Paid Research Service
Doing your own research
How do I research my family history?
How do I research the history of my house?
How do I research Guernsey history?
How do I use the Library to research a relative who was in the Forces?
Priaulx Library Research Service FAQs
Our highly experienced staff have access to a wide range of records and resources that are not available elsewhere*.
Professional Research assistants will undertake genealogical and local history research for £25 per hour. You will receive a written report and copies of relevant documents. Requests for research should be made on the following form; please check that you do not require either of the other two research options available before sending us your request (see options 2 and 3 below). Download a form to request research on an hourly paid-for basis: Hourly search (.pdf); Hourly search (.doc)
A search of the local newspapers: a search through those Guernsey newspapers held at the Library for any information required, at a cost of £10/hour. Requests should be made on the form below. Copies of requested article(s) will be at extra cost as the copying method is dependent on the condition or format of the newspaper. We will quote the reproduction costs at the relevant time. If the request for information is not specific enough, the researchers may decide that the request should be dealt with on a more formal basis (see 1. above), and will inform the inquirer. Download a form to request a newspaper search: Newspaper search (.pdf); Newspaper search (.doc)
If you would like the Priaulx Library to carry out research on your behalf, your request must be submitted on the relevant form, as outlined above. Download forms either in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) (can only be faxed or posted), or in Word 2003 format (.doc) (which can be emailed). We would prefer that forms be returned to us by post, although Fax will be acceptable (01481 713804). Please note that the forms cannot be completed online. Please consult the Paid Research FAQs for details of the procedures for request and payment. Alternatively, you can contact the library through other means to obtain a research request form or to discuss your requirements. Our previous clients have included the BBC, legal and government institutions and private clients from as far afield as New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada.
Payment is by credit card, debit card, or sterling cheque. We will ask for credit card details at the commencement of research, but you will not be charged until the work is complete.
* PLEASE NOTE that the island church records of births, marriages and deaths cannot be accessed online or in published form (other than a very few via the IGI, of which the accuracy cannot be guaranteed) and information from them is therefore ONLY available from the Priaulx Library (by kind permission of the relevant church authorities).
If you are able to visit the library in person, all resources are free to use and you can spend as long as you like on the premises during opening hours. Whatever your research project, it is a good idea to come as fully prepared as possible. The staff have compiled a short help guide to local research to help you on your way:
Starting out: Talk to your family, friends and neighbours, especially the oldest members with the longest memories. Collect together old family documents, e.g. letters, certificates, diaries, and photographs. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU KNOW - AND BRING IT WITH YOU IF YOU COME TO SEE US!
Search & Research: Now you are ready to start. Visit the Priaulx Library and explore our local and family history collections in more depth. Microfilm readers can be booked in advance and staff members are available to assist researchers.
See also: Using the Library I: A Guide to Guernsey Civil registers, and Using the Library II: A Guide to Guernsey Church registers written by one of our most experienced researchers.
Books and records to look at:
The Priaulx Library has a comprehensive collection of books and maps that may help you to find out more about the house you live in:
The Guernsey House, by John McCormack
The Guernsey Farmhouse, published by The Guernsey Society
Buildings in the Town and Parish of St. Peter Port, by C.E.B. Brett
1841-1901 census records
1787 Duke of Richmond map
1843 St. Peter Port map
Photographs and drawings
Glossary of Terms (as above, p. 755)
Other places to visit:
The variety of the resources in the Priaulx Library surprises most visitors. However, since publishing in the field of local studies is often expensive and difficult, one cannot guarantee that there will be a book on the subject of your research.
Here are a few ideas for finding out more:
Ask the staff, or ask library regulars if they know of any experts in the field of your research. Sometimes talking and speculating can help.
Look for articles, files and press cuttings in the Priaulx Library in-house lists.
Try other island institutions – e.g. Island Archives, La Société Guernesiaise, Guernsey Museum, and others.
See the information on Army Lists.
A professional research service at £25 per hour
The service includes a written report from one of our professional Research Assistants and copies of some of the records of individuals in the main line (this would not normally include siblings), where the record is relevant and readable. Postage and administration charges are also included. Where a request is deemed by the Library to fall outside these guidelines, additional charges will be made; for example for high volume copying (from a book or article), copies of records additional to those supplied with a research report, etc. Additional charges will be made at current in-house copying fees.
Only ONE record can be requested. The fee includes a copy of the record, postage, and administration fees. All e-mailed results are charged at the same £5 rate. *Results delivered electronically by e-mail outside Europe will also be charged at £5.
If a ‘look-up’ proves to be more complicated than first appears, clients may be requested to pay a higher research fee, but this is not likely to occur in most circumstances.
To help with administration and to make sure that all clients are treated fairly, all applications must be made with our Research Request Forms. We would prefer that the forms be returned to us by post, although Fax will be acceptable (01481 713804).
If you have any questions about how to fill in the forms, or how many hours of research you should request, please ask one of our staff on firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The form is in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf).
Payment for research is made in advance. Therefore, all completed forms should be posted/faxed together with a cheque or credit card details. The cheque will not be cashed, nor will the credit card be debited until the research is complete. We try to complete all research requests within one month of application, but there may be some unavoidable delays beyond this timescale.
On the form, please specify the number of hours of research you are requesting. The staff will treat this as a maximum and will never go over the specified amount.
There is no guarantee that your research request can be answered, but our highly experienced staff will consult all sources at our disposal. If it becomes apparent that the question cannot be answered, staff will make all attempts to keep research time to a minimum. If full payment is not required in these cases, credit cards will only debited to the relevant amount. In the case of Cheques, these will be returned and a smaller amount requested.
If any help is required with any part of the research service, please contact the staff on email@example.com