Surnames

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Image Produced by Julie Goucher April 2015 using http://www.Wordle.net

If you are researching an European surname there is a chance you are capturing every instance of that surname wherever you locate it irrespective of whether it connects to your own family or not.

The concept of examining the details and focus of a surname is not necessarily an obvious one and yet can provide amazing insight to your ancestry even in the very broadest of terms.

I would recommend that researchers visit the Guild of One-Name Studies website and insert the surname into the search box on the top right. That will enable you to do several things:

  1. Determine if the surname is registered with the Guild
  2. Determine if the surname is recorded in the numerous indexes of the Guild, which are constantly being updated
  3. Access the joining page of the Guild. You do not need to register a surname in order to join the Guild.

The image shown on the right is a representation of European surnames registered with the Guild as of 17th April 2015. Is your Surname there?

Useful Resources

  • The Surnames Handbook by Debbie Kennett, Published History Press, 2012, ISBN 978 – 0752468624
  • The Seven Pillars of Wisdom: The Art of a One-Name Study, Published by the Guild of One-Name Studies, 2012, ISBN 978 – 1903463161 
  • Our Italian Surnames by Joseph G. Fucilla, Published Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1949 (reprinted 2003) ISBN 978 – 0806311878
  • Surname Atlas by Archer Software (based upon the UK 1881 Census)
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