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, the news is not so good. Record offices and archives remain closed. This affects us during the initial stages of any research because we cannot access the necessary documents for the period 1920 – present without major delays.

GENEALOGY EXPERIENCES (Updated 06 April 2021)

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

If you have 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.

To obtain a 15 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.

 

Good News – We have now implemented a rolling expiry date meaning that your voucher will be extended in increments of six months if necessary after the intial 15 month period has expired.

 

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

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

 

Status of Current Venues for Genealogy Experiences

The government have announced that stage two of their roadmap will now go ahead. What this means is that libraries and archives can now open, but with some 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).

This would therefore impinge our ability to provide gift experiences.

It is likely that stage three of the roadmap (due in June if the country stays on course) will give us greater flexibility and we would be looking to provide genealogy experiences from September onwards.

 

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).