Bob Appleton - Researcher

Bob is a key member of The Tracing Group Research Team, putting to use his 5 plus years of people tracing and genealogical research experience on the wide variety of cases that cross our desks each day. Bob enjoys nothing better than solving some of the complex research cases that have very minimal input information and is particularly skilled with overseas tracing projects.

In 2013 Bob completed a History degree with a 2:1 specialising in landscape and modern British history. When Bob isn't spending time with his daughter, he enjoys coffee, real ale and taking in the local music scene.

Danielle Higgins - Managing Director

Danielle established The Tracing Group in February 2017, recognising the need for a simpler approach to tracing. The Tracing Group is focused on its strategy to provide innovative solutions to this sector that harness the latest in technological development, whilst remaining dedicated to the needs of the clients. 

The team that Danielle has brought together combines strengths in people tracing research, technical infrastructure and creativity. In its very short life to date, The Tracing Group has secured some of the UK's most high profile Pension Schemes and administrators as clients and is securing new business at a rapid rate. 

Data quality and asset reunification has been the focus of Danielle's professional attention for the last 11 years, where she has either been running companies who deliver this, consulting on the subject as part of industry wide initiatives, lobbying government or developing products designed to solve these issues.

In her spare time Danielle enjoys ballet, yoga and spending time with her husband and two daughters. 

Hannah Jarvis - Senior Researcher

Hannah has been practising in the world of people-tracing for over five years and is responsible for performing all types of research. Past roles have equipped Hannah with a vast knowledge of genealogical research and tracing techniques which allow her to deliver results at the highest possible standard when working through, often complex, cases.


In November 2019, Hannah attended a Certificate in Probate and Administration of Estates, in order to further enhance her understanding of the Probate process and Intestacy Laws when working on deceased cases.


Hannah's inquisitive and creative approach is not only useful when applied to research, but also when she is fulfilling her role on The Tracing Group's product development team.


Hannah enjoys attending her local spin class and going for walks in the Norfolk countryside with her husband and Bella the rescue dog.

Paul Gaston - Head of I.T Infrastructure

Paul is responsible for setting up the technical infrastructure of the business, he is an experienced company director, with more than 25 years of IT systems, data and platform development knowledge. He has extensive experience of implementing secure infrastructure systems and is responsible for the data infrastructure and security policies at The Tracing Group.

Paul is also highly creative and is an instrumental part of The Tracing Group product development team. He is intently focused on bringing the most innovative products to our clients and industry. 

In a previous life Paul was in the RAF as an electronics engineer, he also enjoys going for walks with his dog Luna and is a regular attendee of the local karting track where he currently holds 5th place ranking.

Sam Thelwell - Head of Research

Sam is responsible for the research team that delivers results for our clients. Having previously managed other large research teams at different asset reunification companies as well as having spent many years as a Researcher himself, he has a wealth of relevant experience.

Sam is focused on quality and accuracy when it comes to research results and is also a great leader, with an inclusive and considered approach to the way he manages his team. Sam will always make himself available to clients with queries about results and considers client satisfaction as a key measure of his success.

Sam can usually be found exercising in his spare time, he is a keen cricketer and has previously played for Norfolk county, and is current Captain at Swardeston. He also enjoys travelling and this year has seen him tour around Croatia and Iceland.

Hannah Mellish - Executive Assistant to the Managing Director

Hannah joins the team with over 10 years experience in being an effective Executive Assistant and over 5 years in Compliance, with a great deal of experience in legislative, regulatory and audit specific compliance.


Hannah’s role is focused on supporting Danielle to achieve the strategic goals of the business alongside supporting the wider team in various forms to ensure the smooth running of operations whilst achieving high levels of compliance, quality and success.


In her personal time, Hannah can usually be found exploring in the countryside with her partner and her cocker spaniel.

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