We started our business as family historians, and we still offer research services to those who can't undertake their own research for any reason.
We undertake work across the world using a network of recognised researchers and records agents, but we specialise in:
South Australian families
Indigenous Australian families
We also regularly research English, Scottish and Irish families, both in Australia and in the British Isles.
As well as family history, we also accept projects relating to house history, local history, and organisation history.
Family history research can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but sometimes you will need a little extra help. You might need records that you can't access from where you live, or you might not be familiar with the sort of records that exist to prove your thesis that your great-great-grandfather was a cattle rustler with Billy the Kid.
Or maybe you just don't have the time to get the research completed in time for a special event.
Whether you just want us to check your research or break a brick wall, or you are looking for a full research service, Roots and Branches can assist.
We suggest that you read our blog post on using a professional researcher here. This will give you some background about when and why to use a professional.
Roots and Branches charge AU$75.00 per hour (GST free) for all non itemised services. Itemised services include things such as record lookups and retrievals (see below), but no experienced family historian can give an exact cost of meeting a research goal. Our aim is to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard. As part of the process we will review and assess your current research (At least a hour and up to a quarter of of the time of a project depending on what has been done and what the research goal is), and we will always supply a summary report at the end of the project (about a third of the time allocated to the project).
A project that has a broad focus, either tracing a line back or tracing descendants forward, will generally cost about AU$1000 for a basic construction of a family tree with relevant sources, but will be more depending on where the family came from and what you want from the research. Research projects with a budget less than $500 tend to be disappointing as they can only skim over information, however this amount is often appropriate for very specific research questions, research reviews, or 'brickwall' reviews.
We offer reductions in the hourly rate for payment in advance and for full payment.
At the conclusion of the research you will receive:
- A summary report with a brief analysis of the findings, and recommendations for future searches
- A pedigree chart for the focus person
- Digital copies of all documents retrieved
- A GEDCOM or FTM file with all of the information gathered.
It is also possible to get a fuller report detailing the search strategy, all searches undertaken (both successful and unsuccessful), and a full analysis of the findings, as well as transcriptions and translations of documents in foreign languages or older writing scripts.
When you decide that you need a professional research to undertake research, having read our advice above in "Things to Consider", and have decided that Roots and Branches is the service for you, you should drop us a line or give us a call to discuss the project. Our researchers can then get an idea of the scope of the project and start to think about the amount of time that might be needed to meet your goals. We will give an indication of where we will look and what we may find that will help meet your research goals.
You then decide your budget, sign the Research Agreement, and supply the materials that you already hold, and we start work. Depending on the size of the project, we will either contact you at the end, or regularly during the work. Whichever, you should hear from us no less than once a fortnight, or as notified by us (in case we are held up waiting for a document to be delivered).
Once we have finished the work, we send you the report and the invoice for the work (14 day payment terms). Once you have read the report, feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the findings or for clarification.
We regularly (at least fortnightly) visit the following repositories in the Adelaide Metro area and can undertake document retrieval or lookups as part of our visit:
- Lutheran Archives (parish registers, newspapers, church administrative files, Lutheran school documents etc)
- State Library (historic photos and maps, family archival collections, Anglican Church records, Uniting Church records, business and institutional records)
- State Records (State government records, passenger lists, employee registers, hospital records, prison records, deceased estate files)
- Genealogy SA (microfiche copies of BDM District Registers (transcripts only), Advertiser Family Notices)
- City of Adelaide Archives (Citizen rolls, Rate Assessment books, council papers)
- National Archives, Adelaide Office (migration, naturalisation, military, ASIO papers etc)
- Land Services General Registry and Old Systems Office (Deed System land transactions)
- Land Titles Office (1858 Act Certificates of Title)
- Probate Office (Grants of Probate)
- Lookup: $5 per item (Search of indexes to find if item exists - as many of these indexes are online, you can reduce costs by simply giving us the reference)
- Retrieval: $10 per item including digital image (where permissible) plus $5 for a transcript (if requested or if no photography allowed)
- If more than 5 items in one repository, hourly charge of $50.00 per hour (this is much more cost effective as we can transcribe 4-5 BDM records an hour, effectively $10-$12.50 per item compared to $15)
We can also visit other repositories in South Australia, or can visit those listed above urgently (even sometimes the same day!) but there are extra costs associated with access and time.
When you hire us to undertake research work (rather than just a record look up), we will enter into a written contract with you. This is one of the requirements of the Association of Professional Genealogists Code of Ethics, and is also a protection for both you, the consumer, and us, the researcher.
You can access a copy of our full Research Terms and Conditions here.