Privacy Policy


Family Wise Ltd is committed to protecting your data and respecting your privacy.

This Privacy and Cookie Policy sets out how we will process any personal data we collect from you, or which you provide to us when you contact us, when you use our services or when you are just visiting our website.  We have provided you with a short version, as well as the full version.

Short version

Family Wise Ltd are a probate and genealogy research company; therefore, we collect personal data to be able to provide our services in terms of tracing heirs in estates, locating and reuniting people, and researching your family history when you have asked us to.

We collect information about you, such as your contact details, certificates of life events, identity data, customer data, family history, financial data, marketing data and data about how you use our website. We don’t process any special category data about you. We don’t proactively collect data about anyone under the age of 18.

We collect personal information that you provide to us, that is publicly available, automatically through our website, or from other organisations; when you have given them your consent to share your information.

Our website uses cookies. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer when you visit our website. They are used in order to make our website work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to us. You can find out more information about how and why we use cookies, as well as how to manage them, in our full Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Family Wise Ltd process personal information to provide, improve and administer our services, to communicate with you, for security and fraud prevention, and to comply with the law. We rely on our contractual obligations, legitimate interests, your consent, and our legal obligations to process personal information.

Sometimes we need to share your information with third parties to allow us to deliver our service, for example we may need to share your information with legal firms, executors of a Will, financial institutions, local councils, or our service providers. More information about how and why we share personal data can be found in our full privacy and cookie policy below.

We only process the personal information that is needed and only keep it for as long as is necessary to fulfil the purpose, as outlined in our full privacy and cookie policy.

Family Wise Ltd have put measures in place to protect the security of your personal information.

Under data protection laws, you have rights about how we handle your personal data which are detailed in our full privacy and cookie policy. You can exercise these rights by getting in contact with us at

Privacy and Cookie Policy – In Full

Our responsibilities

When we are processing personal data, Family Wise Ltd acts as the ‘data controller’ and is responsible for your personal data. This means we determine how and why your data is processed. We are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under number ZA069854.

Your responsibilities

There isn’t much that you have to do, we ask that you:

  • Read this Privacy and Cookie Policy
  • If you are our client, please also check the contracts between us: they may contain further details on how we collect and process your data.
  • If you provide us with personal information about other people, or if others give us your information, we will only use that information for the specific reason for which it was provided to us. By submitting the information, you confirm that you have the right to authorise us to process it on your behalf in accordance with this privacy and cookie policy.

Contact details

There are many ways in which you can contact us, including by phone, email, and post. Our full contact details are:

Full name of legal entity: Family Wise Ltd

Data Protection Manager: Kirsty Gray

Email address:

Telephone number: 01249 476777

Postal Address: 19 High Street, Calne, England, SN11 0BS

The information we collect

We may collect the following categories of information about you:

  • Contact Details – including your name, email address, telephone number, billing address, delivery address;
  • Publicly available certificates of life events;
  • Financial Information – including your bank account number and sort code;
  • Customer Data – including information about any goods and/or services you have purchased from us and your payment history;
  • Marketing Data – including your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences;
  • Data to confirm your identity – if you become our client, we will also need data to confirm your identity, this will be explained to you and detailed in our letter of engagements.
  • Data about how you use Family Wise – your URL clickstreams (the path you take through our site), products/services viewed, page response times, download errors, how long you stay on our pages, what you do on those pages, the number of times you visit our pages and other actions; and
  • Data that identifies you – including your IP address, browser type and version, time zone setting and location. The source of this data is from our analytics tracking system.

You do not have to provide us with this information, however, without certain information, we may not be able to provide you with our services, for example, we will be unable to respond to any queries that you have if we do not have your contact information.

Special category data

We do not collect any special category data from users of our website or clients, except when we have your explicit consent, or when we must collect it to comply with the law. Special category data is also known as “sensitive data” (like racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious/philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data, health data, data about your sex life or sexual orientations, and offences or alleged offences).

Children’s data

Family Wise do not provide services to, or proactively collect any personal information from, any person under the age of 18. In certain circumstances, with the person with parental responsibilities consent, we may, at their request, add children’s details to their family tree binder.

How do we gather your information?

We your collect personal information in the following ways:

Directly, when you:

  • provide your information when interacting with us by phone, email, or post;
  • have made an enquiry to us;
  • subscribe to our newsletter or to receive marketing communications; or
  • fill out the contact form on our website;


  • when you give permission to other organisations to share it;
  • where the information is publicly available, such as registers of birth, marriages, or civil partnerships;
  • through the use of website technology – please see our Cookie Policy for further details; and
  • through third parties, such as analytics providers like Google and Facebook.


How we use your information

Data protection law means that we can only use your data for certain reasons and where we have a lawful basis to do so. Here are the reasons for which we process your data:

  • To deliver our service – When you enter into a contract with us for goods or services, we need to process your personal information so that we can provide this to you. Our lawful basis is for the performance of a contract.
  • Keeping Family Wise Ltd running – As a probate and genealogy company, we need to process personal information to be able to find and contact potential beneficiaries. Sometimes this involves tracing an individual named on a Will, or where a person has died and not left a Will, we will research their family history to enable us to find their next-of-kin. We also need to audit and administer our accounts. Our lawful basis is for our legitimate interests.
  • Improving Family Wise Ltd – We want to ensure that content from our site is presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer/device. We also need your personal information to deal with enquires and complaints made by or about you regarding our business. Our lawful basis is for our legitimate interests.
  • Marketing Purposes – We like to keep you updated on any services we feel may be of interest to you. Our lawful basis is consent and legitimate interests.
  • To comply with the law – Sometimes we need to process data to comply with the law. Our lawful basis is a legal obligation.

Here is what each Lawful Basis means

Contract – Processing your data is necessary for a contract that you have with us, or because we have asked you to take specific steps before entering into that contract.

Consent – You have given us your consent to process your data for a specific purpose. Remember you can change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time. You can do this by emailing us at Note: under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR), if you have engaged with us previously (i.e., purchased services, or expressed interest in purchasing services) then we may send you relevant marketing information, unless you opted out of receiving it. All communication will contain an opt-out option. This regulation is not superseded by GDPR but works in tandem with it. For more information, please see What are PECR? | ICO

Legitimate Interest – The main purpose of Family Wise Ltd is to undertake genealogical and probate research. Applicable law allows personal information to be collected and used if it is reasonably necessary for our legitimate activities. Our legitimate interests are:

  • Tracing individuals named on a Will, that have not been found;
  • Researching the family history of an individual who has died intestate;
  • Locating individuals subject to formal evidential instruction;
  • Contacting you about services we feel may interest you, relevant news stories or blogs;
  • Responding to enquiries;
  • Delivering products, services or information that have been requested;
  • Maintaining a database of clients and enquirers;
  • Gaining insights from your behaviour on our website;
  • Processing financial transactions and maintaining financial controls;
  • Enforcement of legal claims; and
  • Reporting criminal acts and compliance with law enforcement agencies.

When we use your personal information, we will consider if it is fair and balanced to do so and if it is within your reasonable expectations. We will balance your rights and our legitimate interests to ensure that we use your personal information in ways that are not unduly intrusive or unfair in other ways.

Do we share your personal information?

For the purposes of fulfilling our services detailed in the Family Wise Ltd Letter of Agreement, we may sometimes need to share your personal information with other organisations involved in the dealing with the estate. This will vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but each one will have been deemed necessary, and can include the Government Legal Department, asset holders and custodians, councils, banks and building societies, solicitors, and the organisations administrating the estate.

Family Wise Ltd, like most companies, sometimes need to use third parties to help their business run. We have detailed other circumstances in which we may share your personal information below:

  • Accountants – we share information with our accountants for tax purposes. For example, we share invoices we issue and receive with our accountants for the purpose of completing tax returns and our end of year accounts; and
  • Third party service providers – we share information for our legitimate business purposes. For example, we share email addresses and marketing preferences with our email marketing provider, and we use a cloud-based CRM solution to manage customer records.

We require all third parties to whom we transfer your data to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We only allow such third parties to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Otherwise than as set out in this privacy and cookie policy, we will only ever share your data with your informed consent.

International transfers

We do not routinely transfer your data outside of the EU. However, with your consent, we do use Google Analytics. Google uses the information, including IP addresses and information from cookies, for a number of purposes, such as improving its Google Analytics service. Information is shared with Google on an aggregated and anonymised basis.

To find out more about what information Google collects, how it uses this information and how to control the information sent to Google, please see the following page: How Google uses information from sites or apps that use our services – Privacy & Terms – Google

Links from other websites

Where we provide any links from our site to external websites, our privacy and cookie policy will no longer apply. We encourage you to read the privacy notice of any such external site that you visit, as we cannot accept any responsibility for how that organisation processes personal information.

Social media

We operate on the following social media platforms:

  • Facebook (Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd). You can see their privacy information here.
  • Twitter (Twitter, Inc). You can see their privacy information here.
  • Instagram (Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd. You can see their privacy information here.

When you visit our social media pages, data is also processed by the social media platform, so we suggest that you also familiarise yourself with the privacy information of that platform.


What are ‘Cookies’?

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer’s hard drive by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

We are required to obtain your consent for all non-essential cookies used on our website.

How and why do we use Cookies?

We use cookies to gain a better understanding of how visitors use our website. This enables us to understand how you use the site and helps us to develop and improve our website, products, and services in response.

What type of Cookies do we use?

The cookies we use are either:

  • Session cookies: these are only stored on your computer during your web session and are automatically deleted when you close your browser – they usually store an anonymous session ID allowing you to browse a website without having to log in to each page, but they do not collect any personal data from your computer; or
  • Persistent cookies: a persistent cookie is stored as a file on your computer, and it remains there when you close your web browser. The cookie can be read by the website that created it when you visit that website again.

We use both first and third party cookies. First party cookies are cookies set by our website. Third party cookies are cookies on our website that are set by a website other than our website, such as where we have adverts on our website or use Facebook pixels so that we can show you relevant content from us when you are on Facebook.

We also use social media buttons and/or plugins on this site that allow you to connect with your social network in various ways. For these to work the social media sites including Facebook, will set cookies through our site which may be used to enhance your profile on their site or contribute to the data they hold for various purposes outlined in their respective privacy policies.

We also use Google Analytics to collect data about website usage. These cookies are collected in a way that does not directly identify anyone. Further information about googles privacy and safeguards can be found here: Safeguarding your data – Analytics Help (

We use the following categories of cookies:

  • Necessary: these cookies are essential for you to be able to use the website effectively.
  • Preferences: these cookies allow the website to remember choices you have made in the past, like what language you prefer, and provide enhanced features.
  • Performance: these cookies allow for the services to be optimised, to give you the best possible experience.
  • Advertising/Marketing: these cookies help us provide our visitors with relevant advertisements and marketing campaigns.
  • Analytics: these cookies collect information about how you use the website, like which pages you visited, and which links you clicked on. They allow us to monitor and improve the performance of the website.

How can I change my cookie settings?

You can change your cookie preference at any time by clicking on the ‘Privacy and Cookie Policy’ tab at the bottom of the web page, in the pop up select ‘Manage Cookies’. You can then adjust the available sliders ‘on’ or ‘off’. Save your preferences by clicking ‘Save and Accept’. You may need to refresh the page for your setting to take effect.

Most web browsers allow you to control cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit or

You can opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, by going to

Specific Cookies

You can find more information about the individual cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them, by selecting “Manage Cookies” in the cookie consent mechanism. The information is regularly updated using our consent mechanism.

How do we store your data and keep it secure?

We use physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information that we process. Most of the information that we hold about you will be stored electronically and is stored in the European Economic Area (EEA). Physical documents containing personal information are stored at our office in Calne. We have security measures in place to protect this data.

Examples of our security include:

  • securely storing electronic information with appropriate encryption or security controls where required, both at rest and in transit;
  • carrying out processing in accordance with our policies and risk assessments;
  • regular testing of our technologies and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates; and
  • controlling access to systems and networks so that only those people who need to and are allowed to see your personal information are able to access it.

Please remember that when you provide us your personal information, you do so at your own risk. Unfortunately, no data is guaranteed to be 100% secure.

Your rights

Where we rely on your consent to use your personal information, you have the right to object and withdraw that consent at any time. This includes the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for direct marketing purposes or to be unsubscribed from our email list at any time.

You also have the following rights:

  • the right to be informed – you have the right to be told how your personal information will be used. This statement and other policy statements used on our website and in our communications are intended to provide you with a clear and transparent description of how your personal information may be used;
  • the right of access – you can ask for any of the information we have about you. This is also called a ‘Subject Access Request’. Provided we are satisfied that you are entitled see the information requested and we have successfully confirmed your identity, we have one calendar month to comply;
  • the right of erasure – also known as the right to be forgotten. Under certain circumstances you can ask us for your personal information to be deleted from our records;
  • the right of rectification – if you believe our records of your personal information are inaccurate you have the right to ask for those records to be updated;
  • the right to restrict processing – you have the right to ask for processing of your data to be restricted if there is disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage; and
  • the right to data portability – where we are processing your personal information with your consent, because such processing is necessary for the performance of a contract (or enable us to take steps, at your request, prior to entering into a contract) AND that processing is taking place by automated means, you may ask us to provide it to you – or another service provider – in a machine-readable format.

To exercise these rights, please contact us using the contact details below. Where we consider that the information provided does not enable us to identify the personal information in question, we may ask for personal identification and/or further information.

Please note that some of these rights only apply in limited circumstances. For more information, we suggest that you consult ICO guidance – Individual rights | ICO – or please contact us using the details below.

Data retention

Personal data is held for only as long as is required for the purpose we collected it or for our legitimate interest purposes.

Genealogical research is of lasting historical value to our business and to the beneficiaries, so we retain our records of research cases, such as family trees and copies of certificates as a permanent archival record. We will always ‘weed out’ out non necessary information and securely delete or destroy this.

With regards to client files, following conclusion of the work we are retained to do, we will electronically scan paper documents, and retain electronic copies of documents relating to the file for up to 7 years, unless otherwise required by law. However, if before that date:

  • your personal information is no longer required in connection with such purpose(s);
  • we are no longer lawfully entitled to process it; or
  • you validly exercise your right of erasure

then we will remove it from our records as soon as is practicable.

Should you ask us to stop sending your direct marketing or other electronic communications, we will keep your name on our internal suppression list to ensure that you are not contacted again.

Changes to this Privacy and Cookie Policy

This policy was last updated on 01/08/2023.

We may make changes to this privacy and cookie policy from time to time. The latest version will always be available on our website. If there is a substantial or material change to this policy, we will inform you via email.

Questions and complaints

If you have any questions, you can contact our Data Protection Manager, Kirsty Gray:


Postal Address:

Family Wise Ltd
19 High Street
SN11 0BS

If you feel that after contacting us, that we are not acting appropriately with respect to our data privacy, you have the right to contact the governing body. In the UK this is the ICO, the Information Commissioner’s Office, their web pages for handling issues are at: 

Or you can contact them by post, telephone, or email:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Linda Young

I learned from Family Wise that I was the beneficiary from the estate of a relative who died intestate. Although his estate was in the UK and I am in the US which made things a bit more complicated., Family Wise went out of their way to make getting the estate settled as easy for me as possible and although it took some years, they were diligent in keeping me up to date as to what was happening and ultimately securing the funds were sent to me. They are a very professional firm and I would recommend them without hesitation to anyone needing their types of services.

25 September 2023
Peter Warneford-Bygrave

Totally out of the blue I was contacted by Family Wise Limited that I had a distant relative that had died with an unclaimed estate. With a 120 year researched family tree thrown in and a cheque I received today, all I can say is well done Family Wise Limited, and thank you to the very pleasant staff.

21 June 2022
Tammy Byrd

Peyton from Family Wise Limited was very helpful. My family is in the United States, so this process was strange to us. Peyton was patient with us and walked us through the process. Thank you so much for your professionalism.

21 June 2022
Bob Prior

Highly professional and efficient are the ways I would describe Family Wise Ltd. Whilst the findings of my inheritance were not life-changing amounts, the service I received was superb. Thank you so much for your efforts Family Wise, it was greatly appreciated.

21 June 2022
Avis Rose

Thank you all at Family Wise for all the work that was carried out to recover money. Was very interesting to receive the family tree.

8 September 2022
Carole Rust

Excellent service and through Family Wise, I discovered things I never knew regarding my mother

8 September 2022
Christopher McKeown

Family Wise are a legitimate company and provide excellent service.
They were able to resolve the payment of a deceased relative’s funds to myself and family members for a reasonable admin fee.

8 September 2022
Margaret Rees-Lee

Family Wise contacted us (we’re in Australia) last year about our brother. They were very professional and trustworthy. I do not hesitate in recommending them.

8 September 2022
Michael Woolsey

The service is excellent it was in regard to my late wife’s uncle Brian Christopher Smith, who just received a letter about the family’s history. My wife lost touch with a lot of her family on her mother’s side. Thank you for all your help.

8 September 2022
Peter Ranford

This company is very professional in all aspects of the world. Dylan who was over looking after my case was carrying and considerate. He made me feel at ease all the way through. We thanks him for all his advice and help. My case did not have the conclusion i wanted but no fault of this company.

16 January 2024
Ruth Cameron

My experience with Family Wise has been a very good one. From the beginning all the way through to the conclusion. The communication has been outstanding, they have always told us when they would contact us and they always were prompt in doing so. Questions were answered well and with compassion. Whenever I have spoken to one of the team, they have been so lovely, kind, helpful and happy to do so. At the end we each got a Family tree, which was a lovely thing for us to keep. Thank you all at Family Wise, I have really appreciated all you have done for us.

16 January 2024
Stephen Roper
Kirsty and the team were absolutely amazing words cannot discibe how very grateful I am. I hadn't known anything about my past from infant onwards. Family wise created my family tree and I found relatives I hadn't known existed. Outstanding from the beginning of the the journey to the end. Many thanks to Kirsty and not forgetting the rest of the team.
23 December 2023
Barbara Havey
Fantastic work. Big family to trace, so much work. Thank you
13 January 2024
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