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Past Search

Suite 14
Meadow View House
191 Queens Road

+44 (0)1603 610619

I charge £28 Sterling per hour for research. Costs of other services are detailed throughout this site. Please click here to contact me for more details.


PaypalI now produce an e-mail Newsletter. It goes out every couple of months and contains details of forthcoming events, recommended books and websites, tips and a "this month in history section". If you would like to receive a copy please email me at:

Site created by:
Alex Orton. Ian Buckingham and Gill Blanchard


Past Search

Family History, House History and Local History
Research in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and across the British Isles

Gill Blanchard

Gill Blanchard
Historian, Researcher, Tutor and Author.


Speaking at WDYTYA Live 2015


Green bullet Genealogy Green bullet Family History Green bullet
House History Green bullet Local History Green bullet

I have a first degree in History and Sociology and a Masters degree in History and Politics and have gained a certificate in 'Architectural History Theory and Practice' from the University of East Anglia. I have been conducting family, house and local history research since 1992, beginning my research career at the Norfolk Record Office where I worked as a researcher and with the public for nearly six years. I started my research company, Past Search, in 1997 and gained my Post Graduate Certificate in Post Compulsory Education in 1998.

Since then I have worked as a researcher across East Anglia, combining this with teaching classes in family and local history. I provide research services to private individuals, authors, academics and commercial companies as well as giving talks and tutorials to a wide variety of organisations across the country. I also write articles for magazines and am a published author.

I welcome business from across the globe. I regularly provide research for individuals and organisations from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and across the European Union. Details on commissioning research, from within and outside the United Kingdom, can be found here. Payment and terms are covered here.

I have taught a Post Graduate Family History module at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.  I also offer a regular programme of courses through the Norfolk Family History Society at their centre in Norwich.

I specialise in research in the East of England, particularly Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, but I'm happy to consider commissions anywhere in the country. I provide house history research in addition to family history and local history services.

In September 2014 I appeared on the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? I helped television food critic and author Mary Berry to research her family's Norfolk connections.


Comments from some of my clients

I’m writing to thank you very much for being my partner and expert guide, over the last year, in the adventure searching for my Norfolk past. Living so far away, I really could not have made such incredible progress without your thoroughly professional guidance and support. Apart from the substantial research you have undertaken on my behalf, I am really grateful also for all the informative insights and advice you have been prepared so willingly to offer. I look forward to reaping further the considerable benefit of your expertise during the coming year as together we continue to develop this man’s story.

Professor Michael Thurlow, Durban, South Africa

Past Search has been a great help, unearthing wills, land holdings, and other records from my family's past that I would not have been able to find for myself and with a service that's friendly and accessible.

Stephen Carr, Edinburgh

Gill has been carrying out research for me for nearly 8 years and I am extremely pleased with the results. She is very thorough in her approach and has given me good advice regarding other avenues to progress. I am particularly impressed by the personal service I have received - Gill has found records for some of my ancestors in parishes I'd never even have thought of to check by noticing my "names" whilst undertaking other work.

Sue Adcock, Hampshire

Gill Blanchard has done many hours of research for me. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the service which I have received. The research is thorough and expert; the reports are well-organised and professional. I unhesitatingly recommend Gill and Past Search.

Thom Fowler, Ontario, Canada

Gill has provided a research service for my Norfolk and Suffolk family history studies for the past four years. She has always provided a courteous, friendly and thoroughly professional service, which I recommend highly for anyone wishing to look into their East Anglian family history.

Dylan Goaten, Renfrew