Every family has a story to tell. Discover the truth behind your family legends with our bespoke Family Tree Packages.
Was that story your Granny told you really true?
Every family has a story to tell, but sometimes we have to dig deep to uncover the past. At Genealogy Stories I use my years of experience, my tenacity and passion for history to help you to discover your ancestors’ stories.
Who were your ancestors? What were their lives like?
Reveal the lives of your ancestors with my Bespoke Family Tree Packages.
Bespoke Family Tree Packages
Are you ready to travel back in time? Uncover the past and reveal the lives of your ancestors.
Trace your family tree back in time and learn your ancestors’ secrets.
The exact dates covered in each Family Tree Package are flexible. Any of the packages can be adjusted, or merged. I recognise that all family histories are unique. I aim to be as flexible as possible – ensuring my packages meet your needs.
My Bespoke Family Tree Packages can be tailored to meet your exact needs…
Polluted cities and high infant mortality. One wrong move could land you in the dreaded workhouse. Don your top hat & tighten that corset.
Travel back in time from 1837 to the start of a new century. Did your ancestors thrive or falter? Find out with the Victorian package. Covering 1837 to 1911.
Can I see some samples of your work?
My narrative reports are full of juicy details! I’m happy to send through some samples when you Book A Call. In the meantime here’s some thumbnails of previous work.
Narrative Report Example One: A bespoke version of The Georgian, this narrative started in the 1770s. It provided detail on ancestors covering over 100 years. At 61 pages long, this highly detailed narrative contained 22 thousand words and dozens of different sources.
Narrative Report Example Two: A bespoke version of The Victorian. This package spanned 100 years but really focused on one generation of the family. It consists of 54 pages and about 17 thousand words (including sources).
Why choose my Bespoke Family Tree Packages?
My Bespoke Family Tree Packages focus on bringing your ancestors’ stories to life. I don’t just tell you what your ancestors did, I put them into the social-historical context of the time AND place in which they lived.
Here’s an example…
I discover your great-great grandmother died of puerperal fever 3 weeks after giving birth to her 5th child. Her widower remarries within 3 months. Such discoveries immediately fill our mind with questions. How common was this? What happened to her child? How did her husband cope – both emotionally and practically? How did her other children fare? How old was your direct ancestor when she lost her mother? How might this have effected her/him? What were the consequences? How typical was it to re-marry quickly after the loss of a spouse? What were the attitudes to bereavement at the time?
My Bespoke Family Tree Packages seek to explore and answer as many of these types of questions as possible.
Why is that important? Because, it helps you to get to know your ancestors and your unique family history. You can make your own judgements, based on their lives, about how you feel those events impacted your family dynamics. Understanding our past is vital to understanding our present. Our ancestors’ lives are fascinating, because they are our ancestors and they helped make us who we are today.
What’s included in the Bespoke Family Tree Packages?
Let’s start with you
I offer a minimum of one free 30 minute to 1 hour no obligation consultation to define your exact requirements.
The above packages are a guideline. All packages can be adapted to meet your needs. Whilst offering complete flexibility, I also want to guarantee quality. Before I start work on your package, we’ll discuss and agree:
- the dates you’d like to cover
- any particular surnames you’d like to include
- whether you’d like to hunt out the details of siblings and other non-direct ancestors
- where you’d like to start (i.e. with your grandparents or great grandparents)
- whether there is any sensitive information you’d like me to leave alone
- whether there is a particular family tale you’d like me to investigate
- troubleshooting potential problem areas
- timescales for completion
- your budget and payment options
Book your free consultation today…
Included in every package is…
Your family story, including relevant social history information. A narrative that’ll bring your family history to life! This engaging and informative narrative will include family tree charts to help you keep track of all your ancestors.
Key records relevant to the time period covered. For example, census documents and parish records (baptisms, marriages and burials)
A thorough search of online British & Welsh newspapers by surname and by address for all direct ancestors. Plus, inclusion of relevant records (where available) covering apprenticeships, employment, poor law (e.g. workhouse admission), military service, land and property ownership
An electronic database file (a GEDCOM) containing all your ancestors facts, plus information on the sources that prove these facts
My research report containing information on all the sources consulted, the search criteria used, and the results.
I ensure that the final product is fully sourced. This means that you can pass your genealogy on to others to research. Whether it be professionals based in other areas, or continued research by yourself.
I’ll make sure we have a pre-agreed budget for the purchase of birth, marriage and death certificates. These cost between £7 and £11 from the General Registration Office (GRO). I do not add on any additional costs to obtaining these documents.
I will discuss with you any additional costs, such as the purchasing of Wills or specialist records. I’ll tell you the possible benefits of purchasing such items – and the risks (such as scant information). I never make a purchase without agreeing it first. I never add a mark up. You’ll never experience unexpected charges.
What type of stories might you uncover?
It’s impossible to predict exactly what secrets you might reveal. You might find love stories, tragedies or even horrors. To give you a flavour of the kinds of discoveries you might make, here is a list compiled from my tree and those of previous clients:
Many of our ancestors suffered terrible hardships. Infant mortality was higher, and people lived shorter lives. Imagine living pre-antibiotics? Pre-NHS? In a time when medicine was far from an exact science.
Tragedies are important. Recognising the difficulties our ancestors faced really helps us to understand them.
I’ve found suicides and accidents revealed in excruciating detail in local newspapers. For generations Coroners Inquests were often held in the local Public House and reported in the news. These reports uncover streets living in fear of dreaded diseases such as Scarlet Fever, TB and Cholera.
Professionals to labourers. Runaway apprentices, publicans or policemen. What will you find?
Your ancestors may have worked in long forgotten cottage industries. Or perhaps shown entrepreneurial flare? One of my ancestors worked as both an umbrella maker and a fishmonger!
Book your free consultation today…
Do you offer a guarantee to find my ancestors?
Whether you choose to use Genealogy Services or not, there are some facts you should know before hiring a genealogist:
- No one can guarantee that they will find your ancestors, even in more recent records
- No one can guarantee how far back in time they’ll be able to trace your family tree
- No one can guarantee that they’ll find your ancestors in the newspapers or prove a family legend
Sadly historical records get lost or damaged over time. There are gaps in our records. Sometimes our ancestors do surprising things too. Like go by different names!
But Genealogy Stories can guarantee that…
- I’ll always work in consultation with YOU and promise to keep you well-informed on the research process.
- I’ll work with you to define your research aims AND put these at the heart of every step we take.
- When we hit a brick wall we will always look for an alternative path, including researching different branches of your tree.
What happens if you hit a brick wall?
Sometimes we look for an ancestor and find them straight away. It’s like they’ve been waiting to be found. Other times an ancestor can be elusive. For example, they may have been away from home on census night. Or their name may have been miss-recorded. Worse still they may have a combination of a misspelled name AND be staying somewhere unexpected on census night. Our ancestors may even have deliberately kept secrets – bigamy is not that uncommon, nor is it unusual to find an ancestor whose father’s name is missing from their birth certificate.
What does this mean for those seeking to trace their family trees? Well, it’s partly what makes genealogy so interesting! You could uncover anything. It also means that it’s hard to predict.
This is why I work in consultation with you. We agree our research plan and put in place clear checkpoints. I regularly feedback to you, so you know when I’ve hit a block. We’ll explore options together – such as devoting time to alternative searches or exploring a different branch of your tree.
Will my family history be boring? I don’t have any family stories.
Some of our ancestors lived more salacious lives then others. But all of our ancestors are interesting. Understanding their lives in the context of the time in which they lived is key! I use my social and cultural history knowledge to explore your ancestors and bring their world to life.
How do you know when you’ve found the right person?
I undertake detailed cross-referencing to ensure that my research is accurate. You might like to read my blog post, Cross-Referencing and Disproof for a further explanation.
My reports include Proof Statements. Sometimes genealogists cannot find conclusive evidence. When this happens I’ll always analyse the evidence that I do have. I’ll create detailed arguments explaining why I believe something is ‘most likely’ or ‘unlikely’.
I make sure that you have all the information you need to answer the question all family historians ask themselves, “how do I know this is MY ancestor?”
What format does your narrative report come in?
My narrative report is full of interesting information. No dull dry lists of facts here! I compile your unique family history story using an array of different sources and mediums to bring it to life. Along with your ancestors records, I’ll use newspapers, charts, historical texts, photos and maps.
I deliver an electronic PDF version of your narrative AND an editable Word version.
I can offer print out options but normally advise against having your work bound in a book. All too often clients decide to add to their research at a later date. This might take the form of adding in future generations, such as grandchildren that arrive after the completion of your family tree package. Or it might be that you decide to pursue further family tree branches. Or even that upon sharing your findings with family you are given new photos or personal stories. Bound books mean any additions are costly to undertake. However, luxuriously covered ring-binders or spring-backs make it easy to add information.
What do I mean by a fully sourced report?
Sources are evidence. They are the documents and records that tell us information about our ancestors. Every fact we discover will have at least one source. For example, your ancestors date of birth may be evidenced by their birth certificate, the age stated on their death certificate AND their age on the census records.
My reports include BOTH sources with facts AND details on all the sources consulted. Sometimes I’ll search records and find no trace of your ancestor. It’s important that these searches are recorded, even though they didn’t yield results.
Recording all searches means that any future researchers will be able to avoid repeating my work. Including you! Sometimes clients take a break and come back to me in the future for further work. We need to be able to pick up where we left off.
Book your free consultation today…