Most One-Name & surname researchers end up working alone, sometimes by design and other times just the way it works out. That said, several Guild of One-Name study members successfully run a study in a collaborative spirit. Two examples are the Howes and Featherstone studies and I am aware of a number of others.
Collaboration can be achieved by connecting with others in whatever fashion that takes, here are a few examples:
- A Facebook Group for a surname study – The Orlando one has increased it’s numbers substantially although we could be more interactive!
- A Blog for a surname project
- A website, my favourite personal favourite is this Guild Members’ benefit, which is called the Members’ Website Project – the ability to preserve, share and continue working on your study, but more on that later in the month.
- Articles in genealogical magazines – in the last few years I have written a great deal about my Orlando study and recently received the Guild award of Excellence for an article about the Orlando study
- A Surname DNA Project – when the Orlando DNA project began in 2007 it was very slow going and it took me 10 years to get to 6 members. Following on from a number of articles and a DNA case study in Family Tree Magazine (UK) the number stands at 11!
- Connecting with others who are interested in the surname is a great way of sharing information and a real scope for engagement. When I first started researching my family history I received a letter from someone in New Zealand. We didn’t have any connections at family level, but did share an interest in the same surname. Over the last 25 years we have continued to share a great friendship.
- Profile Pages – These are available to every Guild member with a registered surname. One of best and easiest ways to get the word out there about your One-Name study is to use this Guild benefit . The profiles are indexed by Google and members do regularly receive communication from others, but the more common the surname, the more likely you are to receive enquires. You do need to provide some information on the profile; perhaps about the origins of the surname, or distribution maps and you can do this over time as your study evolves. You can see the Orlando profile HERE and there are a great many others displaying similar amounts of depth.