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Frequently asked questions

A Devon churchyard © Devon Family History Research

Find your English ancestors


44/(0) 1548 531169


A professional genealogical service helping you solve your family tree problems. Devon specialists.




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What services do you offer?


We offer the following services:

Where should I start?


Remember that we offer a free 30 minute initial phone consultation. This is your opportunity to find out more about our services and how we can help you, free of charge.  So please think about exactly what you're trying to find out about your family history,  as well as what you already know, before you call us.


If you're interested in booking us to carry out some research work for you, please download our free PDF family tree starter pack, where you can tell us what you already know about your family history and what you would like to find out.


This includes a blank family tree chart, and a form with plenty of space for names and dates etc.  You can also list any GRO certificates etc that you may have, and tell us a bit about your research aims. Please complete this as best you can, and email it back to us when you're ready.  This information will help us to avoid any unnecessary duplication, and provide us with a starting point, before we examine other sources.


If you would like us to carry out a preliminary assessment of your needs and provide you with a research plan for future work, see our preliminary research plan - where we will assess what we may be able to do for you. This is our most popular starting option for clients with more complex enquiries.


If you would like to book this service, is important that you think about what you would like to find out first.



Which service should I book?


We offer fixed price research (preliminary research plan and family tree packages) or hourly research - which is charged by the hour plus expenses.  


When you're trying to decide which service to book, think about your project aims - do you know exactly what you're tring to find out, or aren't you sure until you know more about your family history?  


It's often fine to stick to hourly research if you know exactly what you're looking for and your enquiry is very straightforward. However, if your enquiry is slightly more complex, it's usually best to start by selecting our preliminary research plan.


If you want to know more about your family history as a whole, it would probably be best to choose one of our family tree packages.


It may be worth thinking about how much you want to spend in order to achieve your aims. We are happy to work this way, but please give us an indication of your minimum and maximum budgets. For example, select a price range from the following:  £250 to £500, £500 to £750, £750 to £1,000, £1,000 to £1,250 etc. We will then be able to tell you what we think we can do for you.


Give us a call to find out what's best for you. We're always happy to help.


If you're interested in location photography, please email us with as much information as you can about the location and the project aims.  Location photography is charged on an hourly basis, plus expenses.


I don't think many of my ancestors came from Devon, so can you still help me?


Yes, we probably can still help!  


Although we specialise in Devon ancestry, and only visit archives and locations within the county of Devon, there is now so much information available online, that we can usually complete most family history research to at least as far back as 1837 in England, without even leaving our office.  


It may also be possible to go further back than 1837 - as so much information has now been digitised and is available on the internet.  


If we locate anything important outside Devon which isn't yet online, we'll let you know and suggest a plan of action; and as always, if we foresee a problem, we'll let you know.



What 'genealogy-type' services don't you offer? 


We don't trace living people

We don't usually travel outside Devon to carry out work  

We don't print charts which are larger than A4 size ourselves (though we can arrange this for an extra fee)

We don't yet offer a family history book service, though this is something we may offer in the near future


Can you match prices?


If we were to match others' prices, we would have to cut corners.  As we aim to use our expertise to obtain the best possible results for our clients; we don't compromise on quality.  We don't match prices.


Can I see your terms and conditions?


Please click here to see our terms and conditions. All commissions are subject to our terms and conditions. By instructing us to undertake work, clients are deemed to have accepted our terms and conditions in full.


All contracts are agreed in writing before the work starts.


Can I see your privacy policy?  And how about cookies?


Please click here to see our privacy policy - this also covers our use of cookies.

Do you charge VAT?


We do not charge VAT.


What are your payment terms?


Please see our terms and conditions for details of our payment terms.  


What are your completion times?


All types of project - research or photographic - are usually completed within two to twelve weeks, depending on the size and the nature of the project.


When we acknowledge your order, we will give you a more accurate estimated completion time.


We try to keep you informed of progress, but please bear in mind that we often have to rely on the receipt of information from other sources, and this can present unavoidable delays.


When would you start the work?


Please note that due to consumer regulations (see our terms and conditions) we would not start our work for you until at least 14 days after the day we acknowledge your order, unless you expressly ask us to start earlier.  


This is because consumers have a 14 day cancellation period for distance contracts which are negotiated and agreed over the internet/the phone/by post. Please see our terms and conditions for further information.


Please note that we may have to place you on a waiting list during particularly busy periods.


What will your work involve?


We start by establishing your goal - to work out the best sources for you.  We then research and analyse. We obtain any documents/certificates, then assemble everything together and report back to you. If we're producing a chart for you, we enter the information and print final copies.  If we're taking photos for you, we locate the correct location, and take our time to compose the best shots.


Because we aim to use our expertise to produce the best results, we take a meticulous, thorough, approach to our work.  This means that we may not be as fast as some of our competitors, as we don't believe in cutting corners.  We don't compromise on quality.


The quality of our work is paramount.  Everything is checked and double-checked, so that we produce work of the highest standard.


How do I order?


When you're ready to order, please see our order page.  You should contact us to request an order form.  


We will send you an order form which you must complete and return to us.  You must then pay us the agreed deposit/payment in full (depending on the service selected).


When we have received both your completed order form and your payment, we will formally acknowledge your order.  


How do I pay?


Once you've returned your order form, please go to our pay page to make your online payment via PayPal.


Please note that if you are in the UK, you should add 4% to each PayPal payment to cover our PayPal fees. If you are in Australia/New Zealand, you should add 6% to each PayPal payment to cover our PayPal fees, and if you are in the USA/Canada you should add 5% to each PayPal payment to cover our PayPal fees.


If you'd rather pay a different way, or you are outside the UK and don't have a PayPal account, please see our terms and conditions for other ways to pay.


When would my contract start with you?


Once we have received your completed order form, and  your deposit/payment in full (depending on the service selected) we will formally acknowledge your order in writing.  This is the point at which your contract starts with us


What are my cancellation rights?


We want you to be happy with your contract, but should you wish to cancel your contract with us, you have a 14 day cancellation period.  Please see our terms and conditions under the heading 'Your right to cancel'.


Do you have a complaints procedure?


Yes, we do have a complaints procedure.  Please see our terms and conditions under the heading 'Complaints procedure'.



Please contact us if you have any other questions.


TEL:  44/(0) 1548 531169

© Copyright Devon Family History Research 2024

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