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The year-long project hits the mark with the Murphy family

On deciding to research his family tree, Gary Murphy looked at a variety of genealogists online to see who felt would be most compatible to what he required. The internet gave him a number of options and in several cases, Gary spoke to them in person. “I wanted to gauge whether the quality service intimated on their website was matched by their enthusiasm and positivity in person,” he explains. “This is very much a gut feeling but for something so personal, and in many ways private, this needs to feel right.”

Having contacted a number of potential researchers, and either not feeling totally convinced by their connection or not quite providing the service he required, he emailed me at Family Tree Genie. “David promptly returned my email and suggested we speak face-to-face on Zoom. After this call, I was convinced I had found the right person to conduct the research,” Gary adds. “Professional, understanding and knowledgeable David talked through my options with succinct clarity and outlined a plan of how the project could be carried forward.”

The required research was extensive as Gary was looking into six family lines. “David did make enquiries into several other lines to offer me a more comprehensive understanding of the family tree and how some lines reached a conclusion after all avenues into these lines were explored,” says Gary. “In each of these cases, David was transparent about why certain lines were more challenging to investigate. This led to the process being quite educational as well as fascinating. The research was robust with great care and attention given to the smallest detail. He revealed interesting facts about my family making some remarkable historical links along the way.” 

Whilst I was carrying out this research, Gary was conducting his own. “Moving forward to more recent generations of family, I collated a range of family stories from living relatives and supplied a variety of images, alongside this anecdotal information, to David,” he says. “David then painstakingly merged all of this research into one document. His patience, commitment and sensitivity to my project was well beyond my expectation. Over a twelve-month period, he edited, drafted and re-drafted the finished document too many times to recall. Nothing was too much. He treated the research and the final document like it was his own family. He also offered sage advice about how to approach the research and how to remain patient throughout the process to ensure that the final product was the absolute best version of what it is I envisaged.”

Gary goes on to say: “Communication was first-class from start to finish. I felt that any small change I requested to the layout and organisation was accepted and acted upon. The process from beginning to end was enjoyable and absorbing. The final printing and postal process was also swift, efficient and reliable.”

Gary was also happy with the finished book he received: “It was an accomplished piece of work. A hardbacked historical document that was finished to a high, professional specification and brought alive with images, anecdotes and incisive historical details. I provided a copy to my parents and brothers who were equally thrilled with the quality, professional finish and depth of detail within.”

The work was carried out over an entire year. Gary concludes: “The service was truly value for money and I would recommend him to anybody interested in commissioning research into their ancestry. David Millward was the right choice for our family and this was demonstrated by not only his skill and passion for genealogy but his patience, advice, sensitivity and understanding of what it was we as a family desired.”

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