What do you want your One-Name Study to be?

What is a ONS to be.It wasn’t until I heard Paul Howes, Chairman of the Guild of One-Name Studies say recently in a webinar that he treated his Howes One-Name Study like a business that I considered the question

What do I want my One-Name study to be?

I want my study to do a multitude of things, both to me and other people. I want it to be:

  • A mechanism to share with others
  • An archive
  • A way of connecting with others
  • A resource for others researching the same name to use.

That is of course all achievable, but it won’t happen overnight and I tackled my study in the same way I would any work task – in order of priority AND quick wins.

What a genealogical quick wins?

  • Build up a body of data in several of the locations where your surname appears. I wrote about that earlier in this series and you can see that post HERE
  • Create a Facebook group for your study – let people come to you and share. It maybe that you do not have much to share at the start and that is OK – a One-Name Study is a gentle stroll, it is not a marathon!

Library CatalogueDecide how you are going to build up an archive of material and share with others. My personal view is, as lovely as this image of a library catalogue system is, there is no point in spending decades collecting material if it is stored in a filing cabinet, folders or in boxes – share your knowledge, get it out there! I have had many success finds by browsing catalogues such as these, but sadly they are becoming a thing of the past.

So here are a few considerations, and do not worry if you don’t get it right first time, I didn’t and I wasted a great deal of time procrastinating. My advise, for what that is worth is, just go for it! None of us know what is around the corner and the longer the study sits in a filing cabinet the more opportunity for it to be wasted.

So what are those considerations?:

  • Select your software – I keep material in two places:
    • Raw data, such as Births, Marriage and Deaths etc. in spreadsheets when I create a family the individuals remain the spreadsheet which is annotated and they then move to a
    • Genealogical Program – I use Roots Magic, but any of the big three – Roots Magic, Legacy or Family Historian have the ability to store people who are unconnected to each other. I know that is an issue for some One-Namers because I originally had the same issue and the way I over come the issue is that I start with marriages and enter the person with my study name first, followed by spouse = reconstruction of family. I then proceed through their births and the births of their children. I check the Census too at this point. What I find in the Census will influence where I go next, but it is usually the Census.
  • How are you going to share your findings?
    • Blog – WordPress have an option of a free one such as this, but you can pay for other enhancements and I shall do that at some point. There are other providers, and those who have followed this blog for a while will know I moved from Blogger to WordPress. You can share stories about the folks in your study or share your journey of working on your study.
    • Website 
      • Domain name
      • Hosting service
      • Cost to hose
      • How much space? – oh boy such a lot of questions. I have had a domain for one of my studies for years. It is a co.uk site and does not to me indicate the study is global – sadly at the time the .com and .info was not available. I still pay for that domain name and point the server to my website. I opted to take advantage of the Members Website Project, which is a members benefit for the Guild. As a Guild member I was given, free of charge – but donations accepted, a
        • a domain name on the Guild server
        • a website to host my study and no restriction on space – I opted to use TNG, I paid for the license, and the Guild volunteers loaded the TNG onto the site and got my website set up. All I had to do was upload a GEDCOM from my genealogical database. I can upload a new GEDCOM as often as I would like. To me it is a no brainer! There are options to have other types of sites, HTML or a WordPress site – you can see the range HERE I personally didn’t like the idea of WordPress linking to a TNG site, so I decided to retain my blog on WordPress, but I download the blog contents and make regular backups of the data.
    • Articles in magazines and journals – I have written quite a lot about my Italian One-Name Study, both in the Journal of One-Name Studies, Family Tree Magazine (UK) and a number of Legacy Family Tree blog posts and numerous others. –  I had more interaction with my Italian study in the last 18 months than in the previous decade, probably because it was “out there”.
    • Social media – Share about your study, share other studies information – be active on social media. It takes time. In much the same way Coca-Cola evolved, they established their branding and “worked it” I have a friend who always says it is not Christmas until she has heard the synopsis Coca-Cola advert with the santa on. In fact, it was only as wrote this, did I realise that the Coca-Cola truck is real and does actually go to a number of locations – I must live under a rock because I had no idea!

Why did I choose to use the Guild to host my study?

That was simple and I was truly quite relieved when I finally made the decision. There is zero cost to me as a member. The Guild volunteer members were fabulous in not only setting my site up so it was ready to go, but for answering any questions, even the ones that vague because I didn’t quite know how to verbalise the issue or question. If I join my ancestors tomorrow the GEDCOM(s) that is uploaded will be preserved and should someone else come along and want to register the surname they will be invited to take over a copy of the website and all the associated papers (I have left instructions for those as part of my will). If I had chosen to host elsewhere, when I eventually shuffled off and joined my ancestors the domain name costs and website hosting bill won’t be paid and the vanishes. Do you see what I mean by no brainer!

There is a preconceived notion that:

  • the GEDCOM has to be a huge one – wrong! None of us started with a huge volume of data, it grew and evolved just like we do.
  • You can only have one GEDCOM – wrong! I have two (and sometimes more) GEDCOM’s on my TNG site – one that represents my family and the other that represents my One-Name Study.

All of our studies begin with just one person who arouses our curiosity and has the surname you are studying – remember, big trees grow from small acorns!

You can read other posts in my One-Name Study series HERE

This entry was posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What do you want your One-Name Study to be?

  1. Pingback: This week’s crème de la crème — March 24, 2018 | Genealogy à la carte

  2. Pingback: A-Z Challenge 2018 – Methodology | Anglers Rest

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