore often use more tradition methods to resolve cases where the Internet is not working for you. I also correct many index entries in the course of my work, and can search specific records where the index is inaccurate or even non-existant.
I love to be out and about in all weathers. One of the consequences of the Genealogical Revolution is that visits to record offices and libraries are becoming less regular. Having said that I do use remote resources where possible. Eg I have recently found some details from the "lost" Parish Register of Milton Abbas/Abbey, Devon in a certain North West Library. I am very willing to travel I do share out travel costs with other projects where this is possible.
If you do have definite ancestry in the UK then I certainly can help you find out much more about them their lives and their relationships.
Although I consider myself a genealogical general practitioner; as I am also an Anglican Lay Minister and a member of the Guild of Vergers I specialise in Church Records including Parish Registers and the other associated "Parish Chest" Records, as well as Archdeaconry and Diocesan Records eg Probate (Wills and Administrations), Marriage License/Licence Bonds and Allegations, banns registers, ordination records and some church history and photography. I still sometimes even get to search for gravestones and to access records still at churches. I often research Latin Roman Catholic Registers.
I use Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates and the GRO, Free BMD and Local BMD indexes. Where possible I order the more accurate certificates from the local register offices or churches. I also do have access to the indexes for some recent events 2007 onwards.
I do use census and census substitutes including the new 1939 register.
I do use and do carry out date limited searches in unindexed newspapers.
I do use military records as well as the military returns of Birth, Marriage and Death. I am not however a military expert.
I do use the overseas records that are available in UK.
I do use pre and post 1858 Wills and their indexes, in fact I have solved many cases using these alone.
I use all the records that are available including Directories, Electoral Registers, Irish Dog Licences! etc. etc.
My method of working is forensic I do examine the original records as much as it is possible to do so, and only then do I make a judgement based on what the evidence that original record is telling us, In order to help us solve genealogical challenges and follow the paper trail left by your true ancestors. I have even examined the Snelston, Derbyshire Parish Register under ultraviolet light to read the ink washed off the page in a flood.
Although I really enjoy basic straight forward genealogical research - a big yes please if this is what you want me to do; I often do find myself working on those all too common surnames, [Jones, Williams, Martin, Smith etc.] not always as successfully. I am a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies.
Although I am often found working in Lancashire Record Offices and Libraries; recent cases have taken me to records in Ireland (EIRE), Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as India, South Africa, and even Mexico. Do be aware that my Welsh, Scotch, and Latin are rudimentary. I am widely travelled having once been a Geologist.
I am innovative and am very aware of the old as well as the new methods of research using newspapers, and cluster genealogy. I am also familiar with the 1939 Register and Electoral Registers and their use in tracing ancestry and decendants. Many of the challenges presented to me by my clients often involve the use of new records, localities and methods to resolve in a bespoke way. Most projects are not resolved instantly and some can take many months even years to resolve to a conclusion.
I relish doing traditional genealogy and can find ancestors details for more straightforward cases.
You can keep your costs down and speed up projects by
* adding all the facts to a GEDCOM file to enclose with your request, rather than getting me to do it.
* be focussed and stick to the single aim that you have in mind. I certainly DO NOT NEED to know that another line took you back hundreds of years and what you discovered there. I DO NEED full readable copies of the relevant documents for the aim that we are working on.
* Please do not overwhelm me. I like my other AGRA colleagues am very busy, and lots of irrelevant material or a long rambling narrative will end up on the bottom of the pile. Think carefully of what you are sending - is it directly relevant to the aim you are asking me to complete.
* Be patent - Research in record offices and libraries does take time, as does ordering certificates especially from Liverpool Register Office.
I am really sorry but I cannot explore a specific case without a payment being made, but my charges do start at £ 9.95 GBP for a short consultation.
Do feel free to phone me on my landline.
I have also provided a mobile number - however I will have my mobile switched off in church services as well as in record offices and libraries, most of the time in fact, so do keep trying.
Most reporting is by e-mail in the form of research reports, e-mails of results and attachments.
Postal reports where needed do tend to take longer and unfortunately do cost more.
I do have an A3 printer but I tend to find that the complex trees, with all the details on; that I find rarely fit on a single A3 page. I can send you a copy of my GEDCOM file once I have finished from which you can print our own trees.
I have worked in the following record offices and am interested in exploring more.
TNA - The National Archives
British Library [BL] Both Boston Spar, Yorkshire and Euston, London
Society of Genealogists including Apprentices of the British Isles and Boyds Marriage Index.
IHGS - Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, Kent
Canterbury Cathedral Archives
Cumbria Archives - Carlisle and Kendal
Lancashire Archives - Preston, I am a member of the Lancashire Parish Register Society [LPRS]
Harris Library - Preston
Latter Day Saints [ LDS Mormon ] - Chorley/ Preston Temple and London
Wigan History Shop now The Museum of Wigan Life
Wigan Archives - Leigh
Ashton in Makerfield Library
Bolton Local Studies/ Bolton History Centre
Cheshire Heritage and Archives, Chester
Cheshire Record Office
Trafford Archives, Ashton Under Lyne
Library of the School of Tropical Medicine - Liverpool
Liverpool University Library
Liverpool Archives/ Merseyside Archives
Liverpool Central Library
Southport Atkinson Library
Manchester University Library
Manchester Cathedral Library
Salford Register Office, Manchester Register Office, Wigan Register Office, Bolton Register Office
Archives+ and Manchester Central Library
Luther King House Library - Manchester
Chetham's Library, Manchester
Portico Library, Manchester
Leeds University Library
Leeds City Library
Borthwick Institute of Historical Rersearch - York
York Minster Library
Derbyshire Archives, Matlock
Staffordshire Archives, I am a member of Staffordshire Parish Register Society [SPRS]
William Salt Library
Lichfield Joint Record Office - before it closed
Northumberland Archives - Woodhorn
Durham Record Office
Cornwall - Redruth Heritage Centre
Modern Records Centre - Warwick University - Union Records including railway worker records Scottish, Irish and Welsh as well as English
Berkshire Record Office
Lincolnshire Record Office
Birmingham Central Library and Archives
Wales - National Library of Wales
Ireland - Deeds Registry - Dublin
National Library of Ireland - Dublin
Irish National Archives - Dublin
Representative Church Body Library [RCBL], Braemar Park, Dublin
General Registry Office - Dublin
Scotland - Court of the Lord Lyon
ScotlandsPeople Centre - Edinburgh
Lerwick Library - Shetlands
Ulva and Mull Museums
Oriental and India Office Libary [OIOL]
Bath Library and Record Office.
Wells Cathedral Library
Collections Centre - Manchester Museum of Science and Industry
And many many others
I suspect you want to know what the letters mean: I have a degree in Geological Sciences from Leeds University and a Certificate in Higher Education from Liverpool University in which I explored photography, ancient apocryphal literature and its believers, theology and biblical themes.
I was a member of Leigh Model Railway Society and am interested in trying to trace records of railway personnel..
I do like positive feedback.
I do like encouragement especially when things get tough.
If I can help just let me know.
Telephone: 01942 702594
Thank you, your enquiry has been sent
21 Petticoat Lane
Simon, thank you for all the documents you sent through. It's an amazing amount of work. Greatly appreciated.
All the best and hope you have a great Christmas.
E-mail from NC 18 Dec 2016
Thanks so much for the report on .... Edwards which concludes your research on him. I'm very pleased you've found the details re. ..... , as is my friend, whose .... ..... is. I'm busy printing the 10 pages you sent - a copy for me as well as her. It's interesting that the address was "over the water" as we say!! We know that there's a connection there, as one of .....'s sisters was born on the Wirral. If we need any more research, Simon, we'll be in touch. Thanks again for your help & enthusiasm!!
Kindest regards once again,
C... (UK) e-mail 16 March 2017
"[W]e have contacted ... Jones, and unfortunately [He] passed away about 5 Years ago.
It was not the result we had hoped for but thanks again for all your help. At least your research was correct.
Good luck in any other research of the same type.
C&EJ in e-mail sent 28.10.2015
Big thank you all the info, especially the shot gun wedding episode.
Many thanks for all you have achieved and all you have tried to do.
Please accept the enclosed cheque you have earned every penny.
I thank you most sincerely for all you have done for me, when I first started this quest I really did not know how I was going to do it, then I remembered buying a magazine when I was over in the U K, in July 2009, the magazine, 'ANCESTORS' when I read thru it I remembered the page titled 'Family History Research Services' and there was your 'Assistance Needed' advertisement,
Member of the A.G.R.A. and your assistance was just what I needed and I received it off you, in full value.
PA, Canada, 22 Jun 2016