Search & Copy Service


The Society is aware that not everyone is able to visit the library in person and so we offer a limited search and copy service for some of our records. The Society's resources are such that we cannot make long searches in the collections.  Please note we cannot search for a named individual within the un-indexed collections; nor can we make searches outside the library. For example, we would not be able to extract all entries of a particular surname from a filmed parish register, but if the exact name and date is known copies can be made.


Indexes and collections can be searched on receipt of the library search/handling fee of £20 (£15  for members citing their membership number) for each half hour or part thereof spent in making the search. Most searches will not exceed half an hour. The fee includes VAT and postage. Requests must include payment in advance.

The initial handling fee of £20 (£15 for members) typically covers the cost of such searches as follows:-

  • To establish if we have an item in the document or special collections or in printed books and other media
  • To look for items supposedly held at the SoG and cited in other works or websites – e.g. the Devon Wills database
  • To copy articles from the Genealogists’ Magazine or other journals
  •  If the item is found and comprises fewer than five copies the copy costs and postage are included in the initial search/handling fee. Copying longer or larger items may incur a second handling fee as appropriate (see below).  NB in most cases it will be easier to scan and email PDF or jpeg  copies rather than post photocopies and we try to do this more often than not.
  •  If the item is more than 5 copies then an additional handling fee may incur and copies are supplied at a charge of 50p per each A4 page or £1 per each A3 page or scanned image.
  •  Longer searches in un-indexed items like registers or searches in multiple law lists etc can be negotiated at a cost of £20 for each half hour spent with a minimum charge of £40 (see below).


Please note that we cannot copy entire works which are still in copyright. We can only supply copies up to a maximum of 10 per cent of the original item or one complete chapter of an original item. Where a published work is out of copyright, i.e. 70 years or more after the death of the author, we will copy as much as is consistent with our limited staff time.

Payment can be made by sterling cheque (made payable to the Society of Genealogists) or with a VISA/MASTERCARD. When sending card details you may wish to email this information in two separate emails for extra security – enclosing the name on the card, the card number, expiry date and 3 digit security number from the back of the card.
Please ensure you have given us the full postal address if items are to be sent by post.


Lengthy searches

Lengthy or complicated searches are undertaken only at the discretion of the Genealogist, and an estimate of fees will be provided. The work will be undertaken only on receipt of the appropriate fee.

To use the service

Enquiries should be addressed to the Genealogist:

Post: Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
For postal enquiries, please include a stamped self-addressed envelope


Please note that we cannot accept search requests over the telephone.



Requests are dealt with in order of receipt. They are not acknowledged but the Society endeavours to answer within one month if possible. The Society does not undertake professional genealogical research. Those unable to conduct their own research may wish to consider appointing a record agent or professional genealogist. The Society will not recommend any individual but several advertise on our own Genealogists' Magazine and other journals such as Family Tree Magazine. The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) publishes a list of its members and this is available on-line here. Guidance on employing a professional researcher can be found on the learn pages of Society of Genealogists website here

SoG Data Online


The Society is digitising an increasing number of its records and making them available to Members over the internet.

Search our data online



Need some help with your research? We offer help by phone, face-to-face or online.

Family history advice service