Michelle Dennis Family History Research


Where do I start?

Most people start with a family tree, showing the names of the individuals that you are descended from. A full tree shows the birth, marriage and deaths of your parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents, and so on. These simple facts of birth, marriage and death can be complemented with the “meat” of family history – how our ancestors arrived in Australia, how they worked, lived, and died; what they owned, who their neighbours were, what they read in the local paper, and all the other details that turn names on a chart into real people.

Where is the research done?

The majority of our research is performed at repositories such as the LDS Family History Library, Public Record Office of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, and Genealogical Society of Victoria.

Some repositories allow the use of digital cameras and laptop computers and others only allow pencil and paper. The cost of photocopies also varies widely between repositories.

Some records are available online, and digital images from these services will be provided where possible, so save time and cost.

How much does it cost?

I perform most research on an hourly basis because I cannot guarantee that specific records will be available for your ancestor – they may have been lost, destroyed, or never existed in the first place. There may be a lot of information or very little, and it may be easy or difficult to find.

If you’ve done any research you know how quickly the time goes. I can’t give an exact estimate of how long a specific request will take. To find the arrival of your ancestor may take a short time, or it may take hours. To build a family tree will usually take many, many hours if it is to be done properly.

It is impossible to predict the cost of certificates, photocopies and postage before the research begins, so these costs are additional to the hourly rate, and are payable before results are sent. Each repository and online genealogy service has different charges for photocopies and digital copies.


Some examples...

Trying to get started? Using Birth Death & Marriage Indexes we research your Ancestors back to point of immigration into Australia, identifying their names and where possible their date of birth, death & marriage. Information presented on an A4 chart. Certificates are extra - see below.

Want more? We research your Ancestors back to point of immigration into Australia, and provide you with a written report including photos and the story of your family.

Want to discover where your family originated from overseas? Want some more information on the village or city they lived in? Would you like me to find your grandfathers World War 2 Service Record? Let me help build up a picture of your family including newspaper accounts, parish registers, directories and occupation records.



Packages start from $500 for initial research (10 hours approx), analysis, report and chart writing and printing, or for specific inquiries via an hourly rate with a $100 minimum (approx 4 hours).

Additional work will be charged at a rate of $30 per hour. This does not include the cost of birth, death or marriage certificates or other documents (e.g. parish registers, shipping passenger lists, war service records, wills, apprenticeship indentures, census records etc). These costs will be advised, before they are ordered.