Who in Jersey will do research on your behalf?
Although the amount of data on Channel Island families is growing on the internet, only a small proportion of post-1842 birth, marriage and death records is available and none of the parish records which are the main sources of information before the mid-19th century. At the end of the day there is no substitute for research in Jersey's libraries, archives and public registry, which for those unable to make a trip to do the work themselves means finding somebody who will do it for them.
Find a willing helper
Locate a fellow amateur family historian in Jersey who will volunteer to do small-scale research for you alongside their own investigations. If you can establish a match with some of their own family members the process will be all the more worthwhile. You can contact potential helpers through the Jerripedia Facebook group.
Pay an experienced researcher
Pay an experienced family historian to undertake research for you on an hourly basis. There are two groups of researchers charging moderate fees for such work. They are members of La Société Jersiaise's family history section or of the Channel Island Family History Society.
La Société researchers
La Société Jersiaise has its own extensive library - the Lord Coutanche Library, named after Jersey's wartime Bailiff - and a team of researches based in the library are available to help visitors keen to research their own family trees. The volunteer research genealogists are usually available on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. If you are inexperienced in family history research, it is best to plan your first visit when the volunteers are in the Library. If you cannot visit Jersey and the library then the researchers are available to undertake work on your behalf.
CIFHS research groups
The Society has several small specialist groups with specific expertise, who meet regularly to discuss and take on enquiries. They are unpaid volunteers and the fees received for their work go to the Society to further its work. Researchers have detailed knowledge of local families and the connection between them.
The Society has an impressive collection of material: church records - some from the early 1600s to 1842, census material, rate books, local history books and other records. Some members have donated copies of their family trees following extensive research. Most of the collection is held at the Jersey Archive where it is open to the public, but the Research Group also uses other sources such as early local newspapers and archived Court records.
What you should do in advance
There is no point in paying somebody else to to what you can do for yourself, or have already done, so make sure that you underatke as much research on line as you can before contacting a CIFHS or Société Jersiaise researcher. Work out exactly what you want them to do for you, and prepare a clear brief, including as much information as you can on what you already know. It is probably best to ask the researcher to concentrate on one or, at most, two branches of your tree at the same time.