Why Study Surnames?

Image created Julie Goucher 2020 using wordclouds.com

As any genealogist or family historian will tell you there are always more questions than answers and always a burning obsession to find out more, even if the odds are against a successful search.

There are a variety of reasons for researching a surname, here are just a few:

  • General curiosity about the surname.
  • Where does the surname come from?
  • My name is foreign, how did it get here?
  • Spellings of different surnames and are they related?
  • An attempt to demolish a genealogical brick wall.
  • By collecting all the references to a given name, it means that you do not necessarily miss your elusive ancestor.
  • …….the list is endless; and there is no right or wrong answer.
  • If you have questions about different surnames, the questions are likely different AND you might even find the answers to those questions is entirely different.

More than likely you will have already started your surname research before you become aware of the concept and before you have considered the basic foundations for a study.

What are the foundations? well here are a few things to consider:

  • Seek to understand the history of the surname
    • Where did it come from
    • What does it mean
    • How big might my study be?
  • What do you want to achieve by undertaking your study?
    • It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a firm idea, but begin thinking about it.

More details and information is covered in the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in Genealogy, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), One-Name Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

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