Some Special Interests => One Name Studies => Topic started by: Lisajj on Wednesday 06 April 11 15:45 BST (UK)

Title: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: Lisajj on Wednesday 06 April 11 15:45 BST (UK)
I am thinking of registering a couple of surnames with the Guild of One-Name Studies.  I know it means I will have to do a fair bit of research as that's what the guild require, but has anyone else on here registered a surname and if so, how are you getting on with it?

The surnames I am thinking of registering are Holtaway, Crankshaw and Burdett.  None of these are on their lists.

Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: Marmaduke 123 on Friday 29 April 11 18:31 BST (UK)
Hi Lisa

I'm also thinking of registering a name, but I'm not quite ready yet. Not sure you would be able to register 3 disconnected names, each one is a life's work!

I've recently finished the Pharos online course "Introduction to One Name Studies" which has been invaluable, and has made me understand what is involved. I would strongly recommend anyone who is thinking of undertaking a one name study to do it. Also, there is a great deal of information on the GOONS website, even if you are not a member.

One of the things about registering a name is that you have to agree to respond to queries within a specified timescale, and there are some other conditions too.

Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: DevonCruwys on Saturday 30 April 11 12:08 BST (UK)
I've registered the surnames Cruwys and Cruse with the Guild and have been a member for the last five years. I would recommend only registering one surname and variants to begin with. You do not have to do all the research before registering a surname. The only commitment that is enforced is that you have to respond to all enquiries received. With a rare surname you are not likely to receive a large number of enquiries. There is a lot of very useful material hidden away in our members' room and the Guild mailing list (known as the Forum) is an invaluable source of help and advice. It is rare to find that a question, however obscure, goes unanswered. When you register a name you can also have a free profile page which is an easy to use webpage. You can see my profile page here:

If you have an English surname you will also benefit from the Guild Marriage Challenges whereby you receive free "faux" marriage certificates of marriage records for your surname extracted from local parish registers.

Debbie Kennett
Member no. 4554
Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: seank on Thursday 22 September 11 23:40 BST (UK)
Obviously, you don't need to register with the G.O.O.N.S. to carry out a one-name study, but it helps. They have a useful 'Wiki' resource for advice and tips, as well as storage facilities for data and, very useful, a profile page for your surname which gives you an easy-to-set-up webpage.

Maybe Debbie can help me here, but I remember seeing a guide on the Guild website to what was considered a 'small', 'medium' and 'large' one-name study. It was measured according to how many people with your surname appeared in the 1881 Census (obviously this works best if you are studing a British surname!) - I seem to remember if there were less than 300 people recorded in the 1881 Census it was an indication that your one-name study would be manageable and 'small'.

I attended a family history fair recently with the 'surname atlas' programme on computer. One person who expressed an interest in joining the Guild found their surname only had 17 individuals in the 1881 Census. I imagine he could complete his one-name study in an afternoon  :D
Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: DevonCruwys on Friday 23 September 11 00:14 BST (UK)
These are the study sizes based on the 1881 census for England and Wales from the Guild Wiki:

1-30 Tiny (T)
30-300 Small (S)
300-3000 Medium (M)
3000-30000 Large (L)
30000-300,000 Extra large (XL)
>300,000 'Smith and Jones' (XXL)

Much also depends on how the surname has spread in other countries. Some surnames can become huge in the US for example. We do have some extra large studies (eg, Phillips) but they're usually run by a team of people with one person as the lead researcher who is the Guild member.

There's no requirement to finish a one-name study but one of the main advantages of registering the surname with the Guild is that you can archive your research with them (so long as it is in digital format) so in the future others can build upon what you've done. There are members at all different stages of their research. The only requirement is that you have to answer enquiries and this really is not a burden.


Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: seank on Friday 23 September 11 13:10 BST (UK)
Thanks Debbie. It's a useful guide, I think it should be more prominently available to prospective GOONS members.

Didn't realise the original discussion was several months ago. We'll have to wait eagerly and see whether any new one name studies have begun...

Crankshaw looks like an interesting name, only 400 recorded in 1881. I'm wondering whether the other two, Holtaway and Burdett, are spelling variations of more popular surnames.
Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: DevonCruwys on Friday 23 September 11 13:36 BST (UK)
There are plans to revamp some of the Guild website and it would be a good idea to make this more prominent. It would be interesting to know the breakdown of one-name studies by size but I don't think there's an easy way of extracting these data at present. Redmonds et al propose a different size system in their new book on "Surnames, DNA and Family History".

A lot of rare surnames are actually variants of more common spellings. My name Cruwys is a variant of the more common surname Cruse. Cruwys has a single origin but Cruse has multiple origins.

Title: Re: Guild of One-Name Studies
Post by: Marmaduke 123 on Friday 23 September 11 13:53 BST (UK)
Thanks for the reminder about this book Debbie. I knew it was due out, but hadn't realised it had already been published. Now ordered from Amazon!