Pettyfer, Sarah


Pettyfer, Sarah

Professional Genealogist and Family Historian

  • Heraldic research, Individuals/Families research
  • Surrey
  • Updated 8 months ago


My background is in law, working as a solicitor for 18 years before taking a career break to have children. I am originally from Yorkshire but have lived in Surrey since 2012 and gained a Diploma in Genealogy from the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) in December 2021.

Through the qualifications and research undertaken thus far, I have developed a particular interest in and a good knowledge of pre 19th century records which can be utilised both the extend your family tree and provide more insight into the lives of your ancestors and help develop their life story. After all, family history is far more than simply knowing who your ancestors were, it is also about how they lived and helped mould the lives we live today. For me there is nothing quite like the excitement of getting my hands on 300+ year old records to find ancestors and discover how they lived, whether they be agricultural workers or Lords of the Manor, criminals or Knights of the Realm. There is no such thing as a “boring” ancestor, finding out about the hard lives our ancestors led, leaves me with nothing but pride for all those who came before us.

I have had a lifelong interest in crime and criminology. This coupled with my legal background has also led to a interest in researching our criminal ancestors who may be those who committed a crime as we would define it today or crimes against morality and society standards (e.g. adultery). Many of our ancestors will be found in the complex court system of the past for reasons unthinkable today!

I am always excited to take on new projects in all aspects of family history, however great or small, and help you find your family history.


  • Assizes
  • Chancery
  • Manorial courts
  • Quarter Sessions
  • Specialist interest in Manorial Records and Criminal Ancestors


  • Completed December 2021
    Diploma in Genealogy at Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
    Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
  • Completed November 2020
    Higher Certificate in Genealogy at Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies


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