Past to Present Genealogy: Providing a high-quality family history research service for every client, with honesty, integrity and professionalism at the heart of each piece of work.
I am a professional family history researcher based in West Yorkshire. My fascination for history is lifelong. After leaving school I studied Modern History at Liverpool University, graduating with a BA (Hons). I have been researching my own family history since 2004.
Besides hands-on research, I have undertaken formal learning qualifications and keep up-to-date through continuing professional development to ensure I provide a quality research service.
In 2016 I completed the Family History Skills and Strategies (Intermediate) Certificate Course, jointly awarded Pharos Tutors and the Society of Genealogists, passing with a Distinction. With an average of 90% I received the highest overall mark of students graduating that year. In 2018 I completed their two-year Family History Skills and Strategies (Advanced) Distance Learning Course, once more achieving a Distinction and finishing with the highest marks for those graduating that year.
In January 2017 I ended my civil service career to concentrate full-time on research for others, previously having done it on a part-time basis. In September 2017 I became an AGRA Associate (Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives).
My AGRA profile can be found here.
I specialise in the following areas of work:
- The old West Riding and wider Yorkshire family and local history research. This ranges from individual document look-ups for those who live too far away, to brick wall problem-solving, advice and next steps right through to researching full family trees and placing ancestors in their local and historical context. In addition to desk-based research, my work includes visits to archives in the wider Yorkshire area, and local history libraries in West Yorkshire. I am able to cover, for example, the following repositories (though do ask if the one you are interested in is not included in this list):
⇒ West Yorkshire Archives Services (all five sites);
⇒ Heritage Quay – University of Huddersfield Archives;
⇒ Leeds University Library Special Collections;
⇒ Bradford Local Studies Library;
⇒ Huddersfield Local Studies Library;
⇒ Leeds Local and Family History Library;
⇒ Libraries within the Kirklees and Leeds Council areas;
⇒ South Yorkshire Archives, including Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham;
⇒ Borthwick Institute;
⇒ Explore York Libraries and Archives;
⇒ North Yorkshire County Record Office;
⇒ The British Library, Boston Spa;
⇒ Regimental Museums within the Yorkshire area;
- Northern Union/Rugby League ancestors;
- First World War research;
- Irish immigration to the West Riding;
- Photographs of places within the West Yorkshire area associated with your family history – for example cemetery headstones, schools, houses and workplaces;
- Review of work already conducted by clients, with gaps identified and next steps suggested;
- 1:1 mentoring for those embarking on their family history journey who wish to do their own research, but require guidance to set them off on the right direction;
- Archives research and look-ups in West and South Yorkshire for out-of-area professional researchers.
- Free initial 30-minute consultation;
- An hourly research rate, applying to research, report-writing and mentoring services: £25 per hour;
- For commissions above four hours I generally do not charge for my travel time to and from archives and repositories within West Yorkshire, unless repeat visits are required because of changes to the agreed commission. Outside this area I reserve the right to charge for travel time, but I will confirm in advance;
- Travel costs to repositories such as Record Offices, archives, local history libraries etc., as well as cemeteries and wider associated family locations, other than those in Batley, are charged at the current HMRC mileage rate (45p per mile). Parking fees, where applicable, will be charged at cost. If I travel by public transport this will be at cost;
- Expenses, such as General Register Office certificates, probate documents etc., are charged at cost price. They must be paid for in advance of ordering;
- Where repositories charge fees for visits, photographic passes, or photocopying services etc., these are charged at cost price. It is often not possible to judge in advance of the visit whether photographs and photocopies will be needed. The understanding is that I have the authority to purchase them if I do visit these locations and believe they are necessary. I will inform you in advance of any such visits to obtain consent. If you would prefer I did not go ahead with purchasing these materials it is incumbent on you to let me know at this stage;
- Reports, and other ancillary documents, are sent via email. If you require hard copies these will be charged at cost, including postage;
- Stationary, such as printed reports, family tree charts etc., are charged at cost;
- Quotations of £100 or below are to be paid in full before research commences. Above £100, a 50% deposit is required. I reserve the right not to undertake work without these advance payments;
- Payments are to be made in pounds sterling via cheque (UK customers only, and cleared before work commences), bank transfer (including any associated fees) or PayPal;
- Final payment must be received before the report is sent.
At all cost-incurring stages I will consult with you before undertaking work. Although please note the special provisions around photocopies and photographic passes when visiting repositories. Neither will I exceed the number of hours commissioned without agreement. This means you are in control of the costs and there will be no unwelcome payment surprises.
At the end of my research I will produce a full, clear and concise report. This will identify search parameters, outline documents examined (with full source citations), provide an explanation of these sources and documents where necessary, and include a summary of research outcomes and next steps where applicable. This will be issued on receipt of final payment.
Please be aware that family history research is not guaranteed to find that illusive ancestor. But in these cases, the research I have undertaken will rule out documents and lines of enquiry which in itself can be a positive.
Full Terms and Conditions
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Congratulations on an excellent piece of research. It all fits perfectly. I will no doubt read and re read your research several times before it all sinks in. There is a lot of other family information in there. I am sure I will come back to you to do more research as all my brick walls are in Yorkshire. Christine, UK
Thank you so much for your work. We were really impressed with the amount of research you did in such a short time…..If you are happy to continue on research I would like that. Martin, Australia
I cannot believe my luck that I met Jane of Past to Present Genealogy. My sisters in law and I had been aimlessly trying for years to even think about how to start tracing my mother in law’s best friend ……Jane managed to trace the family and indeed my mother in law’s friend. They are both eighty eight now so we feel very lucky that that they are both still in good health and have time to pick up their friendship where they left off 50 years ago. They’ve already written to each other and now they’ve spoken to each other and are arranging to meet! We could not have believed all this would be possible and indeed it wouldn’t have been without Jane and Past to Present Genealogy. I would strongly recommend Jane to everyone and to anyone who has been wanting to get in touch with someone for themselves or someone they know and love get in contact now as it really can be a reality. She’s granted my mother in law a miracle and we are so very grateful and she is really so lovely to work with. THANK YOU JANE. Helen, UK
Thank you so much. I cannot believe the amount of information you have discovered…. I have just skimmed through the report and am thrilled. I am sure X will be delighted to read it all. D, UK
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the fascinating and very detailed research you did into my grandfather’s family. You have answered almost all the questions I had and you have managed to break through all the brick walls that I had encountered. Great value for money! Pam
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I believe every family has a story to tell. Let me help you discover your family history story.