Research

Whether you are newly interested or an experienced researcher there is always more to learn about your family history.

Most people start with a family tree, showing the names of the individuals that you are descended from. A full tree shows the birth, marriage and deaths of your parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents, and so on. These simple facts of birth, marriage and death can be complemented with the “meat” of family history – how our ancestors arrived in Australia, how they worked, lived, and died; what they owned, who their neighbours were, what they read in the local paper, and all the other details that turn names on a chart into real people.

Where is the research done?

The majority of our research is performed at repositories such as State Records NSW, either in the City or out west at Kingswood; the State Library of NSW; the NSW Lands Department; and the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Some repositories allow the use of digital cameras and laptop computers and others only allow pencil and paper. The cost of photocopies also varies widely between repositories.

Some records are available online, and digital images from these services will be provided where possible, so save time and cost.

How much does it cost?

We perform most research on an hourly basis because we cannot guarantee that specific records will be available for your ancestor – they may have been lost, destroyed, or never existed in the first place. There may be a lot of information or very little, and it may be easy or difficult to find.

If you’ve done any research you know how quickly the time goes. We can’t give an exact estimate of how long a specific request will take. To find the arrival of your ancestor may take a short time, or it may take hours. To build a family tree will usually take many, many hours if it is to be done properly.

It is impossible to predict the cost of certificates, photocopies and postage before the research begins, so these costs are additional to the hourly rate, and are payable before results are sent. Each repository has different charges for photocopies and these costs are passed on directly without any markup.

Please contact us for a quote, or for further information.

We do offer set-price searches for some specific records which include the cost of searching and the supply of a copy or transcript if a record is found. These are available in our online shopping centre.

We can also provide gift certificates, to be redeemed for the number of hours purchased. These would make an ideal Christmas or birthday gift. Read more.

How long does it take?

The time required varies and is impossible to predict at the outset. A full family tree will take weeks, perhaps months. An immigration or convict search may take days. We may not be able to begin work straight away, until other commitments are completed.

We will keep you informed of progress as often as possible.

Guarantee

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to find what you are looking for. We guarantee that we will use a wide number of sources to find the information you are looking for and that we will document these sources whether we have found something useful or not.