Initially, a search of the statutory birth, marriage and death certificates will be carried out at ScotlandsPeople Centre, Edinburgh, in order to compile the history of your family. Each family is unique, and the availability of supporting documentation is dependent on factors such as the locations where the individuals lived, if they owned property, if they had a criminal past, if they had to apply for any assistance due to poverty, if they had children out of wedlock etc.
There are a great deal of additional repositories which can be accessed, however, such as the National Records of Scotland Historical Search Room (formerly National Archives of Scotland), Edinburgh City Archives, Glasgow City Archives, National Library of Scotland, local libraries all over Scotland etc. Employing a professional researcher ensures that all relevant documentation will be sourced to assist with your research. (No extra charge is made to the client for my entrance to ScotlandsPeople Centre, but if any visits to other repositories outwith Edinburgh or Glasgow have to be made, this may incur further charges. I will advise if this will be necessary prior to undertaking the travel, however.)
To commence the research, all you have to provide are the birth, death or marriage details in Scotland for the individual whose ancestry you wish to trace. Obviously, the more details you already know about the family the better, as less time will then be needed for the search. Oral history can have its place and sometimes even family stories can lead to a better understanding of an individual, although research can often dispel the myth, unfortunately!
It is impossible to state with any certainty how far back a family can be traced. The client will be asked if their aim is to go back as far as possible or to find out as much as they can about each generation, including siblings. (If copy certificates are requested to accompany the research, these can be provided at an additional cost and this will be agreed at the outset of the research.) It is worth bearing in mind that when going back in time prior to 1855 (the year of official registration of births, deaths and marriages in Scotland), the nature of the records being investigated will mean that they may be more time-consuming to search.
The completed family history will be in the form of a detailed report
detailing the investigation process and its findings, as well as transcriptions of the relevant birth, death and marriage certificates and any other documentation referred to. References
for all of the sources used in the report will be listed. The report will be emailed to the client, unless a printed version is requested. A basic
family tree will be included and this will also be emailed.
The presentation pack - which many clients request for special birthday presents etc - can be tailored to suit the needs of each individual, so please contact me for further details. There are various options available.
All information supplied to or from a client will be treated with the upmost confidentiality.
It would normally take at least 2-4 weeks for a family history to be researched (but if a presentation pack is requested, this will take much longer, so bear this in mind when planning). If any problems occur in the research, the client will be informed immediately. If research is required urgently, it may be possible to have the commission treated with a high priority.
If there is a gap in your research and you need further assistance, this is when you may decide to consult a professional researcher. Please contact me direct to discuss your problem. It is important at the onset to inform me if copies of supporting documentation for this type of research will be required, however, as additional costs will be incurred.
If your ancestor lived in Scotland but then moved away, leaving relatives behind, investigation can be carried out to find what happened to these individuals. Perhaps you would like to contact these "lost" relatives. Details can be supplied on request.