William Pince Publishers

Ok, so both me and my Dad get a letter this morning from “William Pince Publishers”. It says that this guy (William Pince) has done lots of research into the Sacre family tree, and that we can have a printed and bound version of it if we would care to place an advance order (about �35 of advance order).

There are several things about it that just smack of ‘scam’. I’ll just post a few of them:

  • my Dad has already done a pretty extensive family tree. He put a LOT of work in, and now we have an almost complete family tree, in England from about the 1500s. Anyway, William Pince claimed that he’d gone back as far as the 1640s. That’s not particularly thorough, is it?
  • the fine print says that money can only be returned if genealogical errors are found. I’m sorry, but those aren’t acceptable terms!

I would imagine the publication is probably just a collection of birth certificates, that kind of thing — not an actual family tree.

I also Googled ‘William Pince Publishers’ and found this, to save you reading it I’ve quoted:

August 2004 We advise members of the Barcham Family who receive a letter from ‘William Pince Publishers’ offering The Barcham Family Chronicle and a Barcham coat of arms that these products are nothing to do with our Barcham family and should not be confused with our publications. We recommend that any communcations from William Pince should be binned.

Yep, I recommend you should bin any communication from William Pince too. You never know, that may save some people losing out on money…

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55 thoughts on “William Pince Publishers

  1. I too have received the letter.Thank you for leaving your comment, as i will now be binning the letter!It is always a good idea to get background information on these companies before parting with our well earned cash. The web is a useful tool!Unlucky Scammer’s! This is one person you are not going to get money from!

  2. Readers might like to know that there is no way the ‘Family Chronicle’ is genuine – at least in my case.The letter claims that the chronicle details my surname back to ‘approx. 1625… including surname variants’. However, I have a German surname which I can trace back fairly comprehensively over seven, solid generations to 1700, or so (and on my mothers side to the 1100s). That’s about the limit for European surnames since practically all official records were systematically destroyed during the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648). Even with variant spellings of the name, there is no way that “William Pince Publishers” have access to European records from 1625.D. Schad

  3. The claims from William Pince are definitly completely false as I have received a letter claiming to have traced my family tree back to 1625. My surname only came into existance when my great grandfather had a family row and changed the spelling of his surname, this occuring in the 1920’s.Bin the letters immediatley and do not part with any money

  4. Yep, William Pince has also kindly investigated my surname and offered me the chance to part with as much as £100 for all the bits and bobs. It seems my name goes back to 1625 too. Perhaps we all have the same name! Do people really swallow this sort of crap?

  5. I have received a letter from them this morning, and guess what – they have traced our surname back to 1625 aswell! I thought that this would be an ideal present for my husband as our surname is unusal, but I thought, I would just check on the internet to see if they had a website, good job I did, as I certainly won’t be parting with any money now!

  6. Good old internet. Got the letter this morning and thought I would check as it did sound like an ideal present for my dad. So what a surprise to learn that this whole thing is clearly yet another scam. I wonder why he chose 1625?

  7. Yup – me too and guess the year my lot started – 1625 – does everybody have a “magnificent coat of arms” I thought this sort of thing was restricted to Knights and nobility!

  8. We’ve had one too – our name dates back to the Huguenots – but, guess what! – William Prince has it dating back to 1625. Perhaps that’s when England began to be populated!

  9. Sorry for ‘anonymous’ posting, but I could not sign in. Thanks for your posting. I got the same letter and as my family name is VERY rare and GERMAN I decided to check for ‘PINCE’ on the web and found all these postings. Great scam!

  10. Hi there. My dad and my Grandad have just got a letter through this morning from William Prince Publications. My dad and grandad were always sceptickle but ure posts have reasured their theories, thanks very much uve just saved two very nice people alot of money, great website thanks again. ohh and one more thing is it me or are the dates all around 1625?

  11. Hi,Thanks for all the info I have just received one of these letters, funny that my family history also goes back to 1625!!! I will also bin it…….

  12. My suname is Womack and I have a similar letter, claiming to go back to 1625. This letter will be recycled!

  13. We’ve had two letters! What stikes me is that he seemes to be able to target people who have done or are doing their family trees? Where is he getting the names and addresses?Sylvie Sillince

  14. My mum has received this same letter, again claiming the family records can be traced back to 1625. I am so pleased I checked this website/the internet as she had the money all ready to send. Very clever scam, I hope there are not many people who fall for it. My mum told me that she has left her name and address at the Family Records Centre in London, I believe this person (William Pince) is obtaining the names and addresses from there. Thanks again for the warning. Where would we be without the w.w.w.Darren

  15. They’re at it again. My brother received a letter claiming to have traced our Polish family to – yes you’ve guessed – 1625. However, I have no idea where he is getting names and addresses from. I am the one carrying out the research and I have not left my name at the Records Office as has been suggested.

  16. I too received a letter on 14/10/04 and so did my 3 sons, guess what family name had been traced back to 1625 sound familiar. A very interesing point, one of my sons is X directory and also X address on the electorol register because of is work, so how did they get his name and address, I wonder if it could be from some one like Experion who check credit ratings for the banks and card companies. Also if you look at the address just below William Pince Publishers there is a Netherlands P O Box number, so its pointless trying to contact them,just bin the letter and hears hoping the Watch Dog Team catch up with them.PS HAVE YOU SEEN THE EGG CARD ADVERT ON TV. Keep your money in your pocket ready for christmas. Signed A.Daley entre prenaur

  17. I too got a letter from William Pince for our name – and it also goes back to 1625! Delighted to have seen the other comments and happily binning it.Someone asked how he got the names. Just a thought: his offer (dated 27 September) claimed to be valid till 17 October. Coincidentally the day after a fairly significant birthday. Maybe he targets likely birthdates.

  18. I have sent my letter back to William Pinch(?)without a stamp. Hopefully they will be happy to pay the postage thinking another mug has sent a cheque.

  19. 18/10/04 It seems from this scam that there were a helluva lot of families started in 1625, a couple of years ago I got the letter and now my son has recieved one and he is just publishing the book, that’s one book that won’t make the best sellers list.

  20. 18th october 2004, got the letter this morning, wehay sounded exciting, thought i would phone them up as i have registered with the Mailing Preferance Scheme to stop this sort of junk.Spoke to a nice lady in a belgium call center (strange its a london phone number!!!) and asked where they got my details from, i was told it was either from the phone directory or from the royal mail, told her that i am ex-directory and that the Royal mail has many faults but giving these details is one of them (this was having spoken to the Royal Mail complains department.)called them again and informed them that i belive that this is a con, surprise surprise, she hung up!!! Advcise from the Royal mail is to report these letters to your local trading standards department or the police as this is a CON!!!!!

  21. My husband also received a letter this week from William Pince Publishers (our name also dating back to 1625)and although we suspected it could be a scam, we now know for certain. Thank you.

  22. Thanks for all the comments re this being a big con. I thought it rather odd that we are also a name that dates back to approx 1625. Will save the cash and pass the letter on to trading standard for them to investigate.

  23. I think the gentleman earlier had a brilliant idea, if we all post these letters back without a stamp they will have to pay £1.00 extra postage to retrieve them and I am sure they will, hoping there maybe money in them

  24. I too received the offer, and was momentarily tempted – until my wife pointed out that it was an obvious scam. Yes, 1625 again which, in my case, would mean that William Pince had carried out research in France (the chances are that the relevant records would have been destroyed during the Revolution). So I shall be avoiding it, and urge others to do so too.

  25. I just got an offer from William Pince and thanks to all the feedback on this site I have decided to bin. However, it begs the question how did they get my details? I’m very new to geneology and obviously tripped over a few sites and given some details – so am I being suspicious or what, has this boy laid a trap out there to get your details? If he doesn’t come up with the goods, is there a body looking after our interests – pity it would have made a nice pressie.

  26. Received same letter today for my surname, usual history back to 1625 yadda yadda, bonus coat of arms, etc.Having previously traced my family history I know there is no way their claims are true (Latin American surname).I’m already signed up for the Mailing Preference Service which bars unsolicited junkmail in the UK and offers a route for complaints so I’ve passed them a copy of the letter. Hopefully their legal team will have a quiet word with the William Pince scammers 🙂

  27. Yeah, just recieved the same letter saying it had researched my surname back to 1625. Good job I decided to check it out on the internet. Thanks everyone.

  28. Bah! I got one this morning. Same details with BATSON. Also thought it was funny as I’d been looking into my family tree lately! Just knew something was amiss, and whad’ya know!In the bin!!

  29. My husband got a letter a couple of weeks ago and was quite excited as his name is unusual and his mum had been doing some research and had been struggling!! So when it said traced back to 1625!!!! we thought it would make a great christmas pressie for the family. We decided to do a search first and “Voila”. Looking forward to seeing coverage on Watchdog.Club/Organisation Club/Organisation Address Name &Position in Club Contact Address(If different from Previous) Post Code Contact Number Email/Website

  30. My partner had a letter yesterday, 18th October. All details as in the other posts, i.e. 1625! However, we have done no searching for family trees or anything so I don’t think he’s getting the details that way. We are also ex-directory. Don’t some companies sell mailing lists etc? Perhaps that’s it.Very grateful for this site. I did the same and checked out ‘William Pince’ on Google and found this. Many thanks.

  31. I can beat that. Yesterday (18th Oct) I got three letters and my son got two, all giving us 35% discount if we applied before 17th October. All were dated 17th September. I have already done a lot of research on my family tree and recognised this as a scam, but just put William Pince into Google to see what happened.

  32. Hi, My name is MacGillivray, and my mother is a historian. She has been researching our familly tree and we thought it was a scam as well. Your website proves our hypothesis. The scam is still going strong as I received a letter in the post recently. (19/10/2004). Hope no one has really been conned.

  33. Got one too – received on October 20th with “offer” valid until 17th. Seems that this scammer can’t even get his offer sorted!Cheers for the tips on the scam as I thought this would be a good present for Dad…….One more back in the post without a stamp.

  34. Yep – adding my two penneth to this list as I too received the same “wonderful” offer today (20 Oct 2004).Do you think William Pince’s research back to 1625 actually means 4:25pm the previous afternoon???In the bin…….

  35. Does anyone live near Southall to check out if it is a real address or just a virtual office which forwards the cheques to Holland?Has anyone had a response from Watchdog? I would love to see what they can find out.I just stopped my mum getting one for me and one for herself…

  36. I think the answer is to let as many people know as possible, the online genealogical community as a whole seems to know that this is a scam, it is the unfortunates that are not “up” on their family history which will get stung in the purse!Jen

  37. Thankfully I did a Google search on William Pince Publishers and it brought me here. My family name is Grest (Swiss origin) and I would love to know the exact history, coat of arms etc from when time began. unfortunately they can only go back as far as…. you guessed in 1625!!! Thanks toyou all for the advice…

  38. I received the letter today, 21st October and was suspicious. I am grateful to all of you for confirming my suspicions

  39. Thank you all you bloggers for blowing the cover on William Pince Publishers, I have also recieved a letter (09/2004)and you have saved us some money!

  40. I haven’t heard from Watchdog yet – a few of you are asking. I have not been doing any research into my family name and I should be ex-directory, so Mr Pince didn’t get my details from those routes as people have suggested. I’m also in the MPS. Not sure where they’ve got the details from.I like the idea of returning the letter to cost Mr Pince money. I’m also considering signing up for various loans, credit cards, assorted try before you buy freebies in Mr Pince’s name. As he has carelessly provided full name, address, and phone details it would be rude not to.

  41. Both myself and my brother rec’d letters this week(after the offer had finished on the 17th). Took it to be junk and this proved us correct. Would have been out of date straight away as our dad died on the 17th.Hope to see it on Watchdog soon.

  42. Telephoned Pince Publishers’ today, 25th Oct after receiving letter last week. The strange ringing tone and foreign accent got my suspicions going. Said I had until this Saturday coming to get my order in. How accommodating!

  43. My 93 year old Dad got a William Pince letter last week. He lives in a home, so doesn’t pay community charge, neither does he have a telephone. He hasn’t voted for some years and is not on the electoral register. He is mentally confused and has no access to his own money. The only way he exists in any system is either government depts. e.g. pensions, or his building society account into which his pension is paid. Who is releasing this personal data?

  44. As of 25/10/2004 William Pince is still sending out his letters. My husband received one this morning.Having an unusual surname that is rarely spelt correctly our attention was drawn to the letter because it was spelt correctly. We immediately smelt a rat and decided to check out the validity on the net and we found all this info. I wonder how many people have been taken in by this scam. I wonder what they actually got ,if anything at all, for their money. Does anyone know?

  45. An elderly friend also received one of these letters. (Dated 27 September valid to 17 October) My friend has never tried to trace his family history, either, but was very tempted to buy the book. Are they only targetting elderly people? Has anyone ever bought a book? You might like to see:-http://www.predwood.charitydays.co.uk/News/news.htmlwhere they have researched the address of Pince and come up with a mailing company of which Britain’s Royal Mail is a shareholder.

  46. I received my letter back in August quoting the same crap as everyone else but it sounded interesting so i parted with seventeen pounds for a limted edition chronice and a coat of arms. its now been two months no book just one lettr saying more info has been found and i will recieve a updated version in nov. I now know ive been scamed and will be taking it up with watchdog only regret not checking the internet sooner well thats life thanks william pince hope you rot in hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Thank you so much for your blog and the comments.My Grandad was just about to part with his money so they could give the book as a christmas present, with all the family hitory dating back to 1625.

  48. William Pince has been arrested and in jail in Belgium, the Dutch and German Police are also wanting to talk to him.He gets all your names from the Voters Lists sold by Local Authorities to anyone in business who will buy them from them.These so called family books are all the same information with the exception that they include a section for the surnames from the phone books as was done in the Halbert Books and Burkes in the past.They are all a scam as are the Coats of Arms they offer to sell you online.They same a fool and his money are soon parted well you have to be wary of these people who play on peoples vulnerability and inflated egos in the matter of the Coats of Arms.

  49. Thanks to you all for this informative reading. Unfortunately my Grandad has parted with cash for this and I read it this morning – it dates back from 1625 but only comes up to 1800’s. A TRUE SCAM!The worrying thing is that it does list up to date addresses for three of my family with the same surname in the back – does anyone know how to contact this so called Publisher?Carol – Brentford

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