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Historical Research Center

Profit from your passion for history.

This story appears in the February 2001 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

What's in a name? Well, for John Brett, everything. Having always had an interest in history, Brett's curiosity was immediately sparked when he discovered the Historical Research Center (HRC). Upon learning that the company specializes in researching the origin of family names, he decided to make a living by bringing the past into the present.

The HRC employs skilled artists and learned historians-many of them educated in the craft of onomastics (the study of names and their origins) and heraldic art (family crests, coats of arms, etc.)-to comb through an extensive list of rare books, manuscripts and records and pour the information into a database. Once a customer provides his or her family name, business owners retrieve the relevant information from the database and print it out on a richly decorated parchment scroll. This versatile operation can take the physical form of a booth, cart or shop, or it can be run from home as an Internet or mail-order business. Brett, his wife and two daughters all work together running this busy venture.

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