English Research on a Shoestring

Successful genealogical research can be expensive, because it requires meticulous attention to detail; the searching of a wide variety of records, some poorly written or damaged over the years and most not indexed; a certain degree of good fortune or luck, such as the ancestor having an uncommon name or having moved only short distances or left a good paper trail in surviving records; and the ability to record and recall all this information so it can be analyzed to provide the evidence to prove a pedigree and to overcome the inevitable discrepancies and surfeit of right-named persons living in the correct localities.  Here is where experience can make all the difference.

A researcher to be effective needs as much time as possible to perform the research; the money you submit should go to that research, not overhead.  Money spent on expensive offices, advertising, and salaries for presidents, research supervisors, receptionists, typists, bookkeepers, custodians, landlords, and investors does little to extend your pedigree.  

I reside a 5-minute walk from the Family History Library.  The study where I plan your research and finish your report is a cozy second-story tax-deductible room in my residence.  

There I have a core set of reference books on my study shelves, the entire Internet at my fingertips, and a huge collection of background materials on the records of England which I have gathered over 40 years, much of it scanned and available on my laptop.  These digitized or scanned files contain the information that once took three, 7-foot bookcases of binders/books to contain. 

Whether I’m studying your pedigree in my study, working at the Mormons’ Family History Library, or researching in England at a county record office, the Society of Genealogists’ library, the National Archives, a local history library, on the ground in an ancestral village or churchyard (camera in hand, of course), or on the train between record offices, I have the information I need to plan and evaluate your research.

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