Richard W. Price, MA, AG®
A one-name study is a project researching all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree or descendancy. Most one-name studies are of less-common names, although there is a Miller ONS. Spelling variants need be determined as research progresses.
2. How do I start?
No two studies are the same, so there is no right or wrong way. Might find out how rare or common your name really is, how it is distributed through the country of interest, and later throughout the world. Check through national telephone directories and on the Internet.
3. Collecting data
Collect any data that you come across mentioned your surname. Transcriptions and indexes are helpful, but primary sources are always most valuable.
- Acquire entries from indexes to civil registration in England, Ireland (North and Eire), Scotland and Wales
- All entries from indexes of wills.
- Entries in IGI and Vital Records Indexes.
- Census Indexes, especially 1880, 1881, 1901 and 1851.
- FamilySearch and Old Parochial Registers Index for Scotland.
Publicizing your study
- One advantage of membership of the Guild is your ONS is advertised in the Build’s annual Register and on the Guild website. You might consider advertising in Genealogical research Directory, Family Tree Magazine, Cyndi’s List, Rootsweb and GenesConnected, British Genealogy on-line, etc.
- Develop your own website, which can be very simple or very elaborate. Study websites of other Guild members.
- Newsletters will help you keep in touch with others interested in your surname. This may assist you in collecting data and getting others to assist and share what they have.
Services Provided by the Guild
- Journal of One-Name Studies issued quarterly.
- Seminars and Conferences.
- Register of One-Name Studies is perhaps the most valuable asset of the Guild.
- Publications such as Sources for One-Name Studies and Organizing a One-Name Gathering.
- Guild website is www.one-name.org.
- When you register a surname you agree in writing to two conditions. First, you will collect all references to your registered name on a worldwide basis. Two, you will respond to all reply8-iad enquiries.
- Category A: Surname for which there is a fully constituted one-name society, which publishes a regular one-name periodical or newsletter, researches and collects all references to the registered surname and has accumulated a substantial body of worldwide data over a period of time.
- Category B: Surname for which member researches and collects all references to the registered surname and has accumulated a substantial body of worldwide data over a period of time. The member may or may not produce a newsletter.
- Category C: Surname for which the member has started a one-name study and has not yet built up a significant collection, but fully intends to acquire sufficient data to transfer to Category A or B. The member may or may not produce a newsletter.
For further information:
To receive a list of Guild publications, or for answers to questions, contact:
P.O. Box 5632