research Services

Your research project can be customised to suit your specific needs and budget - large or small. If you lack time, knowledge, tools, expertise or access to records, you will benefit from engaging the services of our professional family historians.

Ask us how we can help.

Tricia S. & Alison H.  Two grateful sisters

Research skills second to none...

What an amazing piece of detective work you did in Ireland.
Your research skills are second to none, and your knowledge of how and where to search is phenomenal … the result of years of experience that is totally beyond the scope of new recruits to genealogy, like ourselves.
The headstone could not have been erected without your tenacity and tireless researching.

Ancestor Discovery works in partnership with you. We begin by asking you what you know about your family and you provide us with copies of relevant documents and/or access to DNA results. We encourage you to write down any family stories you may have heard as these can often provide clues to further research. 

When you choose Ancestor Discovery to undertake research on your behalf, you are commissioning a professional service offered by an experienced and credentialed family historian. However, for a variety of reasons (for example, privacy, record loss, restrictions on access to records) the results you seek may not be achieved. Research may find little on your family or it may uncover family secrets. We can make no guarantee or promise that we will produce specific outcomes or positive results. You are paying for our time and expertise in family history research. 

Our hourly rate is $100 (Australian dollars, GST free (to be increased to $125 in 2025) but you get better value if you choose a package. We also offer payment plans to suit your budget and time. Please carefully review our cancellation and refund policy included in the Letter of Agreement before making a decision.

NOTE: Fees quoted are for individuals.
Fees for businesses and other organisations begin at $150 per hour, for example, when undertaking deceased estate/probate research.

Our process

1. Exploration

Your requirements are discussed either by email, telephone or via Zoom or similar. Once agreement is reached on the research package, a research agreement is signed by both parties and work then commences.

2. Research plan

A research plan is developed which outlines your goals, the search strategies and repositories to be searched.

3. Search & evaluate

All possible records are searched for information which is extracted and analysed. The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is followed to ensure that the research is exhaustive and conclusions are based on the strongest possible evidence.

4. Deliver results

A final report is delivered to you. It may include pedigree charts and images in a fully documented narrative, all in an easy to read format.

Research Packages

Package inclusions and exclusions

NOTE: Please refer to each package for specific information.


  • Digital copies of all documents, family trees and associated materials including the research report - provided via cloud services. GEDCOM files if required are provided, ready for uploading into a subscription site such as Ancestry or into a genealogical software  program
  • A comprehensive research report, in narrative form, which includes all sources searched and examined, abstracts of key documents, for example, births, deaths, marriage records wills, census records. Information is fully supported by citations.
  • The Advanced, Paternal or Maternal Line and Full Ancestral Projects will each include an allocation for the purchase of certificates, wills, military records etc. The amount allocated will be determined once project details are confirmed.
  • A family tree chart professionally printed on canvas ready for framing is included on request. Alternatively, it can be provided on parchment style continuous roll paper or as a large-format chart on card.


  • Additional printed copies of the report and associated documents/family tree charts are not provided. We can provide these at an additional cost which will be quoted at the time of the request. 
  • European, African or Asian ancestry is not included in the research packages. However, these areas can be researched with support from our affiliate researchers and are quoted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Postage and packing Is not included.

Starter package: $900

This package is for ten (10) hours of research on a specific research question, eg who were the parents of John Smith, born 1846 in County Tipperary and died 1926 in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia? This project may take up to three (3) months to complete.

Following the session, you will receive access to a digital research folder which includes the following:

  • A comprehensive research report which is a narrative of the research question's findings.
  • The report includes all citations which will allow you to correlate and analyse the sources if necessary; all documents found during the research and a family tree if relevant to the report. Recommendations for further research are also provided.
  • GEDCOM for use in family tree software programs or Ancestry and similar, if required.

DNA package: $1850

This package is for twenty (20) hours of research on a genetic genealogy research question, for example, finding potential candidates for a biological parent or breaking down a brick wall. We review your DNA matches and analyse the evidence. When combined with traditional reearch methods,  we can often establish familial relationships. Please note that some complex cases may require significantly more hours of research. It is difficult to gauge the complexity until the research has commenced.

Following the session, you will receive access to a digital research folder which includes the following:

  • A comprehensive research report which is a narrative of the findings and includes all documents.
  • The report also includes all citations, tables and diagrams showing your relationship to DNA matches.  
  • GEDCOM for use in family tree software programs or Ancestry and similar, if required.

Advanced package: $2500

Family history research for one ancestral surname – one grandparent surname for 3 generations (that is, grandparent, great grandparent and 2 times great grandparents). You may choose either a maternal grandparent OR paternal grandparent for this research project. Maximum of 30 hours research which includes the research report. Takes 3-5 months to complete.

Paternal or maternal line project: $6500

If you wish to research one ancestral surname (either maternal or paternal) as far back as possible, then this is the best package. Maximum of 70 hours research time. Takes 5-8 months to complete.

 Full ancestral project: $9800

This package includes research on both your paternal and maternal lines as far back as possible. This research is on the four main surnames, that is, the surnames of your grandparents.  Maximum of 110 hours and can take between 10 and 18 months to complete.

Customised packages 

The custom research package can cover a variety of topics. For example, you may want to find out more about a convict ancestor, someone who served in the military or the history of your house or a property owned by ancestors over many generations. You may require research to be undertaken and then published in book form. Pricing and hours are negotiated, based on the extent of the research and the type of publication. 

Hourly research and lookups

Record lookups are $100 for the first hour and $75 per hour thereafter, either online or in person at a local repository such as the Queensland State Archives, Brisbane City Council Archives or the State Library of Queensland.  Additional research is at the usual hourly fee of $100.