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© Copyright, Judy Webster
Why I use & recommend Findmypast
Family historians often need help in record offices that they cannot visit in person. Employing someone familiar with local records (including unusual sources) is often more productive and more economical than attempting the research yourself.
I do professional research at Queensland State Archives. My speciality is working with unusual records that are often overlooked but which are superb for overcoming 'dead ends' and 'brick walls' in family history. I am also experienced in tracing living descendants in Queensland. My clients include family historians, professional genealogists, solicitors and State Trustees. You are welcome to check my credentials and obtain references.
I have a Graduate Diploma in Local and Applied History (University of New England, Armidale NSW) and I have been doing professional genealogical research since 1986. As a genealogical record agent, I have undertaken to abide by a Code of Ethics.
I provide two research/copying services:
Copying service for original records that I've indexed (search the 67,000 names).
In-depth research and/or copies of other records:
Queensland sources to which I have access include:
Before requesting research:
I aim to be both professional and friendly. I will provide full source references, even if results are negative. Your personal details, address, correspondence and research remain confidential.
Whether you live in Australia or overseas, you have a choice of payment methods.
The nature of historical records is such that it is often impossible to predict how difficult or time-consuming a task will be. Most clients prefer to work in stages. At the end of each stage I will send a detailed report with my findings, plus suggestions for further research if indicated. You may then decide whether you wish to continue. A deposit is required before work can commence (usually $120, but a smaller deposit is possible if your request is very simple).
Fees are based on costs incurred and time spent on handling the commission. This includes the time it takes to read and respond to emails; analyse information supplied; contact you for clarification if insufficient data is provided initially; plan the research; search the records; scan from microfilm to USB, or take digital photos; assess results; and write a report. Out-of-pocket expenses are extra (eg, if applicable, certificates, postage, packaging, digital data transfers, tolls and parking fees). To avoid being billed for data download fees, please check with me before sending email attachments.
My hourly rate is similar to that charged by professionals with similar experience, training and qualifications. In addition to research and reports, the rate covers non-billable expenses such as Internet access, electricity, pay-to-view Website subscriptions, ongoing education (genealogy seminars, conferences and journals), books/CDs for my home reference library, stationery, computer hardware and software, equipment repairs, hosting costs for my Website, etc.
I charge AUD$80 per hour, plus out-of-pocket expenses. I do not charge for travelling time unless I make a special trip because you request priority service.
How to request research
A carefully prepared request will save you money and increase the chances of success. If you supply insufficient detail, time will be wasted and relevant material may be missed. It is the client's responsibility to provide full particulars of what is already known so that work is not duplicated.
Your waiting time will depend on my workload and the nature of your task. The request form indicates the likely waiting time for non-urgent work. If you need results urgently for legal or other purposes, please email me to discuss your requirements (a priority fee may apply).
Other comments / advice
Other professional researchers
It is my policy to recommend only those professional researchers whose services I have personally used, and whose work I consider to be of a very high standard. They include:
Research in Victoria:
Research in New South Wales:
Research in other areas:
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This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License. I hold copyright in the contents of the site, which may be used for personal research only. If you reproduce any content in any way, you must acknowledge that it belongs to me. If you wish to use any part of this site for professional or commercial purposes, you must contact me in advance to obtain my permission.