Thanks dragon. Trouble is there's a family story of an ancestor, about 1800, changing name as he deserted from navy to army. What DH has found so far seems to agree with this, but he needs help with confirming which will probably need some guidance. Will look at the ancestry forums. Thanks again.
I would then contact the archive there and ask if they know of someone or another office that would cover this area that you require.
Alternatively go and post your query on rootschat and see if the members there can help you with the bit you are stuck on - it is a message board much like here but just for family history stuff and the people are very helpful.
Someone did a lookup for me in Dover 200 miles away as they had the microfich at home - so within 12 hours I had the answer to my question hey have better smilies to...
Thank you, but unfortunately they only seem to cover enquires relating to Newcastle and surrounds and the bit we're stuck on relates to someone moving to the south coast. Will keep looking. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
My DH has been using Ancestry for several months and really done well, but he's hit the point of needing some professional assistance and I've said I'll pay for that as a Christmas present. Does seem to be a bit of a minefield out there though and just wondered if anyone could recommend a national company or someone in the northeast? Thanks!