Need help finding your ancestors? I would love to help, but there are some things I need to know first.
Before any request for research can be accommodated it is important that you provide me with background information so that I can do a preliminary search for what is available and where to find it. To streamline this process here is a checklist that will prevent delays and multiple emails backwards and forwards.
- I need Names - all known names, but at the very least, the surname of the person you are looking for. I get numerous emails that simply say: “I am looking for details of my grandparents”. This requires another round of emails before I get any information I can use in the search for possible leads.
- What do you want to know? - e.g. I want to know who Joe Smith married and where or how Joe Smith came to the Cape, or where he is buried etc.
- I need Context – I need a date range (if known) and I need location (if known) and anything else such as occupation, age, siblings, employer etc. ANYTHING that you might know about the person. No detail is insignificant.
- I need documentation – if you have any paperwork: documents, birth records, letters etc. be prepared to email me copies. Scrutiny of the original documents can reveal clues. Please DO NOT email them in your first email or it might end up in the Spam folder.
- Prior Research – I need to know if you have had research conducted before. If you have, please tell me what the research covered and provide a summary of the results. This will prevent duplication.
- Also see – the FAQ and Beginners’ Guide.
- Hiring a Researcher – Where possible I will point you in the right direction so that you can continue researching on your own. However, where the research is more complicated or you cannot access records, you will have to engage the services of a researcher, I would be happy to recommend reliable, professional researchers. Please email me.