Genealogical Private Research

woodfamily_tornI am a professional South African genealogist with over 25 years of experience and  I was the official genealogy researcher on the popular T.V. series in the South African version of ”Who do you think you are?

In the 1990?s I was the founder of the Cape Town Family History Society as well as two Rootsweb Mailing Lists. I also assisted Professor Robert Shell in putting together his mammoth database of Changing Hands and I spent the day helping excavate human remains from the Prestwich Street Cemetery in Green Point in 2004. I was also the business manager of the Naspers / Media24 website ancestry24.co.za for 9 years until it was  sold in 2013 to Ancestry.com where those records will be transferred to.
I have worked on several international celebrity family trees including the likes of Hugh Grant who has South African Family Roots.
Do you need help in your Family History researched n South Africa or are you looking for a private Family History Researcher in South Africa? I an can help you.
Genealogy and Family History Research in South Africa is my passion and speciality.
Emily Kate RicksonMy expertise offers research mainly from:
  • Cape Town Archives
  • Master of the High Court in Cape Town
  • Pretoria Archives
  • Pietermaritzburg Archives
These include death notices, wills and liquidation and distribution accounts.
  •  1989 Voters Roll
  • Education Records
  • 1820 Settler Records
  • German Immigrants
  • British Immigrants
  • Early Cape British History
  • Cape Slavery
  • Who’s Who book collection 1907 – 2007 (once off searches done for an hourly rate)
  • Dutch Reformed Church Records
  • Anglican Church Records of the Cape
  • Maitland Cemetery Records
  • Property Deeds Searches
I also draw up pedigree, descendant and ascendant charts which are provided in PDF format for printing.
High quality digital photographs are provided with results where possible as well as a written report.
Are you interested in your “Stamboom in South Africa. your genealogy in South Africa or your Familytree in South Africa? Please contact me for a quotation.
Before you engage in private research you will need to furnish me with the following details:
  1. Have you used a private researcher before? If so please provide evidence of findings as well as the researchers name as she does not want to repeat unnecessary research.
  2. Why do you want  this research done? Is it purely for interest? Adoption?, medical reasons, family rumour, visa or immigration reasons,or long lost relatives?
  3. Costs: These differ considerably from researcher to researcher and there is no hard and fast rule as to what the charges will be and nor is there a governing body that oversees them. When paying a researcher it is important to remember that you are not paying for the information as most of it is in the public domain but you are paying for there time, petrol, photocopying, parking, emails etc.
  4. Remember that you will be required to pay generally 50% upfront and the rest on completion.
  5. It is important to remember that a researcher will not always be able to find what you are looking for – if there are no records for your ancestors then there are none. Don’t expect a researcher to provide you with a family tree going back to Adam and Eve, most families are lucky enough to have recorded documentation going back 100 years – more than that you are very lucky.

What I need from you:

  • Copies of all existing documents that you already have such as birth, baptism, marriage death etc for the main person you are wanting to research, if available,
  • Either a GEDCOM file of your family tree or a simply tree drawn by you showing who’s who – if possible please?
  • 50% deposit on start of investigation and 50% on completion

Please note  that all research done is kept in strict confidence between me and the client and your information will not be shared and given to anyone or any website.

Please email me if are ready to trace your ancestors.

Feedback from Clients

I can unhesitatingly recommend the services of Heather as a genealogical researcher. I am an attorney and notary and my requirements for attention to detail and a sceptical mindset are not negotiable. I was most reluctant to delegate this important research to a third party, but as I cannot attend personally at the various archives around the country I had no option. I was most fortunate in having been referred to Heather. She is knowledgeable and meticulous and her copies are of the highest quality. Her turn around time is also excellent. In addition to this, she is cheerful and shares in my delight every time I find another brick in my wall. I have been fortunate to have Heather as a partner in my research into what is at the end of the day a highly personal and emotional journey of exploration.

Jane O’Connor
Johannesburg

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I have used Heather’ Services for the last 4 years, for genealogical research in South Africa.

She provides a professional and reliable service, and does not leave any stone unturned

She always with provides me detailed reports

Heather has worked on all my South African cases to date, with great success, and has recently found a long lost father, in one of my cases.

She is highly recommended, and her commitment to detail cannot be questioned

Phil Jennings

Bond Lane Research ltd.

UK

Specialists in finding Missing Beneficiaries

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Without hesitation, I highly recommend Heather MacAlister as a genealogy researcher. She was diligent and thorough in the research she did for me.   I will use her services again and recommend her to anyone who is seeking assistance in tracing genealogical records.

Aubrey Little (Canada)

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I am very impressed with the service and would always use your service
you have been so helpful and so understanding.
Trish Smitheram (England)
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Heather MacAlister has successfully researched a wide range of biographical data for me.  She is a sleuth of note and has been my main source of information for my book about my pioneering family.

I have been particularly grateful for Heather’s kindly approach and for her unfailing ability to always dig in the right places.

Duncan McGregor (Sussex)

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Heather MacAlister provided an excellence service when I was drafting my family tree she provided guidance and clear routes in the different branches that comprise the Wilkie-Smith geneaology’

Dr Katie Mooney (Researcher and Heritage Practitioner, Cape Town

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You have been absolutely fantastic with all the research you have done for which I am truly grateful. Prof Hans Bornman on “Cockney Liz, Legendary Barmaid of Barberton”