Data Protection Policy

Information Audit

Debrett Ancestry Research Ltd records names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers from individuals who contact the company directly to request information and for those who become clients. Some of these individuals also send personal information about family members and this is all regarded as highly confidential. None of this information is passed on to any third party for marketing purposes.

The results of our genealogical research are presented in a bound report which may also be supplied electronically. The report is issued to the client, who may request that copies are also sent to family members. If anyone requests a copy other than the client we seek the client’s permission before providing such a copy. This might be waived in cases where the client is deceased, or cannot be contacted, and the research was carried out more than ten years previously.

Lawful basis for processing personal data

The individuals concerned have given clear consent for us to process their personal data for the specific purpose of sending them information about our services or researching their family history.

Consent (email contact)


Follow-up emails are sent to enquirers, via Mailchimp, a few months after initial contact, with an unsubscribe option. In order to obtain consent to do this, we are implementing an opt-in box on the website contact form, and adding a note at the end of any email response to say that we may contact the enquirer again via email.


Follow-up emails are sent to clients, a few months after a report has been sent, and again a year later. From April 2018 these include an option to ask that no further emails are sent.

Legitimate interest

We believe that clients benefit from our keeping the family details they have supplied, for up to 25 years, because we have had numerous cases where clients return for continued research after many years. However, in the light of the new legislation we are currently (2018) seeking consent from clients to retain files for up to 25 years. After that files may be securely destroyed.

Right of access

Access to personal data held by Debrett Ancestry Research Ltd will always be provided within at least one calendar month of receiving a request. Such information will be freely given. In the case of copies of genealogical research reports, however, a fee will be charged.

Right to rectification and data quality

Personal data will always be updated or corrected immediately on request.

Right to restrict processing

All requests to restrict the processing of personal data will be responded to immediately.

Retention and storage of personal information

1. Enquiries

DataHow & where storedRetainedHow destroyed
Names, addresses, addresses, telephone numbers, family informationPaper files in office Database (2 PCs) External backup drive
Offsite external backup drive
10 yrsShredded
Non-personal paperwork eg photocopies of public recordsPaper files in office10 yrsRecycled


2. Clients

DataHow & where storedRetainedHow destroyed
Names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, correspondence, research notes on familiesPaper files in office
Paper files in storage
Database (2 PCs)
External backup drive
Offsite external backup drive
<25 yrsShredded
By Box-It
Credit/debit card detailsPaper files only in office<1 yrShredded
Research reportsPaper files in office Paper files in storage Electronic copies on office PC
Offsite external backup drive
<25 yrs
<25 yrs
By Box-It
By Box-It


Permission is from 18 April 2018 sought from new clients to retain files for up to 25 years. After that files may be securely destroyed.

Requests to destroy personal data will be responded to immediately.

Care of client files

Client files containing all information except credit/debit card details are held by default in the office, and after a number of years sent to a GDPR-compliant storage facility (Box-It).

Clients are encouraged to send copies, not originals, of family documents. Any original documents received may be copied and are then returned to the client.

Active files may be taken home and to record offices by genealogists when necessary and returned as soon as possible. This does incur a low-level risk of files being lost but this risk is considered low and great care is taken to ensure that files are not at risk of being lost or viewed by others.

While working on a file in a record office, files not in immediate use are secured in lockers.

Debrett Ancestry Research 

November 2020

© Debrett Ancestry Research Ltd 2018

Tel: (+44) (0)1962 841904
Luccam House
Hockley Mill
Church Lane
SO21 1NT