is a One Name Study?
one-name study is a project researching all occurrences
of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree
(ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants
of one person or couple).
"one-namers" may restrict their research geographically,
perhaps to one country, but true one-namers collect
all occurrences world-wide. A one-name study may concentrate
on aspects such as geographical distribution of the
name and the changes in that distribution over the
centuries, or may attempt to reconstruct the genealogy
of as many lines as possible bearing the name.
A frequent aim is to identify a single original location
of the name, especially if the name appears to derive
from a place name. But for many names, for example
those indicating an occupation like Butcher, or a
patronymic-type surname such as Peterson, there will
not be a single origin.
often make some attempt to quantify the rarity of
their name. There is much scope for co-operation between
one-namers and other genealogists and family historians
- they are not a breed apart, and many are also engaged
in more conventional pedigree hunting of their other
drift into a one-name study as a way of eliminating
alternatives when researching a particular ancestral
name. There is some use for example in having a complete
listing of all occurrences of a surname from the IGI
or from Civil Registration lists of births, marriages
co-operative effort between people studying the same
surname bears much fruit and they have a good chance
of discovering Registration Categories
sumame entry in the Register of One-Name Studies is
classified into one of three categories, A, B or C.
A Surname for which there is a fully constituted one-name
society, which publishes a regular one-name periodical
or newsletter, researches and collects all references
to the registered surname and has collected a substantial
body of world-wide data over a period of time.
B Surname which the member researches
and for which the member collects all references and
has accumulated a substantial body of world-wide data
over a period of time. The member may or may not produce
a newsletter. (The Yeo/Yoe/Yea/Yeau
name is registered under this category, but it is
hope that between us we can make it a fully constituted
society, Category A)
Surname for which the member has started a one-name
study and has not yet built up a substantial world-wide
collection, but fully intends to acquire sufficient
data to transfer to Category A or B. The member may
or may not produce a newsletter.
recommended minimum requirements for category A or
B registration (and the target for Category C) are:
All entries from indexes to births, marriages and
deaths at the Family Records Centre, London, New Register
House, Edinburgh, the CRO Belfast or ORG Dublin, and/or
equivalent record offices elsewhere.
A survey of telephone directories to give a rough
idea of present day population distribution.
All entries from published will indexes, together
with the information given in those wills and letters
4. The entries from time to time in the International
Genealogical index and a substantial body of entries
from relevant parish registers
Entries from the appropriate county histories and
the publications of the local historical and antiquarian
societies and from census indexes.