Archival research

I’m Jacqui Kirk – professional genealogist and archival researcher

and my aim as Montague Cottage Research is to provide excellent but affordable family and local history research.

I specialise in solving research problems and breaking down family history brick walls but will undertake any kind of historical research whether it is someone’s family tree or a local airfield. I am particularly interested in the late Georgian and Regency period and in military, naval and convict ancestors.

WHERE I RESEARCH

I am based in Leamington Spa in

Warwickshire

and because Warwickshire borders quite a few counties I also research in

Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.

As most of my own ancestors come from

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

I research in those counties too and they also bring in

West and East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

to my research areas.

London

is only an hour or so away by train so research in

The National Archives or the British Library

and other London archives and libraries is easy, as is the

University of Reading Special Collections and the Museum of English Rural Life.

The University of Warwick Centre for Modern Records

is merely a bus ride away too.

MY SKILLS

I have been researching professionally now for 10 years and for 7 before that as a hobby. I have always been a problem solver. I used to be a management consultant – a troubleshooter – and I now use those skills for genealogical research. Critical analysis and creative thinking are just as necessary for genealogy as for business.

Finding alternative sources is often the key to successful research and I enjoy visiting different archives and record offices for clients’ projects and the challenge of a difficult hunt.

I am by nature an inspired perfectionist who nevertheless has learned to be both methodical and meticulous and to check out those flashes of inspiration very thoroughly.

I enjoy helping others and once a month I answer queries at Warwick Record Office’s “Ask an Expert” and I also coordinate its Family History Beginners Club. Additionally I was until the beginning of 2018 a Q & A panellist for Your Family. History magazine.

TALKS AND COURSES

I teach family history and give talks on local and family history (I ran a family history support group from 2006-2016 whose members acted as my early guinea pigs). My talks cover a variety of subjects and I am willing to travel within a 50 mile or so radius of Leamington Spa.

RESEARCH PLANS AND ESTIMATES

I will provide a research plan and estimate of costs for your project no matter what size or nature of the research – from obtaining document photographs or copies or advising on likely sources for your research to a full family tree. Just email me with details and we’ll take it from there. If it is not my area of expertise I will say so and perhaps may be able to suggest someone else who can help instead.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

I was until recently a representative on The National Archives User Advisory Group, and am now on my local CRO’s User Forum. I am member of the Society of Genealogists, The Families in British India Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the British Association for Local History, the and, of course, of my local history society the Leamington History Group.

Check out my blogsite at http://montaguecottageresearch.blogspot.co.uk I don’t post that often but when I do it is on subjects close to my heart.

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