Middle Names and Surnames (#SurnameSeries)

I have not written about given names or middle names previously, but often these can provide insight into the history of a family or perhaps the links to family and, or friends.

Many of us have middle names, given to us by our parents. Some have middle names that have been passed down the years and generations, others have names that is a nod to family members or other significant individuals within our families. Others have middle names, that gives us a clue to other individuals.

Here are a few examples:

    • Edith Jelley nee Matthews (1877-1921) Personal Collection of Julie Goucher

      Acknowledging Family Members – My maternal grandmother had the middle name of Edith. She always knew that was a link to her father’s sister, Edith Annie Matthews. Edith was born in 1877 in Rugby Warwickshire. She married in 1902 to Charles Jelley in Guildford Surrey. Edith and Charles moved from Guildford to Reigate and had two children. By 1916 the Country was at war and the family had moved from Surrey to Paddington in London. Charles had returned to military service, having served during the Boer War,  and as I looked through his service record I spotted a birth certificate to a further child, born in 1916 and who sadly died aged 6 months old. Charles returned home having survived the war. Edith died in 1921 aged 44 years. She had outlived her mother by just three years. What is curious, is that my Grandmother was born in 1912, yet she never met her aunt.

    • Bastardy Bond FL569/7/17- Hannah Butcher and John Howes

      Illegitimacy  – In past times there was a formal process to hold father’s to account for their children who were born to women that they were not married too. In this example, Hannah Butcher of the parish of Fakenham Magna in Suffolk has cited the father of her illegitimate child, to be John Howes, gardener of the parish, and as such Howes was required to be apprehended. The Bastardy Bond was dated December 1805. The child was baptised John Howes Butcher. After the baptism, John Howes Butcher dropped the use of Howes and continued to be known as John Butcher. Both the surnames of Butcher and Howes are registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies, Butcher by myself and Howes by Paul Howes. You can view the website for the Howes study HERE.

    • Lewin Bentham Bowring (1824-1910) From the private collection of Julie Goucher

      Family Connections – As I worked on my own family history, I established a connection to Sir John Bowring. Sir John had 9 children, one of whom, was given the name of Lewin Bentham Bowring. Sir John explained in his autobiography that the middle name of Bentham was given to Lewin in recognition of his relationship with Jeremy Bentham who was Lewin’s Godfather. Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher and social reformer and was regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.


Final Words – Middle names that are surnames, provide opportunity for us to explore where that surname links into the families. It is not an except science, but worthy of exploration.

My late mum had a middle name, on the face of it, it was nothing special – the middle name was Joyce, however the name was given to Mum in recognition of the love and respect that my Grandparents felt to someone who was an evacuee during the Second World War. I grew up knowing Joyce and her family. I have talked about the relationship between Joyce and our family previously.

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be that, behind each middle name (and perhaps given name) is a backstory. The linking of one individual to another, whether that is through blood or love. Each one, worthy of exploration.

Posted in Butcher One-Name Study, Genealogy, Given Names & Naming Patterns, Jelley, Naming Patterns & Given Names, One-Name Studies, Research & Resources for Researching Surnames, Surname Series 2021 | Leave a comment

Surname Projects, Lineage Projects and Family History (#SurnameSeries)

Created by Julie Goucher 2 September 2018

This topic has been on my blog post list for well over two years. One of the popular questions I am asked is how a One-Name Study (surname project/surname research) differs from family history and Lineage projects.

For whatever reason, we embark on our Family history. We start usually by examining what material we have in our families, we talk to relatives and begin a pattern of research, perhaps online using one of the data providers or perhaps using FamilySearch. We might research all of our direct line ancestors, some choose to research only the male line, others research sideways, researching siblings and so forth. Some research what I call the top layer – essential dates, birth, marriage and death, others flesh out the bones of those who went before us.

At some point we come across which makes us curious about whatever X, represents. It may well be that you have hit a brick wall, and as a way of trying to overcome that brick wall the approach is to track the surname. Some perhaps come across an unusual surname in their family history and they spend time focusing on that. Some want to initially explore a particular family or group of families in a place, in an attempt to answer the question of what came first, the people with the surname, or the place which became the family name?

The true concept of a One-name study or surname research, is one that tracks a specific surname across the globe and across timespans. If you don’t focus globally then there is a chance you will miss someone. Whilst this sounds a daunting task, it is a project that aligned to a marathon rather than a sprint!

Some studies might start small, and maybe of a limited nature. About 30 years ago I started researching the surname of BUDD. My own family were in Surrey, in particular in the area of Guildford. I researched back, gradually arriving at my 6x great grandfather,  Henry Budd. Henry is recorded in the village of Puttenham, but he did not originate from there. The local curate, a man called Charles Kerry recorded lots of material relating to the villagers, some material was small and perhaps almost insignificant material, yet these were snippets of history, otherwise lost over time.  He also recorded some pedigrees and it was on the Budd and Strudwick pedigree that Henry is identified as being “first of the Budd’s” You can read about the pedigree HERE. The first record if Henry in Puttenham is in 1724 when his daughter, Martha was baptised. He then went on to have another seven children baptised in Puttenham, each of whom went on to have their own families in the village.

I then set out to locate Henry’s birth and marriage. I began by focusing on the  within around 10 miles or so of Guildford.

From the personal collection of Julie Goucher – Guildford & District

Overtime, I gathered quite a lot on the name BUDD, but they were specifically within a geographical area – Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. I had no intention on going global, unless I followed one of “my” Budd’s from England to another part of the world.

Some researchers though, start out exactly as I did with my BUDD family, except they carry on, from their focus area and expand outwards as they choose. This is a One-Name Study.

A Lineage Society is essentially researching direct descent from an ancestor; ancestry or pedigree; there is a list of some of the Societies HERE. You could think that my research with Henry Budd was an example of this, and perhaps it is, however, what makes it different, is that I have researched the Budd’s which includes some which is not related to me. Usually with Lineage Societies you provide genealogical evidence with sources cited and pay the subscription fee to join.

Are you researching a Lineage, or embarked upon a Surname Project? If so do leave a comment.

Posted in Budd, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Puttenham & Wanborough, Surname Series 2021 | Leave a comment

Presentation – Researching Displaced People

My next scheduled talk is Researching Displaced People which takes place on Saturday 13 February 2021, at 2pm GMT.  You can read more about the talk on the Society of Genealogists website HERE where you are also able to book to attend the online event.

This is just part of segment from my work on European Ancestors and my new Pharos course, Researching Ancestors in Continental Europe

Posted in Displacement & Resettlement, European Ancestors, Presentations | Leave a comment

Surname Series 2021 (#SurnameSeries)

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2020

For those of you who have been reading this site for a while, you may well recall that when I create posts, especially genealogical ones, that I tend to do so in series format.

The beginning of a new year, means a new surname series; and I generally speaking create a series and post in an orderly fashion.

For this year, I am going to post about surnames in a random format, so if you want to read all the series, then please sign up to receive the posts in your email, or via social media – Facebook or Twitter.

The reason for the change is, having taught all three surname courses last year, there is overlap between them – not a duplication of material, a natural continuum of learning and development. This enables those new to the concept of surname research to move along in a general approach whilst also providing the opportunity for those with experience to hit the pause button on their research, so they can reflect and assess what material they have and consider a new way forward or even to revamp an existing process.

The One-Name Studies (Surname Research)  Courses are listed below in the order they should ideally be taken in, though there is not a problem if you take them in a different order.

The posts for this series will begin in the next day or so. If you want to read previous surname posts then CLICK HERE

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Evernote, by Phil Isherwood – Webinar

This interesting webinar on Evernote, by Phil Isherwood, may provide help for those who struggle with organising their research … which I suspect may be many of us!

Phil has worked in the software industry for 30 years and has been researching his family history for more than half of that time. He is interested in the use of innovative technology in both genealogy and his professional life.

His talk will cover:

* What Evernote is
* How it works
* It’s strengths and weaknesses
* Why it is useful for genealogical research.

A significant section of the talk is dedicated to live examples of how he has used Evernote to solve specific organisational challenges.

Evernote is particularly relevant to those pursuing one-name studies as it has great strengths in storage, indexing, searching and retrieval across large volumes of materials.

The webinar will take place at 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 17 December and the recording will be available to watch by Guild members only for two weeks after that. Non-members can watch the presentation LIVE only.

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Research and Resources for Researching Surnames (1)

The first resource I am going to share is the Guild of One-Name Studies website. The website is host to a lot of data and the numerous benefits of membership. It is also the place where you can find the profile page that goes alongside the various registered studies.

Despite being a member for almost 20 years I often stumble across something that I did not know was there. Whether you are a member or not, do take a look at the website; you might be surprised at what you can find. If you find something of interest why not leave a comment.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Research & Resources for Researching Surnames | Leave a comment

Mobility and Morbidity…A Project for the Future

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2020

I have just published a long overdue news post on the Guild of One-Name Studies website. The subject matter was the recent seminar series which sees the Guild releasing a presentation every week from the beginning of October until mid November.

The first session was from Elizabeth Green on the subject of Mortality and Morbidity and this was one that I heard recorded about a week before it was released to the genealogical world.

This was a provoking presentation, focusing on one of the key marker stones in the lives of our ancestors; deaths and death certificates. Following watching the presentation, I pulled out the death certificates that I have in my records and I could see some similarities and that research needs more work and I may well share elements of that research here…..in the future. Elizabeth’s presentation is still available to non-members of the Guild for another week or so – you can see the recording HERE

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LibraryThing – #LibrariesWeek


I joined LibraryThing back in October 2005, paying the fee of $25 for a lifetime account which enabled me to list more than 200 books. (The fee was removed circa 2019).

My plan was to catalogue all of my books, reading lists plus the other material relevant, essentially things like microfiche and data CD’s. You can view my LibraryThing Profile HERE.

I have set my books up into collections:

  • My Library – Books that I own
  • Wish List – Potential future reading
  • Audio, DVD and Video (and I have an occasional  audio tape!)
  • To Read – the to be read list
  • Read, but un-owned – those that I have borrowed from friends or the library or books that I owned but subsequently donated
  • Book Reviews
  • SPG – These are typically my husband’s book which are essentially about fish and fishing
  • Mum’s – These are my late Mum’s and are currently a work in progress
  • Current Library Books – (in an attempt to track books and reduce library fines!)

I also use Tags – In all there are 53, but here is a few – Fiction, History, Genealogy, Biography, Memoir, eBooks, Cookery Food & Drink, DNA, Italy, Historical Fiction, Quilts etc. You can see my Tags HERE.

You can read about LibraryThing HERE and open an account, free of charge to catalogue your own books. There is an App that can be downloaded and is available for both iOS and Android platform. It is also possible to Import and Export from LibraryThing. Information can be found HERE


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 – 10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

Posted in Books, Libraries | 2 Comments

Library Memories #LibrariesWeek

An unidentified library. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

As I looked for something yesterday I came across my school reports from my middle school. Along with them was a letter thanking me for a donation to the school library, the year I left middle school, which was 1981.

The middle school did not have a library. I know that sound crazy, especially when I have said I made a donation to it and if no library then why this post? I cannot recall if the school was short on space, but the books that you would have expected to be in a library were on shelves which ran around the walls on the landing, opposite the stairs.

The book I donated to the book was about the Philippines. The school had a very good selection of books that were about numerous global locations. I seem to recall having to create a worldwide project for geography, which likely explains the book I selected.

In comparison, my senior school did have a library. It was not huge, but the school only had 1200 pupils. I spent quite a lot of time there, especially over the lunch period clutching my school diary which I have written about before. It was the beginning of my journal writing journey; and if you are interested you can read that post HERE. It was here that I developed my writing strategy, which at this point was not perfect, but it has developed further, over the years, whether that was homework, lesson notes, reports, thesis planning and post graduate work. I would head to the library and quickly scope out what work I needed to do and when it was to be done by. I would have preferred to remain in the class room, but that was not an option, so the next best place was the library as that was relatively quiet. I assume there was a librarian, but I don’t recall one.

Of course I was at school before the days of smart phones, actually it was the days before mobile phones now I think about it, given that, it is little wonder that I have no photographs of the library and today’s image is from the image site Unsplash.


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 – 10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

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Favourite Genealogical Library – Society of Genealogists #LibrariesWeek

Cover of the Library guide, purchased 1989. From the collection of Julie Goucher

The ultimate genealogical library  in the UK in my view is the Society of Genealogists. I first visited in 1989 and purchased a small booklet about the Society which provided a brief guide; the location and directions, what is available to visitors across three floors. It offered guidance on preparing for a visit and included a small map, identifying where about, on each floor various things are. The booklet proved invaluable.

I did not visit for a number of years, but upon restarting visits, I undertook a library tour. These are given free of charge and really help to familiarise yourself with the material and where it is. I also renewed my membership which meant that I could visit as often as I wished, which was frequently as I lived within 40 minutes of London. Upon moving to the south west of England, I sadly lapsed my membership, work pressures, and a much longer journey made a visit more tricky. A changing work schedule meant that I could rejoin and was very pleased I did, even though I have moved to the other end of the country and have a longer journey to London, but a quicker one.

The Society has a website and whilst it is not as slick as some, it is a good genealogical resource, including holding a continually growing members area with an amazing amount of material for the genealogist and those who are working on specific projects, including One-Name Studies. The Society also has a robust educational platform, of course the current situation means that they have other elements to consider beyond the worries of handouts and a prompt lecturer!

The Society, moved from no online meetings to a very successful online provision for members and non-members. I was delighted that was to be the case. One of the first sessions I heard was looking at the numerous collections available, I then followed that up with Special Collections; both of these were offered and given by the SOG, I have also attended another sessions and several of the lunchtime chat’s. The SOG has indeed embraced their new opportunity. Lock down also meant that the volunteers have been very productive in working through material, indexing from digital images with the aim of getting the material online and into the members room.

Why not visit the Society of Genealogists website and explore .


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 -10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

Posted in Books, Genealogy, Libraries | Leave a comment