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Professional Family History

Dr Karen Cummings of Professional Family History offers genealogical research services to the novice, experienced hobbyist and professional family history researcher.

Whether you are looking for someone to trace your Family Tree as an anniversary or birthday gift or, want to find out more about your Family History but, are lacking the time or expertise Professional Family History has a Family Tree Package that can be customised to suit your requirements.

For those who have been conducting their own research but have become well and truly stuck and would like some advice, or would just like a second opinion on what they have found so far, I offer Bespoke Family History Research that can be tailored to your individual needs.

Where research in Local Archives or Record Offices is required Professional Family History specialises in the Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk area and offers research and advice in a number of subject areas. 

When you commission Professional Family History to conduct your family history research you can be assured of a professional service in every sense of the word: I have a proven track record in research, analysis and detailed and accurate reporting, I am a member of AGRA and am a qualified genealogist. 

From large family history projects and family trees to “look-ups” in parish registers, projects of all shapes and sizes are welcome.

Please contact me with any initial queries and I will provide a no obligation quotation free of charge.

About me

I am an Accredited Genealogist with a Qualification in Genealogy and am therefore able to ensure my clients receive the highest standard of family history research.

I am a full AGRA Member, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives and, as such, have agreed to be bound by AGRA’s Code of Practice. AGRA* is the only UK based professional body which carries out an assessment of future members’ quality of work and business strategy before approving membership.

I am also an APG Member, the US Association of Professional Genealogists, and have committed to abide by their Code of Ethics.

I have completed a three year intensive course in genealogy with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) in Canterbury and in 2013 was awarded the Higher Certificate in Genealogy with Distinction, one of only four individuals to attain this grade since the course began. As part of my commitment to Continuing Professional Development I am now working towards the higher level Diploma in Genealogy from the same organisation.

I am also registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) as a data controller under the
Data Protection Act 1998.

My customer service is focussed on a high level of customer satisfaction. Before beginning any research I will always establish with the client what information is already known with certainty, on which to build future research. A program of work is agreed with the client ahead of any research commission and the business has a trust policy of refunding any whole unused hours should research not progress as anticipated.

Before embarking on a career in genealogy I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for thirteen years. I am a qualified Pharmacist and have a PhD in pharmaceutical development. My time in scientific research resulted in my having a proven aptitude for research, analysis and report writing and provided me with the appropriate level of research skills, attention to detail and integrity to offer a quality genealogy research service. Having researched my own family history for many years I decided to leave a career in scientific research behind and move to a career as a professional genealogist.

My research reports are of a format which reflect my academic training: all reports have a clear background and objectives that have been agreed with the client. The detailed research report includes full citations of any sources used, where they were examined and in what format. Reports also include an analysis of the findings, any conclusions that may be drawn, with an indication of the level of certainty that may be attributed, and suggestions for further work where appropriate. 

  • ASGRA and APGI are the equivalent bodies in Scotland and Ireland.


I offer research at record offices in four counties. My areas of speciality include but are not limited to the following areas of England and Wales research:

  • Indexes of births, marriages and deaths
  • Birth, marriage and death (BMD) certificates
  • Census records 1841-1911
  • Parish registers
  • Parish records (or “Parish Chest” material)
  • Wills & Probate
  • School & education records
  • Surnames
  • Occupational records
  • Quarter & Petty Session records
  • Maps
  • Pre-1841 census type lists
  • Nonconformist records

Other areas of research are available e.g. manorial records, land records.

Whatever your research requirements please contact me in the first instance to discuss the most appropriate way forward (no cost, no obligation quotation).