Once you have commissioned your research, Heir Line, can offer you three unique and fantastic ways to display your family history, each containing a wealth of information about your direct and indirect ancestors:

1.   Narrative Family History Reports and Statistical Reports, illustrated and presented in springback folders.

2.   Unique hand-bound, gold-embossed Storybooks, charting your ancestry.  These come with A3 pull-out family trees and even a full colour family photograph album!

3.   Beautiful ready-to-frame family trees, printed on large paper.



Contact Heir Line


Were your ancestors born in one of the old Ridings of the huge East, North or West Yorkshire?  Are you looking to hire a professional Yorkshire genealogist? If so, it’s important that you commission a first-rate researcher with an exceptional knowledge of the many available records covering the three Ridings, and one who knows where to find them.

Based in Wakefield in the heart of West Yorkshire, once the administrative capital of the old West Riding, Heir Line’s highly acclaimed Michael and Caroline Rochford, both published authors of non-fiction history titles and magazine features, are close to all the major Yorkshire record offices.


With the option to commission Yorkshire history research in hourly blocks to help you dig deeper into your family's past, or package-based research for those just starting out, Heir Line offers the perfect range of products to suit any requirement and budget.  We charge £24 per hour, and our family history packages start at £225.

Professional Yorkshire family history company, Heir Line, regularly undertakes genealogy research at the Borthwick Institute at the University of York where Michael and Caroline study and interpret a variety of records.

Work is also carried out at the North Yorkshire County Record Office where land deeds are held for the old county, and at the Treasure House in Beverley which holds a similar array of records covering the East Riding, including court rolls for various manors.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service, with offices in Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, Leeds and Wakefield, comprises a huge combined repository, with a vast probate collection at Leeds covering the Eastern Deaneries of the Consistory Court of the Archdeaconry of Richmond.

At Wakefield, the West Riding Registry of Deeds is the largest of the three registries, which, along with the Middlesex Deeds Registry, is one of only four English deeds registries covering conveyances, mortgages and other land records from 1700 through to the 1970s, when the Land Registry, with its national coverage, meant that such local registries were no longer required.

Hull History Centre and the archives and local history collection at Museum Street in York, with quarter sessions records, maps and rare trade directories, provide vital records covering these two major Yorkshire cities.


We study:

Wills and administrations from the Prerogative and Exchequer Courts of York

Court Rolls

Quarter Session records

Apprenticeship Indentures

Probate records from many of the peculiar courts

Cause Papers

Parish registers and Bishop’s Transcripts

Church Wardens’ accounts

Marriage bonds and allegations

Township records covering the accounts of the overseers of the poor, as well as the constables and surveyors of highways

Final concords

Conveyances, mortgages and other land records

Trade directories

Historic maps

... and many, many more miscellaneous records.


"I live in the US and am keenly interested in my family's genealogy. I needed help searching for my paternal roots in Yorkshire, England, and am so happy I found Heir Line!  I've worked with Michael over a period of three years, and he's uncovered an amazing amount of detailed information, some of it dating back to the 1600's. Michael is always professional, and at the same time friendly and personable, with a "customer-first" attitude.

"Michael is exactly the kind of researcher you want working for you. For every challenge he seems to know how to find a record with the answer. He works fast but is extremely thorough and persistent. He gleans key morsels of information from every document, often information I had totally missed looking at the same document myself.

"Best of all, when it comes to writing a narrative of one of my ancestors' stories, he has a gift that brings them to life. I highly recommend Heir Line to anyone researching their family's genealogy."

Paul Heckles, Maryland, USA.

As a member of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society, family historian and genealogist Michael Rochford is familiar with the immense collection of manorial records – not least the Wakefield Manor Court Rolls, final concords (a great resource when looking for transfers of freehold land in medieval times and beyond), rare wills, the Bradfer-Lawrence Collection, and the impressive library, containing every issue of the YAHS Record Series, which has relocated to the University of Leeds (Michael’s alma mater). He is also within easy access of the John Goodchild Collection at Wakefield.

With their combined experience and proven track record as family historians, (and recognised by magazine editors and major publishing houses such as Amberley Books and Pen & Sword, as well as London literary agents), you can commission Heir Line with the confidence that your research will be carried out to the highest standard by Yorkshire’s leading genealogists.

Michael's first local history book, Wakefield Then & Now: Extraordinary Tales from the Merrie City, has been published by the top Yorkshire publishing company, Pen & Sword, and contains beautiful photographs and fascinating stories of the city's rich history.  His second book, Tales from the Big House: Nostell Priory, features charming stories and harrowing family sagas that form the history of this impressive building.  Both books can be purchased from Amazon, Waterstones and other local bookshops.


"Michael, we've been on this journey for a while now ... and both you and Caroline are Professionals in the proper sense of the word, in connection with your Genealogical Work/Business and Careers. That expertise is worth paying for. It is also valued by many others, not just myself."

Jason Laycock, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.





Yorkshire's Leading Professional Genealogy Company