WHO CAN I TRUST to trace my ancestry ?
WHO CAN I TRUST to trace my ancestry ?
How often I have had to answer that question over the past fifty years. It does not surprise me. The best trained genealogical researchers are those who have followed the courses of study full time or by home study at The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (www.ihgs.ac.uk) in Canterbury, gaining the required practical experience and passing the several examinations. Others by apprenticeship with masters may gain particular competence and expertise. To protect themselves and the reputation of the profession, many join the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) or the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA). They subscribe to codes of conduct which are broadly based upon that prescribed to its students by The Institute (IHGS). University degrees and qualifications to the highest standards set by IHGS do not guarantee the integrity of individuals but BritishAncestry.org can certainly advise on individual cases IN CONFIDENCE.
There is an erroneous idea that individual researchers charge less than "firms" or partnerships. Most firms, of course, have higher overheads and pay dividends and directors above the actual costs of research and staff. Some individuals are self-taught part timers who may have local knowledge but are generally untrained, though, of course, since their spouses or other resources support them, they are prepared to work for "pin-money".
Achievements Limited is a not-for-profit organisation established to support the IHGS (a Charitable Educational Trust No.313304). Achievements does not pay dividends or directors unless they are working at research for its clients. It has the advantage of the use of the extensive library of the IHGS, one of the most comprehensive research facilities in the world. Its research team comprises university graduates who have all had full training at the IHGS, most with more than 10 years practice and guided voluntarily by those with more than 50 years experience. Knowledge and competence is shared as with a surgery team and so are overheads. Research costs are shared among several clients at any one time. Any surplus made above costs goes into the research programme of the Institute that assists medical teams investigating families with propensities to inherited diseases.
So, Achievements gives best value for money and its clients appear to be very well satisfied.
Here are a few comments received over the years:-
"I returned to Bath the other day to find your excellent history of my family waiting for me. I am absolutely delighted with it and thank you so much……Please continue the good work" J.B.
"I and our large family are really delighted and impressed with the excellence of your work. The family means a lot to us and we hope that we may learn from this "exercise" and be able to follow other lines….." ….. Chadwell Heath
"Thank you for the results of your latest research which we all found interesting as well as exciting.…. to enable you to continue." I.G.B., Colchester
"Thank you so very much for the magnificent panoramic pedigree of the Persse family. It really is quite magnificent……. I am intrigued to see ……. thank you again……". B.H. Romsey
"Thank you for your letter and the beginning of my husband's family tree. We are very pleased…… looking forward to the next instalment". S.W. Feltham, Middlesex
"We are delighted with the research you have done for us. Thank you for reconsidering our case and proceeding….. We cannot be in better hands.". G.K., Ashington, Essex
"I am very pleased to have received so much diverse information ….. I have learnt a great deal….. so that you can go on." J.H., Norwich
"I am delighted with your report." Miss J.B., Hollingbourne
"….the details certainly make very interesting reading for me as you have uncovered much more than I ever heard my mother mention. I do appreciate all the work you have put into this…". G.M.R., Bury St Edmunds.
" ..... after so many false starts and misleads from so-called experts, I am delighted to know that we are on the right track at last. Thank you so much. .... to go on another stage or two." MH., London
"The scrivened family tree was forwarded to me from Honduras …… Thank you for your assistance and efforts over the past few years and I passed your company name and address on to a number of interested people ...... I shall return to you when I reach home." A.W.D., San Salvador
"Thank you …. for the exciting news of my ancestors. Yes, I would certainly like you to continue to investigate all three lines of my family….. Keep up the good work!" J.L.B., Loughborough.
"…..Firstly, I write to say thank you for all the information that you have sent me over the years. I strongly praise you and all of Achievements' team for the work and interest you have given …. go on to another ancestry line ….. again, I wish to thank you for all that you have done." M.C., Oxford
"I am pleasantly overwhelmed by the spectacular results of your research into my family origins…..". P.C.N., Mehlingen, West Germany.