Family history research
I provide a professional research service into family, house and local history using sources such as:
- Parish Registers, Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes, Wills and Administrations, Poor Law Records.
- Manorial Records, Newspapers, Court Records, Census Returns and old Maps
I can also flesh out the lives led by your ancestors, using my knowledge and experience of local and social history to provide you with the context and conditions in which they lived. To aid you in your research I can offer
- Guided tours
- Personal assistance from a qualified tutor in family and house history research
- House histories
- Photographs of buildings, places and documents
- The history of the places in which your ancestors were born, lived, loved, worked and died
- Written family biographies
- Gift vouchers and gift boxes
I can provide answers to questions such as:
- What was it like to be a tenant farmer or criminal?
- Was one of your ancestors transported?
- What happened if they had an illegitimate child?
- Who cared for them if they were unemployed or too ill to work?
- How did your ancestors promote their trade and occupations; do any business records survive?
- How and why did people move around the country?
- What did they eat, drink and wear?
- Are those family myths and stories true, and where did they come from?
- How did they carry out their daily tasks – washing, cooking, collecting water and heating their homes?
- What was life in the workhouse like for your family?
- What did your ancestors leave in their will?
- Was there a war going on; an agricultural depression or new work opportunities?
I charge £30 Sterling per hour for research. Costs of other services are detailed throughout this site, including on the costs page. Please contact me for more details.
You can commission research via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account you can still pay via credit or debit card.
+44 (0)1603 610619
Past Search is based in Norwich, United Kingdom.
Comments from some of my clients
“Gill Blanchard has been conducting family research on my Norfolk roots for several years. She offers a highly professional service extracting lots of data from sources others would probably fail to unearth. Her concise and erudite précis of ancient convoluted wills have proven a boon and enabled me to trace ancestors back to the 15th century. My only regret is that I have not found others of Gill’s equal for all parts of my tree. I would thoroughly recommend her to the serious student of genealogy.”
Dave Spencer, Cheshire
“Gill is a meticulous researcher with considerable experience in local and family history sources. I always feel in control of the research process, but am equally able to rely on Gill to help guide the strategy. It’s a great working partnership. While distance makes it impossible for me to do this research myself it’s the next best thing to being in the Norfolk archives.”
Professor Ian Anderson, Melbourne, Australia
“I’d like to thank you for the work that you have undertaken for me recently in regards to tracing my husband’s Norfolk family. I am still in the process of looking at all the information that you have provided me with. I have now purchased certificates that confirm some of the family members that you came up with. I have also located Herbert Henrys birth certificate which eluded me for some time. I would certainly recommend that anyone researching their Norfolk ancestors should contact you for assistance. I will certainly be contacting you in the near future with regards to seeing if you can find further people.”
Pat Smith, Middlesex
“Thank you for the excellent research you have completed on my family history on my behalf. Your meticulous and determined approach has uncovered records that I could never find, or even hope to find. I sincerely appreciate your efforts and the many avenues your research has provided me to continue with my family’s history.”
Annmaree Robertson, Victoria, Australia