Terms and Conditions

Your Information and Instructions

1. Your contract and family information is treated as strictly confidential and will not be provided to any other person or

organization without your permission. If you wish me to communicate with anyone other than you regarding your family research, I will first require your written permission to do so.​


2. I may from time to time ask your permission to publish extracts from my research on my website and social media sites.


3. Before beginning any research, I will confirm your instructions in writing and my understanding of any specific requests before commencing the research.


4. If you provide details of any previous research it is your responsibility to ensure its accuracy to avoid any research being inadvertently repeated, unless you specifically instruct me to check its accuracy. Any effort expended during the course of the research which leads to information you already know, or have found yourself but have not disclosed prior to research starting, will still be billed.


5. You understand that I cannot guarantee I will be able to find any particular person(s), family, event or other information and that I cannot predict how successful a search will be, if at all. If a search is unsuccessful, I reserve the right to charge for my time in conducting such a search.

My commitment to you

6. I offer family history research of the highest quality, delivered in such a way as to ensure clients are happy with the service they receive and feel involved at every stage.


7. I will not exceed the time commissioned by you without prior agreement.


8. I undertake to report findings of the research with detailed source citations of the information obtained, including detail of the unsuccessful searches.


9. Where research is not successful, I will provide information of the avenues that have been explored.


10. Paid time for any commission includes research, analysis, drawing charts and written report times.


11. If in the course of my research it becomes clear that research has reached an insurmountable hurdle, I may offer a partial refund of the payment received. This will depend on the length of time spent on the commission before coming to this conclusion.


12. In the case it becomes clear that research will not take as long as initially expected or research cannot progress as anticipated, any unused pre-paid research hours will be refunded to the client.


13. It may be necessary on some commissions for me to instruct other researchers as a necessity, either because of the distance to the area in which the records are held or because of a need for a particular subject specialism. In such cases, the researchers will be carefully selected based on their suitability and quality of work, and you will be consulted prior to them being instructed.


14. I remain the primary contact on all commissions and oversee all research conducted under the banner of Linda Hammond M.Sc. QG of Linda Hammond Research.


Professional Standard


15. As a member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG), I abide by their Professional Code.

Payment terms


16. For any commission, on receipt of instructions an estimate will be provided along with an invoice for the down payment which is required in advance. The remaining balance becomes due on completion of the work, before the report and any of the supporting documentation is sent to you.

Additional expenses


17. You will be informed, in advance, of any travel time exceeding two hours from my address, which will also be charged at 50% of my current rate, per hour. This condition only applies to standard, scheduled travel times and you will not incur extra charges for delays caused by public transport operators on the day of travel.


18. GRO Registration Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates are obtained at the current full cost price from The General Register Office as either a Pdf or paper copy, depending on availability and your requirements.


19. Other additional expenses, which include for example obtaining Archive photo permits, photocopies or Parish Register copies, will be agreed with you and obtained only after your consent.


20. All documents are supplied at cost price and will not be purchased without prior agreement and payment from you.


21. Any Additional Expenses as outlined in 18 – 21 above, will be itemised on the invoice, and paid for in full, in advance. If for any reason any of these pre-paid expenses are not then incurred at the time of the commission, the amount will be deducted from the final balance due.


Likelihood of Success

22.    It should be noted that it is sometimes not possible to trace a family history as far back as expected or find the expected information in a document for a particular event. Research time includes any time spent searching, resulting in negative outcomes. However, all research may be considered positive if it is viewed that a particular document, event or direction of enquiry has been ‘ruled out’. Any negative outcomes will be included in my report.


Your rights

23.    You have the right to cancel your agreement with me at any time during fourteen working days immediately following the day that you respond by email. It is in your interests that I start work as soon as possible. Please note therefore, that by signing and confirming by email, you authorise me to start work immediately. This means if you later chose to exercise your right to cancel, you must do so in writing by email. You will be liable to pay for the work I have done up to the date you cancel. The amount due will be deducted from any payment you have made to me and any balance remaining will be returned to you within 14 working days of the date of cancellation.

My rights

24.    I reserve the right to decline cases where I consider the likelihood of success to be low, e.g., if the only information were to be the starting point of “his name was John Smith and he was born in the UK about 1900”.

25.    If payment is not made under the terms of this agreement and/or any invoice submitted to you, I reserve the right to cancel your instructions and discontinue work on your behalf. Any outstanding payments will however remain outstanding.

26.    Failure to pay may result in dispute resolution and/or court proceedings to recover any outstanding fees, which may in themselves result in further costs being paid by you.

27.    If I have not received a reply from email within 14 days, I shall assume that you do not wish to proceed, and will take no further action.

Limitation of Liability

28.    Documents are provided and interpreted on an “as is” basis and I do not accept responsibility for any errors in those documents.

29.    My liability for any actual, incidental, indirect or consequential loss or damage howsoever caused, is limited to the value of the contract.

30.    The services of any third party instructed to assist in the research process are subject to these terms and conditions. If they require you to agree to their own terms and conditions, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have read and understood them and you agree that any recourse for dissatisfaction or problems with any third-party research will be sought from the third-party provider.


31.    Any documents prepared by me in the process of my research, including any charts, reports, transcriptions and translations remain my copyright and should not be published without my prior consent.

32.    Any material which has been digitised by and obtained from websites, remains the copyright of the individual website and will be fully acknowledged in my work. It should not be further published.

33.    Birth, Marriage and/or Death Certificates provided by the relevant Register Office of England and Wales, Scotland or Ireland, or other Register Offcies of other countries, either in Pdf digital format or certified paper copies of the originals, will be obtained by me acting as your agent and always remain in your ownership. Certificates remain the copyright of the Crown and will be fully acknowledged in my work.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

34.    By agreeing to these terms and conditions you agree to me holding the personal details of you and your family (as are necessary for the purposes of research).

Complaints Procedure

35.    In the unlikely event of you not being 100% happy with the research received I will endeavour to address any issues as quickly as possible and agree a recompense where appropriate. If I am unable to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, I would refer you to the RGQ’s Resolution Procedure which can be found at the Register of Qualified Genealogists.


36.    If, for any reasons of injury or ill health rendering me unable to work, I am unable to complete your instructions, I will provide a full report of work carried out to date along with full supporting information and documentation. I will also provide my written consent for such report, information and documentation to be provided to an alternative genealogist/family historian of your choosing. You agree to pay for all work completed up to that date and where pre-payment is made, any balance, after deduction for the work carried out, the balance will be returned within 14 days.

37.    If, for reasons of my death, I am unable to complete your instructions, my Executors will provide a copy of the work carried out to date along with full supporting information and documentation as they are able to ascertain from my research records. In those circumstances these terms and conditions provide my written consent for such information and documentation to be provided to an alternative genealogist/family historian of your choosing. You agree to pay for all work completed up to that date and where pre-payment is made, any balance, after deduction for the work carried out, the balance will be returned as soon as ever possible, subject to the laws of probate.