SoG Lunchtime Chat – Researching Surnames and Undertaking a One-Name Study

Courtesy of the Society of Genealogists.

I have been asked to speak about surnames at the next Society of Genealogist‘s Lunchtime Chat on 27 October 2021, between 2pm and 3.30pm, BST.

The event is for SoG members and already has limited availability, so if you are wanting to attend and are a SoG member (excellent value!) then please book as soon as you are able.

To book please click HERE


[Edited 20 October 2021 – Fully booked, waiting list available]

Posted in Genealogical & Historical Organisations, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Surnames | Leave a comment

Oxfordshire FHS, Black History Month and Surnames

Oxfordshire FHS Logo

Today Oxfordshire Family History Society held their first Zoom Fair online. It was an enjoyable event and the Society, with their volunteers are to be thanked for organising it. To find more about the Society, click the logo (left).

I dropped into the afternoon session at the Guild of One-Name Studies online stand, which was busy with folk asking about the surnames in their family histories and pondering on the way forward with studies.

October is Black History Month in the UK and it was quite by coincidence that someone who stopped by the Guild stand at the Oxfordshire event asked about the surname of Ramadhar.

The name sounded to me to be of Asian origin, but we had a quick look at the website, which showed that the surname was, at least in 2014, the most common in India with 2091 instances. The next highest number was 460 in Trinidad and Tobago, which was somewhere the enquirer referenced.

These numbers are quite enlightening and are worthy of debate, and discussion.

The spread of the surname outside of India is quite possibly as a result of migration and potential historic influence of “Empire”. It is well established that the former Empire did provide opportunity for movement because of labour shortages in other parts of the Empire. Whilst the topic of Empire is emotive, we cannot change history.

The Trinidad and Tobago National Archives have a research guide on their website, which can be found HERE. There is some links in the FamilySearch Wiki. I firmly believe that it is important to understand the context and broad subject of wherever we are researching. Here is an interesting site, Discover Trinidad and Tobago. The last two links I am going to share today is firstly the, Caribbean Memory Project and the Caribbean Family History Group.


Posted in Black History Month, Genealogical & Historical Organisations, Genealogy, History, One-Name Studies, Ramadhar, Surnames | Leave a comment

Pharos Surname Courses 2022

Copyright – Pharos Tutors

Back in the Summer I agreed with Pharos Tutors when the Surname courses will run in 2022.

The course start dates are listed below. All the courses are 5 weeks with the exception of the Advanced course, which is a 6 week course, including a reading week.

  • Advanced One-Name Studies (902)1 November 2022 (6 week course and runs once a year). This course also has the facility to have an marked assignment.

There are still places on the Practicalities of a One-Name Study (903) course which starts on 5 October 2021 and Advanced One-Name Studies (902) course which starts on 2 November 2021.

There is lots to read and explore about surnames on this site, why not visit the Surname Research section.

Posted in Advanced One-Name Studies (Pharos Course 902), Genealogy, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), One-Name Studies, Practicalities of a One-Name Studies (Pharos Course 903) | Leave a comment

Oxfordshire FHS (UK) is holding a free family history ZoomFair

​I don’t as a rule share general information like the details below, but thought I would on this occasion. I am a member of the Oxfordshire Family History Society and have been impressed with the enthusiasm with which the Society embraced the online world during the pandemic.

The text below is from the Society:

This coming Saturday, Oxfordshire FHS (UK) is holding a free family history ZoomFair.

There will be lots of breakout rooms which you’ll be able to move between – some run by OFHS, both general and with advice using their databases, some a variety of other family history societies, both for different regions and for different topics.  The Guild of One-Name Studies will be there, so do drop by that room!

You’ll need to register to be sent the link to the fair.  To see the full exhibitor list, and to register, go to

Posted in Genealogy | Leave a comment

Butcher and Cartwright Family

Butcher and Cartwright Document Collection   © Julie Goucher, September 2021

Back in late May 2021, I spotted on a well known auction site a collection of documents related to a Butcher family. I cannot recall whether I won this on a traditional auction, or did a “buy now”. On a hunch, I would err towards the auction.

Having arrived, the material included some early research of, presumably a family member. There also was a selection of certificates, a grant of burial document, a photograph of a wedding party. The photograph is also enlarged with a numerical code of who attended the wedding. There is also a Proficiency in Radiotelegraphy granted by the Postmaster General, which includes a photograph of the individual concerned.

At this point, I have not undertaken any research of this family group, which is from the midlands of England, around Walsall, Staffordshire, as well as Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire.

Another surname linked to the family is that of Hughes and the earliest marriage took place in 1893. The marriages will be added to the Guild of One-Name Studies Marriage Index.

If any of these seems familiar then please leave a comment or use the contact me form above. The ultimate aim, once I have undertaken some research, expanding the family line, is to either return to the family, or deposit with the Society of Genealogists.

Posted in Butcher One-Name Study, Genealogy, One-Name Studies | 1 Comment

Certificate of Recognition – Society of Genealogists

Blog posts here these days are a bit like buses, you wait ages for one then two come along at once! Those who follow me either on Facebook or Twitter may well have seen my comment or post from yesterday. Thanks to those who commented, liked or shared.

Along with the stationery box yesterday, the postman delivered my certificate from the Society of Genealogists.

In the late summer of 2019 I was informed that I had been awarded the Certificate of Recognition for exceptional services to genealogy and one-name studies, promoting methodology, aims, processes and strategies.

Although a member of the SOG, I had barely noticed the announcement inviting nominations, so much so that when the communications came, I had to read it twice!

I was delighted to have been nominated and then subsequently awarded the certificate.

My sadness is that it is another milestone without my late Mum, but I know that she would have been proud.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies | 3 Comments

Papergang Stationery Box

What is there not to love about stationery?

I stumbled across the Papergang Stationery boxes last year, when the August box had the theme of fish. There was a discount on the first box, so I subscribed so I could see what was so great about these. I planned to unsubscribe, afterall, I had a great deal of stationery already.

Well, that was a year ago and whilst some of the boxes were not to my taste, there has been more great boxes than not great and I have remained subscribing.

Yesterday, the September box arrived and I thought that it might be fun to share the contents of the latest box.

Each box is decorated with the themed pattern for the month. On the front there is a tab which is pulled and then torn to enable easy opening. Ironically, this was the only box that I have managed to open without it resembling Beirut.

Inside the box, the supplies are wrapped in delightful paper. This month is the deep orange stationery print. Last month was the same print, but in yellow and earlier in the year the same design was used, but in purple.

Removing  the sticker reveals  a small  stack  of supplies, with the full array shown here:

The planner on the far right is undated and is one of three that have arrived this year, each one lasting for four months. I have the others unused and plan to use them for 2023. (I had hoped for 2022, but I liked one of the colours of the 2022 Moleskine range and purchased that instead).

There is not always a planner, each month is a variation. Over the last year there have been notebooks, writing paper, post it notes, birthday cards, erasures, paper clips, pencil cases, pencils (both coloured and regular), page flags, washi tape, and A5 art print (top left). Each month is accompanied by a small folded pamphlet with the information of what is included and an interview with the designer/artist, as each one is designed by someone different.

This post has not been been requested by Papergang, nor am I an affiliate. I fund my own purchases and have shared the contents of latest box via this post. If you wish to find out more, you can do so by visiting the Papergang website. And lastly, everybox sold helps to plant trees and several times a year Papergang work with Charities to promote their individual causes.

As I said, what is there not to love about stationery?

Posted in General Stationery, Stationery Box, Stationery, Filofax, Journals & Notebooks | Leave a comment

Delving into the Surname of Noack (1)

Thirty years ago and I arrived in Australia to begin an adventure. I was exhausted from the traveling en-route, not to mention the jet lag. Within days I was presented with a book that I “might enjoy reading”.

I was staying at the home, of my late Mum’s first cousin who I will call F. He and his wife B married just after the Second World War. He was British and his wife Australian, together they raised a family of ten; the first born in the year my Mum was born and the last born just a few years before I was born.

The book related to B’s family, which was of German heritage. The family had migrated to Australia in the mid 19th Century, and had settled in South Australia. I read the book, made copious amounts of notes and to be honest thought very little of it. Though each time I subsequently returned to Australia would ask to borrow the book again, read it and make more notes along the way. Some notes were clearer than the original ones, some were new entries and some were simply replicas of earlier ones.

Over the coming months, I would meet various family members of B’s family, her brother and sister and numerous half siblings. I was welcomed with open arms, despite having no connection to that part of the family.

Eventually, the notes made it to my genealogical software and I promised that I would look into the family on a future Australian trip.

Fast forward to 2021 and I was working on creating a new course for Pharos; Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe (750). I was sifting through my notes and selecting the relevant case studies, before formatting those notes into a structured section in the lessons. Suddenly the word Noack jumped out from the page. I knew that name, and did not need to look up to check where I knew it from. It was the maiden name of B.

Researchers will be familiar with the sensation of wow, mixed with the realism of how did I miss this? Well I had that wow and realism feeling, moreover, I was and still am, rather embarrassed to say that I had not made the connection, even though I was acutely aware of the surname illustrated. I had the information looking me in the face and still managed to miss the connection <sigh>.

The one thing I am very sad of is that both F and B are no longer with us. I would so love to have shared this discovery with them both, though I know F would have rolled his eyes, before being ticked off by B.

As part of the new course, I have shared information about the group of people with whom the Noack’s identified with. In about six weeks the next running of the Practicalities of One-Name Studies (903) course will begin. During that, I shall be working alongside the students, taking the time to set up the structures for a Noack study and that will continue with the next running of the Introduction to One-Name Studies (901) course.

Over the coming weeks, watch the research on the surname unfold. You can find the Noack posts HERE.

Posted in Australia, Noack, One-Name Studies, Surnames | Leave a comment

Stamping The Past (1)

Just recently I found myself day dreaming back in time. I don’t even know what the trigger was for this dreaming, but I found myself thinking about stamps. I know it’s not exactly a wild subject but what else can I say?

I’ve talked before about my Grandfather giving me a 1p stamp and a matchbox when I was about 3. That was my introduction to collecting stamps. I still have my school collection of stamps as well as the stamp tweezers I was given by a stamp dealer. I also still have this book.

Well before the pandemic I found myself in WH Smith’s wandering around the book section trying to locate something. As I was turning away I caught in my peripheral vision a stamp packet. Instead of moving on to locate what I was actually looking for, I moved towards the stamps. There I regressed to my childhood, where I had first encountered these packs of stamps.  I assume I had been standing for a while as I was aware of someone talking to me, a member of staff probably relieved that I eventually responded. I confirmed I was ok and said that I was remembering when I was a child and they sold these stamp packs, and I was pleased they still were. The staff member didn’t look interested so I looked away and the staff member made her escape. I stood for a while longer before moving back to the original search, realising I should have asked the staff member whilst I had the chance.

I eventually gave up the search, coming home and ordered from Amazon, but the thoughts of stamps kept entering my mind. I asked my husband if he had collected stamps as a child and he looked at me saying no, before commenting that didn’t I find collecting dead people (genealogically speaking) enough?

I went up to my office and pulled out the plastic lidded box which contained my stamps, carefully exploring the pages, and memories of building the collection. I had no intention of returning to my former hobby, but I still quite enjoy reading about stamps.

Putting the albums back into the lidded box & returning the box to the top of my bookcase, I looked at my list of things to do and sat at my desk. The first email I came to was from Warner’s, the publisher who produces FTM. I then spotted a reference to a stamp magazine, with a tempting offer for a subscription, I decided that the cost was so reasonable that I would sign up, but there would be no resurrection of collecting  stamps, unless there was a link to my One-Name or One-Place studies…..

Posted in Ephemera, Postcards & Stamps, Stamping the Past | 2 Comments

Genealogical Field Notes (1)

Created Julie Goucher - May 2021As I neared the finishing touches to the new Pharos course I am teaching, Researching Ancestors in Continental Europe I gathered up the last pile of notebooks in which resided some material for potential adding to the course material.

As I flicked the pages, it occurred to me that some of the smaller notes might be useful as blog posts. I shelved the idea for the next week or so and then found myself searching for a note that I knew I had written, but could not find so I could add to the lessons. When I eventually found the note, all 6 lines of it, I realised that I had spent 5 hours looking for it, though I had been side tracked several times.

For readers who might be thinking why not add it to the index in the notebook, I had, but it was not presented in a meaningful way; abbreviated for space saving purposes is fine, but the note does need to be written in a way that provides a clue! It also needed to be written legibly!

So over the coming weeks and months you will likely see these posts (placed in the category of Genealogical Field Notes) and you never know, you might even find something of interest!

Posted in Genealogical Field Notes | 1 Comment