Terms of Service

Terms of Service

Terms of engagement

  • Before beginning any work for a client I will confirm in writing my understanding of the project to be undertaken and ensure agreement of this understanding with the client before commencing the research.
  • It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that the details of any previous research have been conveyed to Professional Family History to avoid any research being inadvertently repeated.
  • I will not exceed the time initially commissioned by the client without prior agreement.
  • I undertake to report the findings of the research with detailed sources of the information obtained. Where research is not successful I will provide information as to the avenues that have been explored.
  • Paid time includes research, analysis and reporting time and time spent communicating with the client by telephone and email.
  • If during the research it becomes clear that research will not take as long as initially expected or research cannot progress as anticipated any whole unused pre-paid research hours will be refunded to the client.
  • In cases where a Family Tree Package has been purchased and it becomes clear early on that research has reached an insurmountable hurdle I may offer a partial refund of the payment received. This will depend on the length of time spent on the project before coming to this conclusion.

Payment Terms

  • For commissions of £100 and under I require full payment in advance of any research to secure a research slot.
  • For commissions over £100 (including Family Tree Packages) a down payment of 50% is required in advance. The remaining balance becomes due on completion of the work, before the report and any supporting documentation is issued to the client.
  • On receipt of the required initial payment (see above) a research slot will be booked in and the client notified. Any changes to the initial estimate will be notified to the client as soon as reasonably possible.

Document copies

  • Documents are supplied at cost price. Where copies of documents are required and a definite cost of these cannot be determined upfront, the cost will be deducted from the amount paid and the amount of research reduced pro rata accordingly.

Likelihood of Success

  • It should be noted by any prospective client that it is sometimes not possible to trace a family back as far as expected or find the expected information in a particular document. Research time includes time spent searching with a negative outcome. However, all research may be considered positive if it is viewed that a particular document or direction has been “ruled out”.

Accreditation and reassurance

  • As an AGRA Member and a member of APG, I have agreed to abide by the Codes of Practice / Ethics of both organisations.
  • In the unlikely event of a client not being 100% happy with the research received from Professional Family History I will endeavour to address any issues as quickly as possible. If a mutually agreeable solution cannot be reached AGRA has a complaints procedure which may be used.

Professional Family History Researchers

  • Professional Family History offers clients family history research of the highest quality, delivered in such a way as to ensure clients are happy with the service they receive, are aware of progress and feel involved at every stage.
  • On some projects portions of the research are conducted by other researchers as a necessity, either because of the distance to the area in which the records are held or because of a need for a particular subject specialist. In these cases researchers are carefully selected based on their specialisms and quality of work.
  • I also have a number of local Researchers who work with me on a regular basis. These have been carefully selected by myself and are all highly qualified researchers. Some take on large parts of projects, others just smaller pieces of research that form part of larger projects.
  • See my Privacy Policy for reassurance that your contact details are not shared with other researchers.
  • I remain the primary contact on all projects and oversee all research conducted under the banner of Professional Family History.

General Points

  • I reserve the right to decline cases where I consider the likelihood of success to be low e.g. if the only information were to be a starting point of “his name was John Smith and he was born in Essex in about 1900”.

I was very impressed by the research carried out by Karen Cummings on the paternal side of my family. The report was informative, thorough, on time, and the certificates attached were very welcome for my research. I will not hesitate to employ her again for my research on both sides of my family.

Roslyn, Canada

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