Research and Commissions

Historical research is rewarding but it can be slow. Sometimes a day in an archive will tell you the main narrative of a person’s life, or the life of a house. At other times, weeks of searching can yield almost nothing. There are subjects for which almost no records have survived. But even in these cases intelligent research can suggest ways to uncover the story. Sometimes, a mass of documents seem contradictory until one more find makes all the others fall into place. Historical research is a puzzle which often yields fascinating results.

If you have an old house and want to know who built it and when, who has lived in it and what became of them, Jane Hayter-Hames may be able to answer your questions.

If you have an ancestor about whom you know a little but would love to know more, research may illuminate the story.

If you need historical research for planning permission, conservation or for commercial purposes, Jane may be able to help.

Despite the nature of the process, you can put limits on the research. Fees can be agreed per day or per week, so a time limit can be set after which both the client and researcher can appraise the results and see if it is worthwhile to continue research and to expand the project.

The information may be widely spread. Wills and deeds, government and military records, letters and pictures – these may all be scattered across one country or in several. The physical remains of significant structures may take time to investigate. The client should expect expenses for travel and accommodation if records are in multiple archives. However by careful planning, each trip can be used to extract the maximum information and return trips avoided.

A client may already have a treasure trove of evidence about the past, which only needs sorting, clarifying and illuminating. Any deeds, indentures, letters, photographs, portraits or other records which the client has retained, may be invaluable. If you have an old house or are concerned about the history of your family, please store your records carefully. Try not to muddle them up or let them get damp. Strong sunlight fades ink, damp cellars can be ruination.

If you are interested in hiring Jane Hayter-Hames for research, please get in touch. We can talk your project over and decide if and how to proceed.


Historical research commissions