Michael J. Rochford, Director of Heir Line Ltd, is a young, fast, thorough, dedicated and experienced researcher with an amazing eye for detail, so he always knows exactly where he needs to look to find the required information, even where others have failed. Throughout his career he has unearthed interesting findings that would otherwise have been forgotten in time, and has even been commissioned to write a historical novel about his amazing discoveries! Click here to find out more!
Michael is extremely competent at undertaking international ancestry projects as well as British family history research, and has successfully completed American, Australian, Belgian, Cypriot, Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, South African, Welsh, and also Lithuanian, Luxembourgian, Russian, Polish, and German Jewish research, and a variety of European genealogy projects.
You can either commission Michael on an hourly basis if you have specific requirements for your family history service, or you can purchase one of Ancestry by Heir Line’s fantastic Research Packages to get you started.
Michael J. Rochford BA (hons) MA
PLACE OF BIRTH
Manygates, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Michael is three quarters English and a quarter Irish. His mother is English (with London ancestors) whereas his father was born in Cairo to a Lincolnshire-born mother and a Dublin-born father, both of whom were fighting in the Second World War at the time. Michael’s grandfather was actually a Third Battalion Coldstream Guardsman who joined the army at the age of 8, when he was educated at the long-forgotten Royal Hibernian Military School in Phoenix Park, Dublin, (now St. Mary’s Hospital). Before WWII he guarded the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London and the Bank of England, before fighting at the battle of El Alamein and becoming a close personal friend of Colonel Gamal Nasser, President of Egypt. Read more about Michael’s amazing grandfather on the American news website, IrishCentral!
HOW FAR BACK HIS OWN TREE GOES
Mid 1500s, when Richardi Pape was born in Howden, Yorkshire
Edgehill University and Leeds University (Bretton Hall)
GREATEST GENEALOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
1. Discovering the array of dark secrets that a Leeds-based client’s mother took with her to her grave! She was not from a wealthy Irish family, as she always claimed to be, but in fact was the secret granddaughter of one of the earliest white settlers in Western Australia, and an indentured aborigine!
2. Researching an amazing family tree for a client from Wakefield who never knew she was the direct descendant of knights, barons, apothecaries, lords, lawyers, the Master of London Bridge, and a whole host of other glamorous dignitaries including John of Gaunt, Edward III, and onwards through a long royal line of Kings and Queens, and even saints!
The FSB, and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (YAS). Previously a member of the Western Australian Genealogical Society, and has recently signed a contract with the London-based literary agency, A for Authors, who are representing his literary projects and historical novels
The History and Topography of Wakefield and its Environs - by John Hewitt (1863)
WHEN HE'S NOT RESEARCHING FAMILY TREES, WORKING FOR SOLICITORS, WRITING BOOKS AND RUNNING A BUSINESS, HE'S...
...taking long walks in the countryside with his wife, his in-laws and his rescue dog, Bruno. (Yes, Bruno has also had his family tree researched using DNA, and is proud to call himself half Jack Russell and a quarter German Shepherd. The remaining quarter is a mixture of all sorts of breeds!) Michael also enjoys music, football, reading and current affairs.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012, for his work with the charity Calibre, recording audio books for disabled or visually-impaired children and adults.
The simple answer is: more or less anything! So long as the projects relate to history or genealogy. They can range from general ancestry services, (including tracing historical documents and locating long-lost relatives), to probate-related research.
Early in 2015 Michael was commissioned by the distinguished history publishers, Pen & Sword, to produce an illustrated account of the history of his home city, Wakefield, a former centre of the woollen industry in the heart of the West Riding. Packed with quirky tales and beautiful images, this book is due to hit the shelves in September 2016.
He recently finished his first historical novel based on a true story. It is a tale of love, loss, adventure and discovery, spanning four generations, three centuries, two continents, and explores what happens when opposing cultures collide.
Michael also writes for various genealogy magazines and has co-edited a series of books about the Victorians, as well as a forthcoming military memoir. Click here to find out more about Heir Line’s literary creations!
Using all available primary sources, Michael will do all he can to complete your research project to the highest possible standard. As a rule, Michael never trusts secondary sources, preferring always to consult original and contemporary records to ensure the utmost accuracy in his research. These sources include (but are by no means limited to):
• Wills (Ecclesiastical Courts and Probate Registries)
• UK & Irish Parish records
• International Church Records
• Military records
• Archived newspapers
• 1841 - 1911 UK census returns
• 1851, 1901 & 1911 Irish census returns
• Poll Books
• Land Tax Returns
• Peerage Records
• General Register Office records
• Historical and current Electoral Rolls
• Genealogical indexes
• Information provided by living relatives
• A collection of Historical Trade Directories
• Relevant textbooks
• A private library of rare and antique books
• Newsreels from the 1930s onwards
• Historical maps
Once you have sent Michael your requirements he will get to work on your project, giving you regular updates to keep you informed of his progress as he goes along, before providing you with a detailed report of his findings at the end of your commission.
Michael J. Rochford - Professional Writer, Genealogist and Family Historian