Genealogy & Family History Research

genealogy research in Scotland

Terms & Conditions

It is important that clients read through my terms and conditions prior to signing contracts so that they are absolutely clear about how research is carried out, and the timing of the research to completion.

Initial assessment

A free brief initial assessment is conducted at the beginning of any commission to ascertain available records and to assess the full time-scale of the commission to be undertaken. A short email will then be sent to the client to state the records that will be consulted; to clarify the aims and expectations that the client has; to give a date when the research can be carried out; to confirm instructions and to complete the contract and payment.

There will be a minimum period of 7 days between the signed contract and the research commencing, not just to let the payment clear, but to also ensure that I am clear about the client's aims and expectations are; have ordered in any historical records that need to be consulted or have booked in the research to the monthly schedule. I do aim to start research within 14 days but it may take several weeks to complete.


I will discuss with the client throughout, on any progress made and the options or direction that the research could be taken. I will ensure the client has a copy of my current Terms & Conditions and the contract is signed and returned with payment before any research is carried out. The research starts when a minimum of 4 hours' research has been paid or full fee depending on the amount of research to be undertaken. The invoice sent will state the fee to be paid plus any additions of transfer fees such as PayPal. Once the research has been carried out one full report is provided and sent via email or post. If you require a brief pedigree or drop down chart then this is included at the back. The report will also include a summary and suggestions on how the research can be taken further. If a second report is required then this is charged at £15 per additional report. I transcribe all post 1855 certificates I find and do not include photocopies of certificates unless the client specifically asks for these. Pre 1855 entries in the Old Parish Registers may be included as these are pretty special to see in a report (50p per copy), but I keep this to a minimum where possible.

It is important that clients consider a budget and a deadline for the research. Any budget should take into consideration the writing up fee, transfer fees to PayPal and costs of copies of documents.

Research will take as long as it takes in some cases, although I do aim to carry this research out timeously. This can range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks or longer depending on the commission undertaken.

Reports & additional hours

I charge an initial £30 for the first hour then hourly at £27 with a minimum of 4 hours' research. Writing the report and analysing the findings is charged at £20 per hour, and will be invoiced after the report has been completed. In most cases, writing the findings, analysing the findings and suggesting further research can take just as long as the research hours. An additional £5 is added to each invoice as this goes a little way to paying my subscriptions and Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre. Please be aware that research is not something that can be rushed, and it is important that a report is understood clearly by the client and is explained in the correct format. Research of 4 hours must be paid in full. Research over 4 hours can be paid with a down-payment of half the fee followed by the remainder at on completion of the research.

If additional hours are required then this will be emailed and discussed with the client. Please note that whether the research has started or not and the client sends additional enquiries that deviate from the remit of the original contract, then this is considered “additional research” and the client must honour this with payment. At all times, please communicate with me if you are at all unsure of what you have asked me to carry out. All instructions from the client to the researcher and vice versa are recorded in an email. During research there is always the possibility that extra time is needed to obtain the results that the client seeks. It is my intention therefore to contact the client via mobile/home phone to discuss this. Please therefore provide a contactable number. If contact is made via email, then please reply promptly to my emails.

Out of Pocket Expenses

  • Birth, marriage and death certificates currently costing £15 from the ScotlandsPeople Centre.
  • Statutory records (more than 75 years for births; 50 years for marriages and 25 years for deaths) cost £15 per certificate.
  • Old Parish Registers & Statutory Records of Births/Marriages/Deaths older than 100 years are charged at 30p-50p per copy.
  • Stationery, postage, presentation folders, archival paper are charged at cost.
  • Specialist printing costs of high quality, large scale family trees to be agreed before going to print.
  • Travel costs to other depositories and graveyards are charged at 48p per mile plus my time whilst there.

Chart Printing

I computer draw descendants charts using Word if less than 25 individuals at a cost of £20 per hour. I can also input the data found into Family Historian or Family Tree Maker and produce charts on A3 paper. This normally takes between 4 and 6 hours depending on the amount of information to be input (£80-£120). This information can then be saved as a GEDCOM file which I can forward to a professional chart making company. There is additional cost of producing a chart which the client will be informed of and asked to make their decision. I only use one Family Tree Printing company and they produce excellent results at a very reasonable price.


Payments can be made in a variety of ways. I accept PayPal; BACS (or Direct Banking); Cheques or Western Union. An invoice or payment request is raised and forwarded via email. Cheques should be made payable to 'Lorna Kinnaird'.


I hold copyright to all the research reports I have undertaken for clients. The actual records referred to in the Report remain the property of The Keeper of the Records at the National Records of Scotland and individual permission must be granted for their use out-with my report. The research therefore must not be put online or copied without notifying me first to discuss.

I ask you to refrain from forwarding my Reports to a third party.

How can I help?

“Get in touch with your enquiry and I'll explain what I can do for you.”
Lorna Kinnaird

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A member of the Society for One-Place StudiesA registered One-Placer Member of the Scottish Genealogy Network A member of The Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives A member of Visit Scotland Ancestral Welcome Scheme

Registered as a Data Controller (ICO)
(Data Protection Registration No: A8161601)