Genealogy & Family History Research

genealogy research in Scotland

Terms & Conditions

It is important that clients read through my terms and conditions prior to signing their contracts so that they are absolutely clear about the process of engaging a professional researcher.  Research is carried out diligently and, as it is the nature of genealogy, this can and often does take between 6-12 weeks to complete and obtain results.  

Initial assessment

A free brief initial assessment is conducted at the beginning of any commission to ascertain available records and to assess the 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 invoice, contract and arrange 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; 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 longer depending on my current availability.


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 commences 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 such as 7% processing fee on PayPal.  Once the research has been carried out, one full report is provided and sent via email or post. The report will also include a summary and suggestions on how the research could 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 setting a budget for the research. Any budget should take into consideration additional out of pocket expenses; cost for copies of documents and processing fees to PayPal (if that is the method of payment used). 


Payments can be made in a variety of ways. I accept PayPal; BACS (or Direct Banking); Cheques, Postal Orders or Western Union. An invoice or payment request is raised and forwarded via email. Cheques should be made payable to 'Lorna Kinnaird'.  Invoices sent to clients contain all the payment options.  International payments made to the bank account will always take between £10-£20 off the fee that clients send.

Reports & additional hours

I charge an initial £30 for the first hour then hourly at £28 (minimum 4 hours' research). Writing the report and analysing the findings is charged at £23 per hour.  In most cases, writing the findings, analysing the findings and suggesting further research can take just as long as the research. An additional £5 is added to each invoice as this goes a little way to paying my annual 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 received in the correct format – so this can take a bit of time. 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 on completion of the research.  Postage of reports is in addition. 

If additional hours are required, then this will be 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.

Suggested Scale of Fees (write up and analysis could be more)    

4 hours research (incl write up) : £165 (excl processing fee/OPE)
6 hours research (incl write up) : £244 (excl processing fee/OPE)
8 hours research (incl write up) : £323 (excl processing fee/OPE)
10 hours research (incl write up) : £402 (excl processing fee/OPE)

Out of Pocket Expenses (OPE)

  • Statutory Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths (if less than 75 years for births; 50 years for marriages and 25 years for deaths) are normally transcribed into the report.  However, if clients required a certified copy of this information, they can be provided at a cost of £30 if needed urgently or £15 if 2 or 3 days notice is sufficient.  Postage of the certificate(s) is in addition as these documents are sent by next day and must be signed for.  The postage is usually in the range of £3-£12 depending on weight and size of the packet.    
  • Statutory records more than 75 years for births; 50 years for marriages and 25 years for deaths - cost 30p-50p per copy.
  • Old Parish Registers from 1558 to 1854 cost 30p-50p per copy.  
  • Stationery and postage are charged at cost. 
  • If professional presentation folders are required (for example as a gift) the cost per folder will be £25 (which includes postage and the printing of the report).  Archive quality permanent paper is used for these reports. 
  • Specialist printing costs of high quality, large scale family trees are to be agreed and checked before going to print.  I use MyHistory Chart Printing.  Every care is taken to ensure the information is correct.    
  • 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 £23 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. This information can then be saved as a GEDCOM file or PDF which I can forward to a professional chart making company. There is additional cost of producing a chart which can be discussed at the time with clients. 

GDPR Policies and Privacy

From 25th May 2018 a new EU data protection law comes into force.  This new law gives individuals control over how their data is used and places certain obligations on businesses that process information of those individuals.  Dunedin Links Genealogy believe that clients should know what data is collected and how it is used and for clients to make the best decisions about the information that they share. 

  • When clients contact Dunedin Links Genealogy they provide their name, address, email address and contact telephone number.  No other personal information is required.  This information is used only to start communication in relation to carrying out research on your behalf.  This information is not passed on to a third party or used for marketing purposes. 
  • Dunedin Links does not send out Newsletters or retains clients’ banking details.
  • Dunedin Links will not contact you once the research has been carried out, unless the client initiates additional research in the future.      
  • Once research has been concluded, the report and emails are archived and only an electronic copy of the report and emails are kept on computer.
  • Clients can contact Dunedin Links Genealogy at any time about the information that is held on them.   


I hold copyright to all the research reports that I have undertaken on behalf of 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 report therefore must not be put online or copied without notifying me first to discuss.

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)