...Yorkshire, British & International Researcher...

Michael 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.  He has, on many occasions, unearthed interesting findings that would otherwise have been forgotten in time, and has even been commissioned by one of his clients to write a fictional novel about his amazing discoveries! 

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.

Interesting Facts


Michael John 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 our blog!

How far back his own tree goes

Mid 1500s, when Richardi Pape was born in Howden, Yorkshire


Edgehill University and Leeds University (Bretton Hall)

Academic lEVEL

Masters Degree

Greatest Achievements to date

  1. 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. 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!

Professional Bodies

The FSB, the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (YAS), and WAGS.

Favourite Publication

The History and Topography of Wakefield and its Environs - by John Hewitt (1863)

Favourite Hobby

Outside of work, Michael loves

taking long walks in the countryside in the summer.  He 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.

Email: mike@heir-line.co.uk          Tel: 01924 314363          Mob: 07525 192579

(c) Heir Line Ltd 2014

Registered company number 06527525.  Registered in England.  Registered Office: 6 Denhale Avenue, Wakefield (near Leeds), West Yorkshire, WF2 9EF

...Yorkshire, British & International Researcher...

Using all available sources, Michael will do all he can to complete your research project to the highest possible standard.  His sources include (but are by no means limited to):

  1. Bullet Wills (Prerogative & Exchequer Courts and Probate Registries)

  2. ...Yorkshire, British & International Researcher...UK & Irish Parish records

  3. ...How Things Work at Ancestry by Heir Line...International Church Records

  4. Military records

  5. ...What Projects Does Michael Work On?...Archived newspapers

  6. ...What Projects Does Michael Work On?...1841 - 1911 UK census returns

  7. 1851, 1901 & 1911 Irish census returns

  8. Poll Books

  9. Land Tax Returns

  10. Visitations

  11. Peerage Records (eg Burke’s Peerage, etc.)

  12. General Register Office records

  13. BulletHistorical and current Electoral Rolls

  14. BulletThe International Genealogical Index

  15. BulletInformation provided by living relatives

  16. BulletA collection of Historical Trade Directories

  17. BulletRelevant textbooks, and a library of rare and antique books

  18. BulletNewsreels from the 1930s onwards

  19. BulletHistorical maps

  20. BulletBastardy orders

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.

Contact him today to discuss your project.

...How Things Work at Ancestry by Heir Line...

The simple answer is: more or less anything!  So long as it relates to history or genealogy.  It can range from general ancestry services, (including tracing historical documents and locating long-lost relatives), to probate-related research.  He is also currently working on a novel based on one of his family history research projects, and co-editing a series of books about the Victorians.  Michael has also written articles for family history magazines.

...What Projects Does Michael Work On?...