I love this image of the Seven Steps of a One-Name Study. The reason I like it so much is that it shows the seven key principles of a study and today’s post is about analysing material and what we observe.
One of the key elements as you commence or think of commencing a study is to look at the numbers. How big is your study going to be?
It is not simply a case of how big the study is, but how big the study is going to be in a specific genealogical location. My Orlando study is small in the UK, but across the English Channel and head to Italy and the surname is common. The surname occurs in other areas of Europe to. Then look to other locations, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
As we analyse the numbers I consider the driving factors of why the number might be higher in one country over another. I expected my Italian distribution map to show Orlando “everywhere” and I was not disappointed. I wrote about this earlier and you can read that post HERE the third map on the page shows the spread of Orlando’s.
When I compare the map to similar maps, such as for the United States, I can see the increase of the surname in certain states and then when I look at the history of Italy and in particular the south of the country I can see what perhaps drove the migration from those areas to the United States.
As part of analysing and observing, I could draw an initial conclusion that:
- Migration from a financially poor Italy, especially in the south was because there there was the hope of a better life in the USA.
- Some states, such as Alabama and Louisiana might have a surge in migrant populations because of the decrease in enslaved people and a deficit of people to do menial and hard labour work.
- Religion might also draw an increase in migration, so those from a devout Catholic country might choose to migrate to similar countries, Argentina and Brazil for example.
- The reduction in availability of migration to the United States might have driven an increase to other countries such as England and Australia.
- Sicily was famous for the incredibly hard work of sulphur mining, in fact in the 19th Century, 90% of the world’s sulphur mining came from Sicily. As the work decreased did this influence where the Sicilians migrated to?
All of these elements bring together our thought processes as we observe our findings and analyse them. If we give some context to the size of the study that builds a sounder approach to a study and adds a dimension to it.
For those who want to read more on the size of a study you could read this earlier post here and I promise to write a post about some of my observations and see if my hypothesis holds water!