About Gill Blanchard and Past Search
I am a full time historian and author with an academic background in History, Sociology and Politics at degree and postgraduate degree level. I also have a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Post Compulsory Education), which qualifies me to teach adults. I am a member of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA).
I have writen three books, Tracing Your House History, Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors and Writing Your Family History,all published by Pen and Sword. I have several publications forthcoming including a historical biography and the biography of a local scandal.
I have been conducting Family, House and Local History research on a full time professional basis since 1992, setting up my own research company in 1997.
I began my research career by working at the Norfolk Record Office for six years. During this time I conducted research on a daily basis on behalf of those who could not visit in person and assisted visitors with their own research projects.
Whilst working at the record office I also transcribed and indexed numerous documents dating from the 16th century onwards including poor law settlement examinations, probate records, coroner’s inquests and quarter session court papers.
As well as a wide range of private clients across the world, I have assisted several authors and academic researchers with their background research. In addition to this, I have been featured in the local press, national family history magazines and appeared on BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Radio Suffolk and Future Radio as an expert and educator in the field.
I have had articles published in a number of magazines and journals, including Ancestors and Family History Monthly, Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, Your Family History and Your Family Tree. I have been the featured in Eastern Daily Press, Evening News and Norfolk Magazine.
I am also on the AGRA experts lists in Your Family History magazine and Who Do You Think You Are magazine. I was on the editorial board of Ancestors magazine during its publication.
Organisations and businesses which have used my research services include: Mail on Sunday. Eastern Daily Press, local radio, TV producers, local architects, Caistor Hall Hotel, English Heritage, Zetica Ltd., J.D. Weatherspoons and the Department of Demography, University of California, Berkley. I have provided research to the New England Historic and Genealogical Society (United States) and Customised Heritage Tours (Australia).
As a qualified teacher of adults I have designed and developed courses and workshops on family, house and local history topics at all levels from introductory to postgraduate. These have been on behalf of organisations such as the University of East Anglia, Norfolk Family History Society, Adult Education, the Library Service and the Society of Genealogists. I was a tutor for Pharos Tutors for 10 years, helping playing a key role in establishing their certificate programme.
Many of my courses have been attended by librarians, record office staff and people aiming to set up as professional researchers.
As part of my own professional development I have also gained a Certificate in Architectural Theory and Practice and frequently attend conferences, seminars and workshops.
I frequently give talks, presentations and workshops on different aspects of family and local history. These have included Who Do You Think You Are Live at Olympia, Family History Societies, Norfolk Library Service, local history groups and museums and various social clubs and business organisations across the country.
In the past I have taught adults on Access, A Level, GCSE and NVQ courses in history and humanities related subjects through the Adult Education and HM Prison Services. Whilst working for the latter I received Home Office security clearance.
Comments from some of my clients
Gill has conducted a considerable amount of Norfolk Family History Research for me. All her findings have been clearly explained and presented. She has always suggested which other avenues are appropriate, to try and find relevant information. Advice has also been willingly given on Research in other areas of the country. Look forward to our next consignment of Research!
Lesley Fairman, West Sussex
I have used the services of Gill for many years now and have always found her to be thorough in everything I have requested research on, finding out so much for me and guiding me onto other lines of searching etc. I have recommended Gill to so many people who have all been very satisfied with their results. Keep up the good work Gill.
Jean Hinton, Surrey