Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully this page will answer any questions you might have about using our service. If anything is missing, please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly!


What information do I need to provide in order to use your services?

First and foremost, the starting point of any research into family history begins with you. We will ask for a variety of details about yourself in order to begin our search. This can include:

  • Date of birth, marriage, or death

  • Location of birth, marriage, or death

  • Occupation/s


However, we can be flexible with this - no matter how little information you have, we are usually able to find a starting point to begin building your family tree.

We will never ask you to send us original documentation of any kind - only photo copies.

I'm interested - but I know that a family member has already done some research into our family tree. What do I do?

First of all - for every project, we recommend that you provide us with all the relevant existing research that has been conducted. If your family member has this information - just reach out and ask them if they would be happy to share it with you.


If that is not possible - perhaps it is because your family tree has not been 'digitized' or made available properly to all members of the family. In this case - our service will save you the time and effort it would take to complete that process.


Regardless - if your research was conducted by a friend or relative rather than a professional researcher, then there is the potential that it has not been thoroughly sourced, and there's a strong chance of it containing inaccuracies. So in this case it's certainly worth having the research done again by our team.

How far back can I expect my family tree to be traced?

Before we ask for a deposit we will send you a proposal document to confirm the scope of the research. Our proposal will be informed by some preliminary analysis and research, however ultimately it's not possible to know how far we can get before the work has been conducted.


In addition, it's worth bearing in mind some of the factors that can have a significant impact:


  1. First and foremost is the commonality of your surname. If your name is John Smith, then it's going to take a lot longer to trace your ancestry than if you have a less popular name.

  2. One big factor is the location of your ancestors. At Family History Tracers, we specialize in genealogy within the United Kingdom and Ireland. If your ancestors are outside of these locations, we will still do what we can to help and we can often refer you to someone who is able to assist.

How long does it usually take?

We make an effort to complete every research commission within a 3 week period. However, if necessary we can work much more quickly than that - sometimes with a 48-hour turnaround! We will provide an estimated delivery date within the proposal before we begin research.  If you have a specific timeline requirement please be sure to mention it when you reach out.

What is your payment process?

Once our proposal has been accepted and the scope of work agreed upon, we will ask you for a deposit amounting to 50% of the total quoted sum. Once work has been completed and received by the customer, we ask that they settle the remaining 50%, along with any additional costs that have been agreed upon.

Are there any potential additional costs?

In some cases where the research subject has a very common surname, it may be necessary to purchase a certificate relating to the birth, marriage, or death of a specific individual.


We will inform you at the earliest possible time where this is necessary and confirm that you are happy for us to add the additional cost to the total amount owed. If this is not possible we can deduct this amount from the number of hours owed.


Outside of this, the only extra costs would be in the form of additional products or services.

How is my data processed?

We use your contact details to communicate with you about our services unless you request otherwise. You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time by clicking the 'Unsubscribe' link at the bottom of any marketing email you receive from us.

We will never share your details with a third party unless we have your consent. Take a look at our full privacy policy by clicking here.

How long do you keep my information?

We keep a digital copy of all files in perpetuity. If something ever happens to your copy of the files, no problem - just reach out to us and we'll be happy to help.

We reserve the right to share the 'story' of your family history without your consent, as long as it is possible to do so without using details that can be identified with you. In the future, we may also use surnames in our possession to offer a geolocation service without any sensitive details being shared.

What happens if the work is completed before the purchased hours have been exhausted?

We will be happy to offer a refund on a pro-rata basis for any unused hours.

For example, if a customer purchases our Evergreen package for 10 hours, our researcher might realise after 5 hours that we are unable to complete any more research within the agreed upon scope. In this situation we would ask the customer if there is another line of research that they would like to pursue. If there is not, then we will be happy to provide them with a refund for 50% of the total cost.

What happens if I'm not happy with the service provided?

We will always do everything we can to ensure our customers left fully satisfied. If you have any kind of issue, please reach out to us directly at and we'll be happy to help.