Our free initial consultation (by phone, email or Skype) provide an opportunity to discuss the research help you require, what you already know and the budget you have in mind.  We will outline how we can help, the records we may use, and try to provide a realistic sense of the possible results.

While we can never guarantee we will find the answers you are looking for, we will only undertake work which we believe has a reasonable chance of success.

Assuming you would like to go ahead, we will suggest a research plan based on the scale and scope of the work required.  If you are looking for an overview of a family tree, we will generally suggest one of our research packages.  If you would like answers to a specific question, or to investigate a particular individual, family story or puzzle, we will usually charge by the hour.

Either way, we will confirm what has been agreed, in writing, after the initial consultation.


We can usually find the answers you are looking based on tiny kernels of evidence.  If you are unable to provide very detailed background information, do not worry!  This is what we are here for!  However, any and all information you are able to provide is helpful, especially if your surname is quite common, and will help us keep costs down.


Every project is different.  We will discuss an appropriate timescale and start date at the outset.  Please provide as much notice as possible if you are commissioning research for a specific deadline such as a birthday or anniversary gift.  As a rule of thumb, if you have commissioned one of our research packages, we will generally expect to deliver 4-6 weeks from the date of payment.  We may be able to agree a shorter deadline.

If we have agreed to work by the hour, the timescale will be based on the number of hours and the nature of the research required.  The time includes analysis and research, writing up results and producing family trees.  We will keep a time log documenting how the time has been spent and make sure you are regularly updated.

Please bear in mind international research can be more time consuming.  With you agreement, we may sometimes ask to extend the timetable to allow for responses from third parties.  The best results are not always the fastest!


Unless you have commissioned a research package, payment is calculated on the basis of an hourly rate.  This rate covers our time and access to a number of key, subscription-only genealogical resources.

Our hourly rate does not include additional disbursements such as the cost of ordering and copying certificates and other records, travel, visiting archives and so on.  It is not always necessary to incur additional costs; much depends on the nature of the commission.  In any event, we will not incur additional costs without contacting you first and explaining why we believe they are necessary.  Please bear in mind it may be difficult to obtain the answers you are looking for without doing so.

We are always happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have in this regard.  You will be invoiced for outstanding disbursements when the work has been completed.


Payment must be made in advance before work can begin.  Payment can be made by direct bank transfer (BACS) or cheque.  Payment can also be made by PayPal.  Transfer charges may apply to international payments.  Research Roots is not registered for VAT.


We fully appreciate the privilege of researching your family history.  We respect and will keep confidential the personal information to which we have access and will not divulge any information concerning a client’s family, business or personal affairs without prior consent.

We will not pass data to any 3rd party without your permission.  Neither will we publish the results of research for which clients have paid without prior consent.  We are registered data controllers under the terms of the Data Protection Act.


The copyright of all reports supplied remains with Research Roots.  Therefore the research material we deliver is for the sole use of you and your family and should not be reproduced either in hard copy or digitally.


As Associate members of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA), we adhere to its rigorous code of practice in relation to any and all research we conduct for our clients, please see here for further information.