Researching Females in a One-Name Study

Female SymbolA frequent question that pops up on the Introduction to One-Name Studies course is about researching women, especially if the female marries out of the surname.

It varies, depending on the person undertaking the study. Some carry on, including the individual, others do a couple of generations and some do not carry on, with the individual ceasing in the study the moment the female marries out.

There is no right or wrong way and the Guild of One-Name Studies, leaves that up to the individual member to decide.

Personally I follow the female for at least two further generations in my study, so effectively the children and grandchildren. If the female connects to my personal family then I continue on beyond the two generations. If the female marries into another study then I swap the information with the other study holder. On occasions I do carry on for another generation or so if I am doing other elements of investigations for example multiple births.

If you have a One-Name Study what do you do? please leave a comment!

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course | 2 Comments

Sicilian Sulphur Mining #GOONSblogchallenge – Post 7

Sulphur from San Cataldo Mine

Sulphur from the mine at San Cataldo –

Caltanissetta is located in the centre of Sicily, dominating the Salso River. From the beginning of the 19th Century, Caltanissetta became a mining centre following the discovery of huge sulphur deposits.

Between 1830-1835, according to the General Statistics of Sulphur Mines, Sicily doubled the production of sulphur from 350,000 to 660,000 Cantari (on estimations, 1 Cantaro equals 79.34 kg), which outmatched both Great Britain and France and classified itself as the worlds biggest region in Sulphur exportation.

Between the mid 19th Century until 20th Century, there were some 40,000 workers employed as sulphur miners, amongst them many, many children known as Carusi.

At the beginning, mines had small spiral staircases that met the heart of the mine and prevented the mine from collapsing. The pathways were very narrow, and subsequently they were impassable by adults, therefore only could be accessed by children, who walked the treacherous pathway several times each day.

Sulphur Mining in Sicily

Carusi at Sulphur Mines in Sicily.

The head of the mines approached the families to recruit the children. Poverty prevailed in Sicily and families were very large, therefore the parents entrusted their children into the miners care in exchange for financial reward. The families believed that once the debt had been repaid the children would be returned to them, sadly the miners often would alter the children’s names and would exchange the children for those with other miners, making the children unrecognisable to the family. The children did not know any better, and through ignorance and exhaustion that prevented the children from developing their individual identities. They therefore remained a Carusi for life.

The feeling of a love and hate relationship with the mines was based upon the numerous misfortunes beneath the earth. One example is a blast triggered by fire damp at Gessolungo where over 60 miners died. Later, in 1952 there was an blast at the Tumminelli mine, where six people died. Word got out that the rescue teams had remained under the collapse. It was impossible to control public order with thousands flocking to the mine from the towns to look for relatives. The chief engineer of the workers, police commissioner and the prefect met and gave the order to suspend the rescue mission, three of the men who were involved were still alive at this point.

The mines remained prosperous until 1906 when the Anglo-Sicilian sulphur company stopped activity following the discovery in the United States of a new technique to extract sulphur, known as the Frasch method.

After the end of the Korean war, the request for sulphur declined dramatically which in turn triggered a crisis throughout the Sicilian mining industry. Sulphur was produced at a prohibitive cost, almost six times higher than obtained overseas from the fractional distillation of petroleum. At the end of five years, which had previously been envisaged as the period of recovery by a reorganisation plan, the majority of sulphur dealerships defaulted. In 1964 the region of Sicily revoked the mining concession for individuals, entrusting them to the mining Sicilian body, later to the regional Sicilian chemical mining society.

After the Second World War sulphur miners fought for the passage of the mines to be held in public administration, demanding better work conditions, the end of the feudal mentality in the management of the sulphur mines and a shift within the mining sector with a cycle of production and chemical transformation in the Sicilian territory, but the political stance was very different.

Sulphur mining was an important part of Sicilian life, giving culture, economy and deep roots to the whole of Sicily, not just the three provinces of Enna, Caltanissetta and Agrigento, which had nurtured 840 mines until the early 20th century, producing 90% of the world sulphur.

Of that period nothing remains, but abandoned mines, landscapes spoilt by crumbling asbestos filled buildings and memories of a financial viable business built upon the exploitation of a poverty stricken population.


Posted in #GuildBlogChallenge, Genealogy, Miners and Mining, Orlando One-Name Study, Sutera Sicily, Vircigilo | 1 Comment

Q & A – How do I set up an eBay search for my Surname?

Q & A

Created by Julie Goucher – Feb 2020 Using

Following my article in Family Tree Magazine, where I mentioned setting up an eBay alert for a surname, I received a few questions on how to set it up. I thought I would also answer that here, in a step by step format, in case others had the same question.

  1. Log in to your eBay account
  2. In the search box at the top of the page insert what you want to search for, making any selection as to the category Just before the search results, there are three headers – All listings, Auction, Buy it now and just below that, is a heart symbol and the words Save this search
  3. Click on Save this search and each day you should receive an email alerting you to what is available on eBay relevant to your search request.

Be mindful that some surnames and place names might yield a lot of search results. You can filter them to be more specific, but the risk is you might not see something that is relevant.

Certainly with my two studies, for BUTCHER and ORLANDO they are a troublesome search, I have selected the categories of collectables, meaning that I exclude items for sale that relate to Butcher shops, Butcher blocks etc, though I do still see post cards of Butcher shops, and personally I would prefer to see them and discount them rather than not see them at all.

You can see what searches you have set up once you have logged into your eBay account

There is opportunity to exclude specific words associated with a surname or place, which would look like Butcher -block – shop or Orlando – Florida.

The eBay approach varies hugely between members, depending on the name being studied. Members of the Guild can access the presentation given by Guild member, Alan Moorhouse about using eBay in his Farmery One-Name Study, at the Name of the Game seminar in 2017 (members’ need to be logged in to view).

Dwerryhouse PostcardThis is the purchase I made recently, which is shown in the latest Family Tree Magazine article (March 2020 issue) for the surname of DWERRYHOUSE.

There are other sites which might yield results, such as Invaluable, although I have not had much success, personally, with this site.

Posted in Dwerryhouse, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Q & A | 1 Comment

Genealogy Blog Party – We ❤️ February – actually no, I don’t! #GOONSblogchallenge – Post 6


Copyright of Elizabeth O’Neal

Taking part in the Genealogy Blog Party, hosted by Elizabeth at

February, and in particular Valentine’s day is now a subdued day. The day in 2020 marks the 6th year since my Mum passed away, just two days before her 67th birthday.

As each year passes, it does not get easier, but I do find myself reflecting on my own family and finding the good in that, as opposed to the depressed view that is easier to display.

I wasn’t sure quite what to write for this post and wrote several times over the last week or so, each time deleting and starting again. I then looked at a selection of photographs and this one is something that showed the love shining through.

A picture is worth a thousands words and I thought that I would share two such photos.

Mum and Grandparents

Family collection of Julie Goucher

First up is this one, taken at Southend, Essex around 1948, my late Mum with my Grandparents.

My Grandmother, was a no nonsense sort who had a lovely and infectious sense of humour. The whole concept of motherhood was something that happened and I cannot quite imagine my Grandmother in her young years. My Grandfather was fairly similar to my Grandmother, in so much as he dotted on my Mum and had a tormenting sense of humour.

By this point, my Grandparents would have been married, almost a decade, having married in November 1939. There are no wedding photographs of their happy day. My grandmother hated with a passion her photograph being taken and I suspect and can hear her now, saying “George, let’s not bother”. I do so wish that someone had bothered.

At the point of their marriage, my Grandfather was aged 31 years and was living with his both of his parents at Manor Farm, Guildford and a number of siblings with their spouses. My grandmother, aged 26, was living with her sister and brother in law and their growing family, at Guildford, Surrey, as her parents had died in the 1930’s – her father in 1931 and mother in 1937. In 1940 my Grandfather enlisted in the Army and was posted to Sierre Leone until December 1943. He spent some time on home turf, before heading to France, Belgium and the Netherlands. He was demobbed from the Army in 1946 and returned to his former job, at Guildford working for the diary, Unigate, formerly Lymposs Smee where he remained until he retired after more than 30 years service.

My Grandmother, spent the war years working at Guildford laundry. She hated ironing right up until she died and told me the work was hard and hot. The laundry dealt with the washing of military clothes and bedding. She also had at least two evacuees for the duration, one of which remained as close friends up until that 14 year old evacuee passed away about a decade ago. Out of the time of war, something great was forged and carried on another two generations.

Having been demobbed in 1946 and resuming his paid work, my Grandmother I guess reverted to being a housewife. Mum was born 16 February 1947 which was known as the deep freeze. Her birth registered at Guildford on 19th February 1947. It was brutal, freezing cold, rations continuing and their were frequent power cuts. Mum was wrapped and place in a drawer of the chest of drawers to keep snug and safe.

Each summer my Grandparents would head off to Southend to visit my Grandfather’s sister and her husband. Those visits carried on for decades only ceasing when my Aunt died in the mid 1980’s having outlived her brother and husband. This photo is one of close to a hundred or so that exist showing the family at the farm, Southend or even Devon where they holidayed.


Family collection of Julie Goucher

The second photograph is one that long time readers may well have seen previously. It is though my absolute favourite of Mum. My Grandmother was functional. She was not the sort to have used ribbons and bows. If something was not quite right, she would say “oh, blow it, let’s not worry about X”, whatever X was. This photograph therefore speaks volumes to me, Mum is wearing the pretty blue dress with matching bow and the dainty shoes. She is standing in such a petite way. A diva for sure.

The photograph at some point before I inherited it became torn. There are no markings to tell where it was taken, but I suspect Guildford at a photograph called Donnivan Box as that matches with several others from around the same time. The bow is with me now, although the dress has not survived.

When Mum was just four and a half she contracted Polio. She spent 10 days at home, with the Doctor believing Mum had flu. The delay in a formal diagnosis undoubtedly saved her from declining further. She was admitted to hospital, just outside of Woking, Surrey where she spent six months seeing her parents through a glass window, just once a week, long before the days when paediatric wards existed in the way we know of them now. Before the days when nurses wore uniforms with teddy bears on and provided space for parents to stay by their child’s side. Mum was discharged just before Christmas and embarked upon more than a decade of visits to the hospital. Her only obvious sign of the polio was the lack of a calf muscle in the left leg, she avoided both calipers and having to be in an iron lung.

Mum retained a deep routed fear of hospitals up until she died. She was like my Grandmother in so many ways and I see myself sharing a great number of those characteristics. Stubborn, potentially argumentative, independent and very loyal.

We owe so much to those that walk before us and perhaps that it was right that, someone who was so loved should leave us on Valentine’s Day.

In loving memory of my Grandparents George Butcher (1908-1974) and Lilian Edith Butcher nee Matthews (1912-1995) and my Mum, Christine Joyce Butcher (1947-2014).


Posted in #GuildBlogChallenge, Butcher One-Name Study, Genealogy Blog Party, One-Name Studies, Polio, Surnames | 8 Comments

Family Tree Magazine – How to Start a One-Name Study.

FTM March 2020The launch of my 2020 series on surnames has begun in Family Tree Magazine, March issue and on sale now.

This article four page article, How to Start a One-Name Study is demonstrating the starting of a study and setting the scene. I selected the surname of DWERRYHOUSE and have commenced the building of that study. We focus on choosing a surname, registering the name with the Guild, getting a feel for the origins of a surname. We chat about the global aspect and keeping study material organised. We conclude with final reading.

I also do a step by step guide to search and download the results from FreeBMD. Even if you are a reader living outside of the UK and researching a non-British surname, it would be relevant to search FreeBMD and gather the material, to work upon at some point.

I also share that a One-Name study is not a Olympic race, it is more akin to a gentle stroll in a park – a study evolves over time.

IMG_1710My final comment is this header picture, which will change each quarter, hopefully reflective of the evolution of a study.

Family Tree Magazine is available in paper and digital format from the magazine.

In the June issue we look at growing a One-Name Study.

Posted in Family Tree Magazine (UK) Surname Series (2020), Genealogy, One-Name Studies | Leave a comment

DNA Ethnicity Estimates and the Vircigilo Surname #GOONSblogchallenge – Post 5

Ethnicity Estimates Feb 2020

Ethnicity estimates for Julie Goucher Ancestry Feb 2020

Over the weekend I spotted that Ancestry had updated the Ethnicity estimate page on my DNA test. I thought nothing more of it, until I scrolled down and noticed that there now showed a line for Sardinia which was not there previously.

By coincidence, just last week I shared post number four in the Guild Blog Challenge (#guildblogchallenge) where I talked about the surname of my paternal great Grandmother, Virciglio. If you did not see it, you can read that post HERE.

In that post I shared that having looked at the surname distribution map, the nearest locations to Sicily for the surname was in Sardinia and Lazio, although, the frequency of the surname outside of Sicily was in fact Piedmont.

The ethnicity element is hardly an exact science, yet, mine has previously been fairly accurate. I am 50% English, with the majority of my maternal line hailing from the south east of England – Surrey and Sussex and Hampshire which is classed as central southern England. I am also 50% Sicilian, so perhaps I might therefore treat my ethnicity as a pointer in the direction for more research.

Is your ethnicity estimate fairly accurate compared to what you know? or is it wildly inaccurate?


Posted in #GuildBlogChallenge, DNA & Surname Projects, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Orlando One-Name Study, Vircigilo | Leave a comment

Working on a Global Surname Project , for a Geographically Concentrated Surname

Typically surnames will have a hotbed presence, even the most common surnames. In those instances, it will often be personal to the researcher. In the case of my own Butcher ancestors, Surrey is a particular hotbed for me, followed by Sussex and London with my own family groups migrating across the seas at varying times to Canada and Australia.


Distribution Map using Surname Atlas, based upon the 1881 Census for England and Wales

From my study though, Butcher appears as a widespread surname, but as we can see from this image, concentrations appear in some Counties more than others.

The darker the colour the more instances of the surname. My native Surrey comes out the most, as does Kent, Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk. If we look at Sussex there are few instances there. In Scotland, there are the least instances of the name, as far north as Moray, Angus and Perth.

Butchers - surname atlas

Distribution Map using Surname Atlas, based upon the 1881 Census for England and Wales


If I look at the map for the variant of Butchers, the spread of the surname is very different. The disparity between the numbers, could be for a variety of reasons, but probably pronunciation and the adjustments of the name over time – essentially loosing the “s” at the end of the name.

Guild members, upon registering a surname agree to the commitment to research the surname globally and this does mean to go beyond the members own family. There is no constraints as to when you go global, just that you do.

Quite recently someone remarked to me that they had not registered their study, because the research shows that the surname in question had not undertaken significant migration. There is a difference between a surname not organically migrating and a member choosing to not pursue a surname on a global scale and they are not the same thing. It is hardly the members’ fault if their surname has not migrated on a global scale, so why restrict yourself to the benefits that undoubtedly come from surname registration?

Many surnames are regionally featured. I can think of a few, all registered with the Guild and listed below. To find about them, visit the Guild’s website and insert the name into the surname search box:

  • Daglish (hotbed is in the north east of England)
  • Tickle (hotbed is Devon and north east of England)
  • Tresise (hotbed is Cornwall)
  • Featherstone (hotbed is in part of Yorkshire and north east of England)
  • Keough (hotbed is Ireland and Lancashire)
  • Orlando (hotbed is Italy)

What I find interesting is the reasons for the migration from one region to another, one country to another. That is why, global is important because otherwise you cannot be sure that you have captured all individuals with that name, irrespective of the country of origin or time frame.

Context is very important, that is how the study holders of some of the studies above will be able to establish the cause of movement of individuals bearing those surnames. In these cases, mining may well be the cause.

In terms of families working in the mining industries, whether you are mining tin or coal is neither here or there. It is the skill involved that is key. People with a skill and the bravery to migrate may well have caused the name to become global, even if the name started out regionally. In the case of mining, I can think of movement from the north east to counties in the midlands, Wales to Patagonia, Sicily to part of the United States.

It is material such as this that can be explored as part of a one-name study and is covered in the Advanced One-Name Studies course.

Posted in Butcher One-Name Study, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Advanced One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Pharos - Practicalities of a One-Name Studies Course | Leave a comment

Desk Ramblings (27)

Desk Ramblings

Created by Julie Goucher, July 2019

Research resources are just about everywhere. They always were, but the internet has made them so much more visible and accessible.

Of course, the downside at least in part, is the closures of some archives as they struggle with budgets and austerity. The internet has also provided a false view that “everything” is online. It is not and there is nothing quite like being in an archive/heritage centre/museum or library.

Museums, libraries, heritage centres and collections of papers are all great to search for names and places which litter our personal genealogies and our specialised studies.

Research Resources

Created by Julie Goucher, Feb 2020. using

I spent some time today, doing a little genealogical website (this one!) housekeeping. Merging some of the categories, deleting others and created a new image. I have a tendency to be very blue and green focused, so I opted with a burst of yellow, on what is frankly a dull and dismal day weather wise.

Having done that, I set about selecting a list of libraries that will potentially feature in the workshop that I am hosting at #FamilyTreeLive. Of course, the list is three times (at least) as long as I have time for at the show, so a good number of those libraries will be cut from the discussion. The work won’t go to waste though, as I expect I shall write about a good many of them here, especially if they are good name rich material.

The latest Pharos course is now underway, with the course closing to new participants on Monday, so this is the last call!  The next Introduction course will be in early June, so plenty of time, between now and then to read the contents of the Surname Research tab at the top!

Posted in Desk Ramblings! | Leave a comment

Interview at Organize Your Family History

Organise Your Family History

Copyright Janine Adams of Organise your Family History.

A few weeks ago I was approached by professional Organiser and family historian, Janine Adams who asked if she could interview me for the “How They Do It” column.

I agreed, and the interview went live a few days ago on Janine’s website. You can read what I had to say HERE.

Posted in Genealogy, Organisation & Structure | Leave a comment

Q & A – Frank, Anton and Anna Hunt – Württemberg, Germany

Q & A

Created by Julie Goucher – Feb 2020 Using

Before Christmas I gave a webinar to a genealogical group in the United States. I was forwarded a question, but noted some weeks later that the email was without the address of the genealogist. I therefore through I would reply, via this site, replacing the name with the initials of the originator. Any questions can be found under the Q & A category.

I have a 2X great-grandfather that came to the US.  First record I have of him is Feb 1880 when he marries my 2X great-grandmother.  His Americanized name was Frank Hunt.  He lists his place of birth as Württemberg, Germany and that he is 24.  He lists his parents as Anton and Anna Hunt.  On the 1880 census, he states his parents were born in Germany.  I do I even begin to figure out what his given name was or any other information?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

There can be a variety of reasons why a migrant might change their name. What I am going to do here, is to provide a few things that might be worth considering or exploring.

In the first instance, I would go back to the original census you have located him on, which is 1880 and the marriage to your great great Grandmother and see if he signed his name – essentially could he read and write? Those that could not were not in a position to see if their name was spelt incorrectly or not, so the name could have been changed over time.

The other initial focal point would be to have a look into the place he was from, in this case, Württemberg, Germany. Look on a map to see exactly where this is. What was Germany in 1880 might not be Germany now, and was perhaps part of the wider empire. The other thing to consider is what was the occupation given as? Very often migrants settle where there are others, people they knew or knew via others, or those from the same place or working the same job or sharing the same religion.

See if you can locate a naturalisation record. The chances are he was naturalised under his “Americanised” name (if he Naturalised), but the other information might provide clues to his origins. I would also do a wide search online for the name he assumed, or even the place he was from. At the time of the First World War, he would have been in his 50’s but he might have had children who would have been seen as enemy aliens, in which case, if the father or descendants were interned, it might provide a clue in the records.

The German Genealogy Group have a very interesting website, whilst you do not say where the family were at the time of the marriage or census, the indexes and material of the group might be worth exploring.

I hope this helps and if you are the researcher who asked this question, please do contact me.

Posted in Genealogy, Q & A | Leave a comment