Terms are strictly payment in advance, by sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank and made payable to PATRICIA O’NEILL, or by sterling bankers draft. Alternatively I accept payments via Paypal (via a payment request which I would generate) to enable you to make secure credit card payments or to pay in international currencies. If you wish to pay by Paypal, please do not attempt to send payment before you have received my payment request. No surcharge levied for payments via Paypal. A receipt for cheque/bankers' draft payments is sent by e-mail.
All quotes provided are valid for 3 months.
I respect your privacy and will never pass your details to any other individual or company.
Research undertaken at the archives I visit regularly will usually be completed and reported upon by e-mail within a maximum of 6 weeks of receipt of payment. Please allow a few extra days if your report is being sent by post.
If your requirement is unusually urgent, please send full details in an e-mail requesting a quote for a priority search.
Copies being sent by post are usually despatched at the end of the week in which the search is reported upon.
All photos and copies are for personal research purposes only. If you wish to publish any photo or copy (including on a website) you must obtain written permission from the relevant archive and, if necessary, the copyright holder, in advance of publication.
Clients requesting amendments to booked searches:
Once a search has been booked and paid for, it will be scheduled into my diary and preparatory work will begin. This may involve catalogue checks or pre-ordering or assessment of original documents. Occasionally a client will contact me after a search has been booked, advising that the information they were seeking has been made available to them via a contact or another source and requesting that the fee paid be transferred to another search. At my discretion I’ll usually continue to agree to do this, although the following conditions will apply:
No amendments are permitted to orders placed for a GRO birth, marriage or death certificate or post-1858-20thC will searches or orders: Once a client has paid for a BMD certificate or for a post-1858 will search, no amendment can be made. This is because orders for BMD certificates are placed through an external website and once an order is placed and paid for I am not permitted to request amendments or cancellation. Post-1858 to 20thC will orders cannot be cancelled; once I have placed and paid for the order I am not permitted to request amendment or cancellation.
Any amendment to a priority search must be requested within 7 days of payment being made. No cancellation or amendment is permitted after this date. At my discretion, amendments requested within 7 days will be permitted. In the event of cancellation being requested, the search fee can be transferred to another search but no refunds can be made.
Apart from the exceptions detailed above, amendments to non-priority bookings are permitted at my discretion during the first 14 days after the search has been booked:
Changes requested within 7 days of payment: permitted at my discretion. The search fee can be transferred to another search, but no refunds can be made.
Changes requested within 14 days of payment: permitted at my discretion, with a deduction of 1 hour from the fee paid. At this stage, preliminary work will have been completed and your search may have commenced. To transfer a client’s fee to a different search requires further preliminary work. No refunds can be made.
Changes requested later than 14 days after payment: not permitted as preliminary work will have been completed and your search will be in hand.
I don't charge extra for travelling time or expenses to any regularly-visited record office. The only additional charges would be for copies, photos and postage. Charges for photocopies and postage are payable after the search has been completed, but before dispatch.
For copies which I am able to obtain self-service:
£0.80 each for copies from a microfilm or fiche (no charge for spoils)
For copies which have to be obtained by archive staff:
Up to 3 x A4 copies per search can be sent by e-mail to a non-hotmail account to avoid postal charges.
Special arrangements applying to searches at the National Archives:
National Archives' managers made a decision to remove all self-service copying facilities in December 2017, so it is no longer possible for me to obtain paper copies of entries found in any records at the National Archives which have been microfilmed or digitized or which are viewed on microfiche. Instead of paper copies, clients will receive a digital copy of any relevant entry which accompanies their report. If it is not possible to provide a digital copy by e-mail, a full transcription of the entry will be provided, together with a photograph of the entry taken from the microfilm or microfiche reader or from the computer screen (n.b. the quality of such photos is not as good as the quality of the paper copies formerly provided).
Photographing of entries found in original material will continue as previously.
From 1 Jan 2018, when carrying out a search I will no longer make any additional charge for copies of material viewed at the National Archives if sent to clients as digital copies, nor will the £3.00 charge be applied for folders of up to 50 photos sent by e-mail via Hightail Send.
Special arrangements for searches at the National Archives for clients who need paper copies:
For clients who are unable to receive digital copies by e-mail, I can provide paper copies by downloading and printing the digital copy on A4 paper.
Paper copies of some sources at the National Archives are legible only if printed on A3 paper; for these items I can obtain paper copies by downloading and printing the digital copy on A3 paper at another record office which continues to offer self-service printing facilities. Provision of A3 paper copies: an administrative fee of £20.00 will be charged for this service in addition to the copy charge of £0.80 per page (no charge for spoils).
The condition of some original volumes prevents copying, in which case I can offer digital photos (see below) if this is permitted by the archive concerned.
I can provide digital photos at record offices where digital photography by researchers is permitted:
Up to 50 digital photos, sent by e-mail via external website: £3.00 (clients receive an e-mail from the external website Hightail when their photos sent by email@example.com are ready for collection and then have one month to download their photos from the external website). Please remember to save your photos to your files or a memory stick, as I don't retain copies for longer than 2 months.
More than 3 digital photos, can be sent on disc to UK addresses by 1st class recorded post: £11.00 regardless of the number of images
More than 3 digital photos, can be sent on disc to overseas addresses by International Tracked & Signed post: £19.00 regardless of the number of images
This service relates to photographs taken during one search at one archive on one particular day. Permission to photograph specific material is granted at the discretion of the archivist on duty.
A fee for the use of personal digital cameras is charged at some archives and any such fee is payable by the client on each occasion photographs are taken, in addition to the charge above. If photographs are taken for more than one client at the same archive on the same day, then the archive fee will be split between them unless two separate fees are charged by the archive concerned. If the archive's digital photography permit fee is increased between the booking of and the reporting of a search, the increased fee will be charged. (Currently no fee is payable at the National Archives - this situation could change at any time.)
Where digital photography by researchers is not permitted, and the document cannot be photocopied, it is sometimes possible to order digital scans and these are supplied at cost, plus postage as above.
Items despatched by mail are sent by traceable methods. The following charges apply:
UK: by 1st class recorded post charged as follows:
Standard charge to post up to 16 x A4 or up to 8 X A3 copies = £4.00 per envelope; £5.00 per tube;
Overseas: by International Tracked & Signed post charged as follows:
At cost, plus £2.00 handling fee per letter/packet/tube
I will replace and re-send free of charge any items sent by the above methods which go astray. No further postage costs or search fees will be payable by the client. Items sent by standard inland post at client's request are sent at client's risk and will be despatched only on receipt of an A4/A5 s.a.e. stamped to the appropriate amount, forwarded to me in an appropriate envelope also stamped to the correct value. Please ensure that sufficient postage has been affixed to the outside envelope, otherwise it will not reach me. A Certificate of Posting is obtained from the Post Office as proof that I have despatched the item (this is not the same as secure, signed-for delivery). If this method is used I can take no responsibility for items lost by Royal Mail or become involved in any efforts to find such lost items. If replacements for lost items are required, a further search fee will be payable by the client as well as additional charges for replacement copies and postage.
Sometimes a search will result in the person/family not being found where expected. No refund can be made in such cases as a visit will have been made to the record office and the search made.
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Before requesting payment of a search fee, I will ask you to complete the form below to confirm that you have read and accepted my Terms & Conditions: