Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Check Out the Guild of One-Name Studies Site

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Check out the Guild of One-Name Studies website to see if a researcher has information about your family line.

John Laws is a regular panelist on the weekly "Mondays With Myrt" Google+ Hangout On Air (you are watching this every week, aren't you?  I am!) on the DearMYRTLE YouTube Channel.  He spoke for a few minutes about the Guild of One-Name Studies and his website on the 11 November 2013 Hangout.

The Guild of One-Name Studies is "... is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple)."

Here is the home page:

The site says that over 8,400 surnames are registered, by over 2,600 people.

A researcher can input a surname into the "Is your surname registered?" field on the screen above and the system will tell you if there is a registration for that surname.

I entered "seaver" in the field and saw:

I had no luck on Seaver, or Carringer, or Auble, or Richmond, or Hildreth, or Gates, or even Smith!

I clicked the "S" in the alpha list on the screen above.  Here's the list where Seaver should be...

I decided to see what happens when a name is on the list, so I chose "Laws:"  Here is John Laws entry on the One-Name Studies site:

It provides a link to John's One'Name Study site at http://lawsfamilyregister.tribalpages.com/ (John, here come some hits to your website):

John has collected information about the Laws surname (and many variants) from all over the world, and provides information from his database to registrants to his website (10 pounds per year) from the database.

While there are no apparent registered surnames for many of my ancestral surnames, this site was worth checking in the search for "all information" about my families.

If that is the case, then the challenge is "what to do about it."  I could start a One-Name Study for Seaver, or Carringer, or Auble (I'm going to pass on Smith!).

I've been collecting information about those surnames, and several others like Dill, Buck, and Bresee, over the past 25 years.  However, I have not collected "every instance" of a surname.  I have added a significant number of the persons with my ancestral names into my genealogy database and have published them in online family trees on several websites (Ancestry Member Trees, WikiTree, WeRelate, MyHeritage, FamilySearch Family Tree, and others).  So a lot of my research to date is available for others to find.

 I've also thought hard about a genealogy blog devoted solely to a surname - say the "Seaver/Sever Surname Genealogy" blog, which would provide information from my database to readers and researchers about specific families or family lines.  I haven't done that yet because of the work level involved - what would I give up to write MORE blog posts?

Or should I join the Guild of One-Name Studies?  It seems to be centered on British Isles surnames (which is understandable, that;s where it started).  But to do that, I would have to build a Seaver surname website (would a blog be acceptable, or how about a wiki where a number of researchers could contribute to it?).

Other surname groups have started and populated a wiki - the Whitney Research Group wiki comes to mind.  That seems to be one of the best ways to create a real surname group online and have a number of contributors providing information about specific persons and families.

Have you checked out the Guild of One-Name Studies website recently?

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


David Newton said...

You should have no fears of joining GOONS. I am also a member and I certainly don't have a website dedicated to the surname I am studying.

There are two things that are fundamentally asked of members:

1. If someone sends your a paid enquiry (ie stamped addressed envelope in the post or an email) about the name you are researching that you respond to said query reasonably promptly.
2. That you make an effort to document as much of the appearances name and its variants around the world as you can.

If you have been trying to find and connect (or not as the evidence provides) as many Seavers around the world as you can then you would be an excellent fit in the guild.

Paul Howes said...

David is right, Randy. Have a go!

Also worth noting is that the Guild sets no time period for his point #2; you can work at your own pace in your own way, following your energy and surname wherever they lead.

And you're quite right that the Guild started in the UK, but now has members all over the world. Here's a list of surnames not of British origin currently under study which I just pulled from the Guild wiki:
Bonnette - French
Bodnar (with variants Bednarz, Bodnarchuk, Bodnarczuk, Bodnarenko, Bodnaruk)
Bullwinkle - Germany
Bouteloup - French
Constantine - from the Cotentin peninsula
Cuono - Italy
Diviani - Switzerland
Kipp - France (De Kype), the Netherlands (Kip) and Germany (Kipp)
Lefevre - Belgium/France
Machula - Eastern Europe
Marafie - Kuwait and the Arabian peninsula
Neugarten - Jewish
Orlando - Italy
Panchaud - Switzerland
Panizzi - Italy
Pepler/Peplow - Germany/England
Pocobello - Italy
Probasco/Probatski - Poland
Rata/Ratat - France
Speidel - Germany
Stermenszky (with variants Sterman, Stermenski, Stermensky, Stermenzsky) - Hungary
Tomaszewski - Polish
Zanzig - Germany

Good luck