Advanced One-Name Studies is not something that I have talked much about, so I thought I would delve a little deeper into it as we kick off the #AllAboutSurnames Series.
Firstly, we begin with the definition of “advanced” – this could be assumed that it means a study which has been underway for a while, or it could be that a study is already delving deeper into the elements of context. Perhaps a study that has a DNA project, but this could be a DNA project going for a decade or one created in the last few weeks. So it is not enough to have simply ticked a box to say I have this, but that you have whatever is ticked off the list in a more defined way.
An area of advanced that I have personally been working on involves my ancestor Daniel Butcher, who I have mentioned before., you can read the earlier post HERE. Daniel was born in 1720 in the rural parish of Hascombe, Surrey and baptised in the church at Bramley as the family home was nearer to Bramley church than Hascombe. There is quite a lot of material about Daniel and his family, both the previous generation and once he marries in 1745 in the Sussex parish of Tillington. That seems perfectly clear, but now we get into muddier water – Daniel we know was 25 years old when he married. The full name of his bride is correct as is the birth of his children, first a daughter in 1761 and then a son in 1775, which I descend from.
If you were just looking at the timeline, you would be forgiven for thinking that there were several Daniel and Elizabeth’s and I had mixed the children up, but that is not the case, I have the various records which confirm the birth of the children and that is supported further by other documents etc. As I focused on the timeline I became increasingly fixated on not just the details of what I knew to be correct, but on details that I did not have and in some cases would have because the records and information do not exist.
If you read the earlier post you will note that I comment on two things which I consider to be worth exploring (I just need to find the time!):
- The age of marriage – we know that Daniel was 25 but we cannot confirm the age of Elizabeth. At the time of the marriage, in 1745 the legal age of marriage was 12 for girls and 14 for boys (source Marriage Law for Genealogists…….by Rebecca Probert)
- Early health issues relating to Infertility in the 18th Century – we make an “assumption” that people had children, especially in the age of pre-contraception. That does not necessarily mean that every marriage had children and the reasons may be health related, perhaps infertility caused by a condition that affecting hormonal imbalance. Not forgetting that during this time period there might not have been the awareness of any medical condition existing. There is also the possibility of miscarriage.
These elements are quite interesting and there be some truth in either or both of these. There is more research to do, (isn’t there always?).
Advanced one-name studies consists of a spectrum of indicators if you will. Not every study will have these within a defined timescale. Indeed, there is no timescale inferred or insisted upon. Another factor is the specific interests of the researcher and the ease of accessing records. There are a few indicators, here are just a few:
- Objectives of the study
- DNA Project underway
- Migration routes are known along with the dates
- Access to older records such as Manorial Records
- Background knowledge of the history of surnames within the Country of origin
The Advanced course in One-Name Studies will be taught again in November 2021