As with any research project it is important to have the aims of the project.
Members of the Guild of One-Name Studies will be familiar with the requirements that all studies must be eventually global and that a member must respond to all enquiries.
As someone who has two studies, I have the same aims for both, but essentially someone embarking on such a project should consider the aims before commencing. Of course in a perfect world that is what I would have done when I started back in the late 1980’s, but I didn’t and truth be told I had not actually realised that I was undertaking a One-Name Study.
As I say to all students on the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course, decide where you want your study to be. There is no point collecting references to your surname on card indexes if you want to eventually host a website on your surname.
I am very envious of people starting their study now. Being in the digital age it is much easier to begin a large study. There is likely to be reduced amounts of paper records in the study and the use of genealogical software to record data means that family reconstruction is much easier.
- If you simply want to collect material then a spreadsheet works well but this is a simplistic approach, even for a large study.
- If the aim is to reconstruct families without “fuss” then a family history programme is the way to go.
- If you know that you want a website for the study and want to get your material and your study out there, then you need a programme that has the ability to produce a GEDCOM file.
So take the time to establish your aims. Choose the right product for the task and remember that in the digital age it is much easier to gather material for a study and it is much easier to publish and share your study.
If you share your study with others using the internet then you are likely to find that others with interest in the surname will come to you and want to either share what information they have or ask questions and see information, and perhaps they will do both.