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Frequently Asked Questions



General Information

  • Who are the people behind Voices from the Past?

    Voices from the Past is run by husband and wife team John Graham, a genealogist with more than 40 years of experience in genealogical and local history research, and Jo Marsh, who has been researching for more than 30 years. See the About Us page for more details.

Genealogical Research

  • In which countries do you carry out research?

    Our knowledge and research expertise is strongest when searching in Australia and the UK (including Ireland). However, we will consider any research request - and if we think it is beyond our capabilities to give value for money (such as searching foreign-language registers), we will tell you at the start.

  • What costs are involved?

    We charge an hourly rate for our time spent on researching and reporting. We also charge for expenses (such as certificates) at cost. We do not charge GST.

    We will always request your agreement in advance before ordering certificates, or carrying out any other activity where a reimbursable cost is involved, giving you our reasons why we think the expenditure is necessary.

    If any travel is involved, we will charge reimbursement of all costs (fares, petrol, accommodation, meals etc) and a nominal hourly rate for our travel time. Details of expected expenses will be provided in advance, for your agreement, prior to any travel, and 50% of the budgeted expenses must be paid before the travel commences.

  • What reports can I expect at the end of the research?

    We will give you a full report of our findings, quoting all sources, at the end of the job. For extensive research, we will send you interim reports, at a frequency you decide.

    We will also provide a list of all sources checked, including those where the result was negative.

  • What do we expect from you?

    When you ask us to undertake research on your behalf, we expect you to advise us of all relevant information relating to the research subject which is already known to you. We also expect you to tell us what records you have already consulted. In this way, we will not waste our time (and your money!) in duplicating research already done.

Biography Submissions

  • What are the advantages of submitting a biography to Voices From the Past?

    Voices from the Past provides some clear advantages when compared to other, similar websites.

    • Every word of every biography you submit is indexed by Google and other search engines. This makes your biographies available to many more researchers than those submitted to sites which store their data in a database.
    • There is no annual subscription required to maintain access to your data. Once submitted, your data is freely available to you, and to anyone else who visits the website.

  • Who can be the subject of a biography?

    Anyone can be the subject of a biography on Voices From the Past, provided they are no longer living. There is no requirement to have an Australian connection.

  • How do the privacy laws affect submissions?

    In Australia, the Privacy Act does not apply to deceased people - see p15 of this document. However, to avoid any possibility of privacy infringement of those still living, we ask that no living person be specifically named, nor have any identifying details published, in your submission. The sole exception is the submitter who, if named, is deemed to have given permission to publish whatever personal information he or she has supplied in the submission.

  • How reliable is the information?

    The information is only as reliable as the person making the submission. We at Voices from the Past do not change a submission, and accept no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in any submission.

  • Who owns the information once it has been published on the website?

    Copyright and ownership of the information remains with the submitter, who has full freedom to change or remove the submission. Voices from the Past is acting as a hosting site for your information, nothing more. We will not be selling or otherwise transferring the information to any third party.

  • What can I do if I think the information in a submission is wrong?

    Firstly, you should contact the submitter and discuss the problem. In most cases, agreement can be reached, and the submission changed if necessary.
    If you and the submitter cannot agree, then you are free to make your own submission for the same subject.

  • Can I amend my information once it is online?

    Yes, you can provide a complete replacement submission, at no charge. But we cannot make small amendments to existing submissions - the entire submission must be replaced.

  • Can I remove my information once it is online?

    Yes, a submission can be removed at any time the submitter wishes. You only need to contact us via the Contact US page, and verify that you are indeed the submitter.

  • Can I submit images with my submission?

    Yes, up to three images can accompany each submission. Voices from the Past staff will format the page to provide a suitable layout.

  • Who can make changes to information once it has been published?

    Only the original submitter, or someone authorised to act on their behalf (such as someone holding a power of attorney, or an executor in the case of the death of the submitter) may authorise changes to a published submission.

  • What can I do if I find someone else has submitted information on my family without my consent or knowledge?

    Information is not "owned" by anyone. While you may not want information on a person to be in the public domain, someone else (quite likely, a relative of yours) may see the situation differently. As long as a submission satisfies our guidelines, we will accept and publish the submission. Your best course of action is to contact the submitter and endeavour to reach an agreement.

  • Why do I have to provide contact details, and why are my contact details published?

    Voices from the Past exists to enable genealogists to publish information on people they have researched, and to enable researchers to contact others with an interest in the same people. Such a contact would be impossible if your contact details were not available. Unfortunately, if you don't wish to publish your contact details, then we are unable to accept your submission.

    The contact details we publish are your name and email address. Although we ask for your residential address with your submission, this is only to ensure we at Voices from the Past have an alternate means of communicating with you should your email address fail to work. We will not disclose your residential address to anyone without your consent.

  • How do I submit my information?

    We prefer that you use our Submissions page. If you are uncomfortable with this, you can email your submission using the address on the Contact Us page, or make your submission by post to the address shown there.

  • How long will it take for my information to appear on the website?

    We aim to publish information within 24 hours of it being submitted. In particularly busy periods, or when we are absent from home, delays of a few days are likely.

  • How much does a submission cost?

    Each submission costs ten dollars (Australian).

  • Is there a discount for multiple entries from the same submitter?

    No. We have deliberately kept the cost low, to enable as many genealogists as possible to submit entries.

  • For how many people can I submit information?

    You can submit information on as many people as you wish - there is no limit.

  • How long will my information remain on the site?

    Your information will remain on the website for the life of the site, unless you request its removal.

  • What if I don't want to pay via Paypal?

    If you don't wish to use Paypal, then we also accept cheque, cash or money order. Please contact us via the Contact Us page for advice.

  • How do I obtain a copy of the information about a person?

    We have not disabled the web pages in any way - you are free to copy and paste the information on any person into your genealogy software, wordprocessor, etc.