COVID-19 Update

Family Tree Research Services

For those with English/Welsh origins we are able to offer a service since the resumption of document orders in government departments. However, due to new shop orders for research, you will find some items ‘out of stock’ and they will remain so until we have cleared those projects. We still expect to encounter delays for other document delivery services so there may still be DELAYS to our delivery to you. We strongly advise against ordering a research package for a specific birthday etc.

Scottish Research

For those who wish for us to trace their Scottish family trees, record offices and archives have partially reopened. This partial opening affects us during the initial stages of research because we cannot access the necessary documents for the period 1920 – present without major delays.

GENEALOGY EXPERIENCES (Updated 22 September 2021)

Expiry Dates

From the outset we have been flexible with regards to expiry dates on our genealogy gift experience vouchers.

If you had a voucher that had not expired before 23rd March 2020, your voucher is extended for 15 months, e.g. your original voucher expires on 10 October 2020 and with the 15 month extension it now expires on 10 March 2022.

 

We have now implemented a rolling expiry date meaning that your voucher will be extended in increments of six months if necessary after the initial 15 month period has expired. We will cease issuing 6 month rolling expiry dates after 31st December 2021.

 

To obtain a 6 month extended date you must contact us in writing (do not phone). Visit our Contact Us page and use the form if necessary.

Once you have contacted us, you will receive by email your extended date.

 

Please note though we have a ‘Force Majeure’ in place – see below.

 

Booking a Genealogy Experience

You can now make a booking. Booking slots are opening from October onwards, but please be aware your genealogy experience may not take place at an archive or library.

Please read this important information regarding archive and specialist library entrance restrictions.

 

Status of Current Venues for Genealogy Experiences

The government have announced that stage four of their roadmap will now go ahead from 19th July. Despite this many archives and specialist libraries have not change their entrance restrictions.

 

At present libraries and archives are open, but many with severe restrictions. 

These restrictions are: 

  • Visits must be booked in advance and in some cases restricted to two per month,
  • Social distancing must stay in place at all times,
  • Only one individual can visit (no couples or groups). Waiting lists for archive visits can be as much as two months.

This would therefore impinge our ability to provide gift experiences.

We are therefore undertaking genealogy experiences at other locations in London.

 

London Archive to open without severe restrictions, but with conditions of entry.

As of 22nd September, one London archive has reduced its restrictions and as a consequence we will be able to start taking customers to the archive to use as a venue from 4th October.

 

However, there are caveats to this… The archive has indicated that should numbers in the building exceed their specified limit, they will not allow entrance to researchers. This means we could arrive at the archive and not be allowed in – this is beyond out control. If you wish to visit the archive for your experience:

  • You will need to book a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday;
  • You will be asked in a Confirmation email if you wish to attend an archive for your experience or if you are happy with another location;
  • If you respond that you wish for it to take place at an archive, you will be required to agree to the following Terms & Conditions:
  • That should we visit the archive and it is full to capacity and we are barred from entry, that the experience will then take place at a commercial location.

 

Good News

Voucher – you can now exchange your genealogy experience for a voucher (see below under Refunds).

 

 

Force Majeure

As part of our Terms & Conditions we have a clause called a ‘Force Majeure’ which basically means an Act of God or ‘any other matter or cause beyond the control of Family History Gifts’. This clause has now been enacted.

What this means is that as a Force Majeure event has occurred, we at Family History Gifts are solely limited to providing the customer with a gift experience of some kind, not necessarily what is advertised.

As time progresses we will monitor the situation with regards to record offices and the relaxation of the rules, but it might eventually be necessary to change how the genealogy experiences are conducted.

Naturally we will do our very best to provide the full ‘as advertised’ experience, but due to the circumstances beyond our control, we may eventually have to consider other options.

 

REFUNDS

Because the Force Majeure was already in place as part of the Terms & Conditions when the buyer purchased the genealogy experience, there are no refunds for genealogy experiences due to COVID.

 

Instead you have the following options open to you:

  • Take the 15 month extended expiry date cited above,
  • Sell the genealogy experience with extended expiry date (all we need to know is the name of the buyer).
  • Exchange your genealogy experience for a voucher which can be used with any of our products/services in our shop.

If you wish to exchange your genealogy experience for a voucher to cover other services, contact us by email with a request. Here are the services available to you:

  • Online genealogy experience (all you require is a webcam) with research & advice session.
  • Research and advice from a professional genealogist – if you are stuck with one area of your family tree we can undertake research for you and offer advice.
  • Printing your tree.
  • Tidying your tree and arranging it in the correct format complete with academic level citations.
  • Digitising your tree from paper notes.
  • Writing up your tree into a narrative and perform accuracy checks as we go.
  • Beginner’s Online Genealogy Experience – equivalent to Getting Started With Your Family Tree (Webcam required).