Record searchers

We produce a list of record searchers who will undertake paid research.  

This list helps people who want to consult our records but cannot visit the Norfolk Record Office (NRO) in person and the record searchers by publicising their services.

If you are employing a record searcher for the first time, write to two or three of them.

Ask how much they charge and what degree of experience they have in the type of research you want to commission.

Please send a stamped addressed envelope: all the record searchers in this list have agreed to reply to inquirers who do this.

Inclusion in the record searchers’ list does not imply a guarantee of competence nor constitute a recommendation by the NRO.

However, we feel that clients are entitled to certain standards of service.

We strongly suggest that record searchers should follow best practice guidelines: these are listed at the end of this guide.

Record searchers

Gill Blanchard

AGRA member, BA History/Sociology, MA History/Politics, Post Grad Cert Ed (PCE), Cert Architecture in Theory and Practice

Suite 14
Meadow View House
191 Queens Road
Norwich
NR1 3PP

Tel: 01603 610619

Mobile: 07881 594639

Email: gblanchard@pastsearch.co.uk

Website: www.pastsearch.co.uk

Services: Family, house and local history across East Anglia. Research, transcriptions, digital photography, family tree compilation and written histories. Family history courses locally and online.

Record offices, libraries and other institutions used (see below for list of abbreviations): NRO, NHC, NFHC, NFHS, COL, CRO, CUL, CWA, GLA, GYL, KLL, LMA, PPR, SOG, SRO, TNA, UEA, WFM. 

Diana Spelman Research Service

AGRA member, BA English History

74 Park Lane
Norwich
NR2 3EF

Tel: 01603 664186

Email: dianaspelman@waitrose.com

Services: Family, house and local history, including manorial searches, Latin translation and document transcription, digital photography.

Record offices, libraries and institutions used: NRO, NHC, NFHS, UEA, GYL*, SRO* (asterisk indicates occasional use)

Geoffrey Kelly

BA (Hons), MCLIP

Historical Research Consultant (Established 1979)

54 Cardiff Road
Norwich
NR2 3HS

Mobile: 07747 150217

Email: g.kelly44@btinternet.com

See profile on LinkedIn

Services: Local studies work, especially history of houses and land, chalk workings and subsidence.

Record offices, libraries and institutions used: NRO, NHC, TNA, SRO, GYL, KLL, CRO, LMA, SOG, WFM, CWA, ERO, PPR, GLA London

Best practice guidelines

  • Inquiries enclosing a stamped addressed envelope should be answered, or at least acknowledged within three weeks of receipt, especially if payment has been included.
  • Clients should be advised in advance that even the most diligent and exhaustive research may not deliver positive results. Record searchers should explain that the fee charged is for the time spent on the research (and other expenses, if applicable) rather than for finding the information requested.
  • Clients' instructions should be in writing if possible.
  • Record searchers should give clients an indication of how long the research is likely to take and when to expect a report when they are taking commissions. If, for any reason, research is substantially delayed, record searchers should advise the client of the revised schedule.
  • Record searchers should satisfy themselves that they have sufficient time, resources and expertise to complete a commission before accepting it.
  • Record searchers should report back in writing, either by letter, fax or email, unless the client states otherwise.
  • Reports should state clearly what records have been searched, for which dates and whether or not these sources have yielded the desired information. Negative evidence is useful in eliminating sources from future research.
  • Searchers should keep copies of all correspondence and reports, in case of loss, further inquiry or dispute.
  • Accepting payment (or promise of payment) implies the agreement of a contract between client and record searcher.

Following these guidelines is in the best interests of both clients and record searchers.

All complaints which we receive about record searchers are investigated. If such complaints are found to be justified, record searchers are removed from the list.

Abbreviations

  • AGRA - Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives
  • COL - Colindale (Newspaper Library)
  • CRO - Cambridgeshire Record Office
  • CUL - Cambridge University Library
  • CWA - City of Westminster Archive
  • ERO - Essex Record Office
  • GLA London - Guildhall Library Archive, London
  • GYL - Great Yarmouth Library
  • KLL - King’s Lynn Library
  • LMA - London Metropolitan Archives
  • NFHC - Norwich Family History Centre (Mormon Church)
  • NFHS - Norfolk Family History Society Library
  • NRO - Norfolk Record Office
  • NHC - Norfolk Heritage Centre
  • PPR - Principal Probate Registry of the Family Division
  • SOG - Society of Genealogists Library
  • SRO - Suffolk Record Office
  • TNA - The National Archives (formerly Public Record Office)
  • UEA - University of East Anglia Library
  • WFM - Wisbech and Fenland Museum