A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – O is for Origins of Surnames

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The Introduction to One-Name Studies course goes some way to explore the origins of surnames. Members of the Guild often explore the origins in relation to a specific surname, though that is not necessarily the only way to embark on a study. Other members might explore the origins of surnames in general or in relation to surnames in a specific country.

Research into the origins of a surname may well include the evolution of that surname across variants and other factors that might affect the surname. These might include, though not limited to:

  • Language
  • Dialects
  • Accents
  • Broad linguistic research (1)
  • Alphabet

Russia for example has over 100 languages with 27 of them being officially recognised in various regions across the country (2). Some countries adopted surnames quite late, Turkey for example did not pass a legislation stipulating that all citizens must have a fixed, hereditary surname until 1934. The Surname law went a step further, all surnames were to be Turkish surnames (3). Furthermore, it was forbidden that Armenian names could be used, nor could Greek, Slavic or Persian endings be appended to the chosen name. Neither could the name be duplicated in the same district.

Sources

(1) – Advanced One-Name Studies (Pharos course 902)

(2) – Tracing Ancestors in Continental Europe (Pharos course 750)

(3) – Tracing Ancestors in Continental Europe (Pharos course 750)

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Genealogy, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), Non-British Surnames, Variants, Deviants and Alias | Leave a comment

A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – M is for Methodology of a One-Name Study & Surname Research

A2Z [2021] BADGE

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The Seven Pillars of a One-Name Study is a book that published by the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2012.  The book provides guidance of how to proceed with a study. Given the book is a decade old, it is a little dated and there is perhaps a reviewed sense of member benefits, and some elements that are worthy of consideration before focusing on the pillars.

7 steps

Image created by Melody McKay Burton for Guild of One-Name Study 2019 from Surname Research Guide

Whilst the title suggests that the pillars or steps are linear, they are more of a continuum, as this revised illustration hopes to portray.

The beginning of a study, tends to focus on what is called collect, but I prefer to refer to it as gather. It is not necessarily correct that this has to be the starting point, and it may well be that other factors present themselves meaning that the focus shifts from gather to analysis for example.

There is some overlap on several of these, in particular the last four. Communicate was originally referred to as respond, and linked to the responsibility of responding to all enquiries. Instead, communicate references the other ways people might contact a study, which includes social media. 

Developing a process of working through data, adding to software as well as looking at analysis and synthesis of that data. Encouragement is given to maintaining a research log, and to do lists. There is not a huge amount of process, but I do appreciate that it might appear that way when you first undertake a study, which also includes time management, citations and sources.

I have written about this previously, you can find those articles HERE and a number of these elements, along with examples can be found in the Introduction of One-Name Studies course.

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Genealogy, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), One-Name Studies | Leave a comment

A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – K is for Knowledge

Genealogy is all about facts. They underpin the very essence of what we do  as genealogists and family historians.

Created by Julie Goucher 2018 using wordclouds.com

We follow the route as we aim to prove each hunch we have, to provide substance for the facts we identify. We record where and when we found the evidence to support our genealogical claim.

We become familiar with the words and writing of:

  • Citations,
  • References,
  • Sources,
  • End notes
  • Foot notes

Image created Julie Goucher 2020 using wordclouds.com

We become knowledgeable and aware of what to use, when and why. We become familiar with the differences between an online data provider and a repository. knowing when to use what and why.

We explore books, websites, magazines, and listen to podcasts and webinars or Zoom meetings so we can expand our knowledge and add context to the facts we uncover. We may undertake an online course (or two) where we can not only learn around our offline lives, but connect with other students and share our learning experiences.

If we are very lucky we might even stop researching and bring together the facts and context and we have discovered, producing a meaningful article or blog post to share our findings and hopefully connect with others.

So whilst genealogy is all about facts, it is also about more than that. It is about the context of our ancestors lives. It is about fleshing out their bones and redeveloping their lives, considering what we know AND what we do not know.

It is about understanding them in their place and their time. 

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FHF Really Useful Show – Treasures of the Archives #ReallyUsefulShow

Treasures of the Archives (FFHS)On Saturday, I gave two instalments of the workshop, Treasures of the Archives at the FHF Really Useful Show, hosted by the Family History Federation.

To deliver the sessions, I adopted the method of a small presentation, of around 30 minutes followed by questions from the participants and then lastly with questions from the observers. The live workshops were not recorded, but the handout I provided is available to download from the show website whilst the link to this workshop is available. The handout also remains available on the Downloadable Document section of this site. The presentation and handout is copyrighted to myself, and researchers are able to download the handout for their own personal use. 

As I sat and scoped out the presentation there was much more material collated than I used and I have decided that I will feature some of the sites and the topic from time to time; with these posts being found HERE.

Posted in Genealogy, Presentations, Treasures of the Archives Series | 1 Comment

A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – I is Indexes

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Many genealogists I am sure recognise the scenario that I am going to share here; We come across an index, either in database format or a book and immediately look to see if we spot one of “our” surnames – we cannot help ourselves! We may even go a step further, check to see if we recognise other people’s surnames. We grab a smart phone and take a picture to share with others. We may even go a step further still, and create a spreadsheet of material, after all these surnames belong to someone or a group of someone’s.

One of the great member benefits of the Guild of One-Name Studies is the selection of indexes available to members:

  • Scottish Index
  • Probate Index
  • Inscription Index ( available to the public)
  • Marriage Indexes
  • BMD Vault
  • Newspaper Index (available to the public)
  • Marriages of the World (available to the public)

You can see details HERE.

One of the useful things about the indexes is that not only can members share material with both members and non-members, but it is a great way of sharing an interest in a particular surname – any surname, not just a registered one.

As a search is done of the surname database the results show if a study has been registered, but also how many instances there are in the indexes. A search for BUTCHER for example shows the profile page (in need of an update!) and how many instances there are in the indexes. The Marriage index, gives a search result of 1478 between 1837 and 1945, and as a member I can go into the index and see the details about the marriage and have the facility of being able to contact the member who submitted the details. A search for ORLANDO reveals there are 28 submissions to the index, of which 27 were submitted by me!

Have you searched the Guild website to see if there are instances of your surname of interest in the indexes or registered as a study?

This is covered in the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course as it is a great way of gathering information for a new study, or indeed established study.

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FHF Really Useful Show – Treasures of the Archives #ReallyUsefulShow

I was delighted to be asked to facilitate a workshop, Treasures of the Archives for Family Historians, at this online event hosted by the Family History Federation. There is a super array of lectures and workshops, plus virtual exhibitor stands.

I understand that there is no more participant spots, but there are observer spots available. It is still possible to purchase a ticket, and £10 is excellent value for such virtual event.

Whether you are a participant of an observer, there is plenty of time for questions and there will be a handout available.

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A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – H is for How do I……

A2Z [2021] BADGE

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The overriding questions of doing a one-name study are typically How do I….:

  • Keep a One-Name Study?
  • Begin a One-Name Study?
  • Respond to enquiries?
  • Write a profile page?
  • …….

There are a number of other questions too and I find that Guild members are amongst the most knowledgeable genealogists who freely share their experiences, knowledge and expertise, and their time.

The Pharos One-Name Studies courses :

attempt to answer those questions and I encourage members embarking on a study to consider what they are hoping to achieve from their study. I encourage students to ponder on their aims, because it is those aims that might dictate how they should keep their study – an example I frequently use it if you know you want a website, then building a robust study using index cards is not necessarily the best way. I am a firm believer in using the right tools for the job.

I also share that you might not find the best way for your study immediately and that is OK. Over 30 years I have tweaked and adapted my study, methods, approaches and software – none of us choose the perfect options. I recommend that those starting off dabble with their software, entering three or four people that are connected to each other, along with the citations and to consider if the software is intuitive to them. I share my methods, not as a way to do it, but as an example that students can adapt to suit if they wish. There is no such thing as the right way to do a study, there is only your way.

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), One-Name Studies | Leave a comment

A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – G is for Reasons to be Global,1,2,3….

A2Z [2021] BADGE

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The Guild of One-Name Studies has the requirement that all registered surnames should be researched globally. That is a big commitment, but the requirement is a just one as the following will show. There is no expectation on how soon your study will be global, just that it will be, at some point.

  1. With so much migration across the globe due to: 
    1. Empires spreading, and leading to better & different opportunities.
    2. Fleeing Europe due to war and persecution etc
    3. Wanting a better life
  2. These feed into this point: Some families migrated, increased the family size through births overseas, then the whole family returning to the UK. You might establish the increase in the family through a census, but that might not always be possible. Certainly in England and Wales after the 1921 Census, there is going to be limited access – 1931 Census was destroyed during the Second World War, there was no 1941 Census due to the war and the 1951 will not be available until 2052. Therefore the nearest document in the 1939 Register.
  3. Unless your study is global you will not know if you have “everyone”. People were more migratory than we think. Furthermore, not everyone migrated in a straight line. Some deviated from the straight path and that might add to the timeline.

Here are a few examples:

  • ELSTONE & PARSLOW – My Grandmother’s Aunt, Eliza Elstone with her husband Joseph Parslow migrated to Canada. The couple married in 1887 in Surrey. Their first three children were born in Ontario. They returned to England, settled in Woking, raising their children and had an additional child born in Surrey. I have not explored the family sufficiently to identify why they migrated or what made them return to England.
  • WORSHIP & GOUCHER – My husband’s Grandparent, Lilian Worship and Ernest Goucher married in 1920. Ernest had served in the Royal Navy during the first world war and following his marriage he and Lilian, together with their 3 year old Derek, my late father in law headed across the Atlantic to Ontario where Ernest trained sea cadets. They returned to England and settled in the north east of England. The trunk which travelled with them now resides in my loft!
  • ORLANDO & CASTELLI – Salvatore Orlando sailed from Palmero to New York in 1913 leaving his wife Calogera Castelli in Sutera with his daughter, Calogera Orlando who was a new born. Salvatore left Sutera in Sicily, his home town to work and build up a nest egg of savings so he could provide for his family. Sadly in 1919, aged just 6 years little Calogera died. Her father still in the United States. Salvatore did return home as he planned.

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Elstone, Genealogy, Goacher/Goucher, One-Name Studies, Orlando One-Name Study, Parslow, Worship One-Name Study | Leave a comment

A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – Frugal Surname Research

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The online genealogical arena is overwhelmed with the provisions available to us. Whatever material I share here is a mere fraction of what is available online; and the material that is online is a fraction of the material in existence.

We are limited by our imaginations in the way we use the provisions available and where we look to get a glimmer of information to feed our genealogical habits.

The concept of a One-Name Study, or a surname project is one where the registrant with the Guild of One-Name Studies may choose to gather core material reflecting the name. Having gathered that information, there is no requirement to reconstruct families, though many do, including those with relatively large studies.

Given the registrant is seeking to locate material on a global scale, though there is no time pressures to do so, it can be costly to achieve. Today I have listed a few sites that are worthy of visiting and these are either free, or relatively low cost:

Next month I hope to share some hints and tips for using these sites to advance any research. Those pertaining to UK and Ireland will be found HERE and those relating to Continental Europe will appear HERE.

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Genealogy | 3 Comments

A-Z Challenge 2021 – All about Surnames – E is for Ephemera with Surname Research

A2Z [2021] BADGE

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Over the years I have collected “stuff” that has a link to my One-Name studies. I try not to accumulate items that are a hassle to store, but I have caved every now and again! Typically these things are post cards where the recipient had the surname Butcher. Some I have bought, others I have been given. I have an eBay search filter set up for the name. Each day an email plops into my inbox that tells me what material is newly listed, I can then look and plan to schedule a bid.

There is also an eBay filter for the Orlando study and Sutera which is the Commune that my family come from. These add a different dimension to the study and I often use these as a starting point to research further.

As I said, on occasions I have caved or got carried away. I own a lovely selection of Orlando Cherry Brandy bottles. They are  currently living on my dining room windowsill.

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2021 - All About Surnames, Orlando One-Name Study | 1 Comment