my fees and other information

My fees vary depending on the project and take into account the research I undertake - both online and in person, drawing up the family tree, writing the report of my findings, and time spent communicating with my clients.

Costs for certificates from the General Registry Office (GRO) are on top of my fees. At present these cost £11, and £7 for a PDF copy of birth and death information. Wills and other documents may also need to be purchased. These costs vary with the case and I always ask the client before ordering.

The only other extra costs involve charges from archives, libraries and so on for photocopies, photography permits, and digital images, and then my travel time if applicable. I do not charge for travel time or expenses to any of the London archives.

The time from commissioning to completion is typically three months or more, depending on the scale of the project. Due to the impossibility of gauging how long a project will take I do not work to deadlines.

I will discuss all charges and potential amount of hours needed for your requirements before I do any work. Any cost limit a client sets will be strictly adhered to, the work can be terminated at any time -  and you will only be charged for the work already undertaken.

Before commencing a project I undertake a brief, free scoping study in order to get an idea of whether a project is possible. I then report back to the prospective client by email and if they are happy for me to proceed the number of hours work is agreed upon. In order to prevent a client having to pay for duplicate research I request that the client supply me with details and results of any previous research undertaken, along with copies of any certificates already obtained.

I can provide vouchers for special occasions for which I request full payment before issuing. However it is important to note that - as with all genealogy research - these vouchers do not guarantee any results and, as explained above, the research cannot be completed to a deadline. The initial scoping study will need to take place before the voucher is issued, so the request for the voucher will need to be submitted to me at least four weeks before the event. If, after the initial scoping study, I feel that the research will not be possible for me to carry out (due to locations, lack of records, etc) I will not issue the voucher but will endeavour to suggest alternative routes.

The completed research which is supplied to the client consists of a PDF computer drawn 'drop-line' pedigree tree and a comprehensive report of my findings (also supplied in PDF) which (where possible) includes a history of your surname and recommendations for further research. The report also contains all sources of information and details of any negative searches. The reports and trees can then be printed out by the client in the size, paper type and binding that they require. If you are in the UK I can also arrange the printing and binding, and post the completed work to you myself. This service would need to be requested by the client in advance and the costs of the printing, binding, postage, and my time, would need to be considered.

Many records are available online but once research has reached the early nineteenth century the trail often dries up and it becomes necessary to visit a records office.

It is important to appreciate that the information available in the early 1800's and after 1920 may be more difficult to obtain due to the following reasons: 

  • Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced on the 1st July 1837 - for events occurring before this date it is necessary to consult parish registers for details of baptisms, marriages and burials.

  • The first census to contain usable information was taken in 1841 and at ten year intervals after that - however the 1931 census was destroyed during WWII, and no census was taken in 1941.

  • The 1939 England and Wales Register is an important resource although it omits the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

  • Each census normally becomes available to the public one hundred years after it was taken. Therefore the 1921 census is not yet in the public domain.

I can only undertake research where records exist and are available.  I cannot guarantee that these records will be accurate or legible.

I regret that I do not trace living relatives, nor do I obtain birth certificates for those still living without their written consent.

I cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in the information supplied by the client.

In the event of an unsuccessful search I still charge for the time spent.

Although the research can be cancelled at any time any work already undertaken must be paid for in full.

Research data is held in confidence and will only be provided to the client commissioning the research unless written permission is given to pass information to another person.

Research beyond that agreed will not be undertaken without discussion and permission from the client.

The research report and copies of documents obtained are for personal use only and must not be reproduced in any way for commercial purposes. Any reports and charts produced by Alex Innes Genealogy are the property of J A Innes.

I accept payments by cheque (UK clients only) or bank transfer. Where clients choose to pay by bank transfer ALL fees are to be paid by the client.

For commissions of £100 or lower full payment is required in advance. For commissions over £100 I require 50% down payment when the order is made. I require the 50% balance on completion before the work is sent to the client.

If the initial payment required is not received by the agreed date any time estimate for research provided at the time of enquiry may change.



  • I maintain contact with clients by email, telephone and post.

  • I will obtain personal information provided by you for the following purposes:

    • Family history research

    • Communication

    • Payment processing

  • Information will be held on a computer secured with a password and in paper form.

  • This information will be held for as long as necessary to complete your research. It will be deleted on request by you or after a period of 5 years whichever is less.

  • Data provided by you or generated during my research will not be passed on to any third party with the sole exception of the printers who will be passed the electronic files if you have requested paper copies.

  • This website contains links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave this site, you should note that I do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, I cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites. Such sites are not governed by this privacy statement but by the privacy statements applicable to the websites in question.

  • Website Logs
    Like most standard website servers this website server uses log files. This includes website visitors internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks to analyse trends, administer the site, track user's movement, and gather broad demographic information. IP addresses, etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.



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(Banner image at head of page: an excerpt from the Dering Roll - the oldest English roll of arms surviving in its original form. British Library. Provenance: Sir Edward Dering (1598-1644), Lt. of Dover Castle. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)