LONDON, UK and SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September 6, 2016)—The Guild of One-Name Studies, a charitable organization that promotes facts about given surnames, and FamilySearch International, a nonprofit and the largest genealogy organization in the world, announced today The Guild’s collections will now be searchable at FamilySearch.org. The partnership gives Guild members another source for preserving their great work while also allowing more researchers across the globe to benefit from exploring the variant spellings of their personal surnames and possibly connect with others with the same last name throughout the world.
The study of one’s last name (one-name or surname) researches all known occurrences of that particular surname in all identifiable resources worldwide, as opposed to the ancestors or descendants of a person. Such richly compiled studies can assist a family history researcher see the geographical distribution of surnames in their tree over centuries which can help in reconstructing family lines bearing variants of those names. A common hope of customers that use surname studies is to identify the actual geographic locale of origin of a family surname. This could very well happen for unique surnames, but for common surnames that reflect an occupation (like “Farmer” or “Fisher”) or a patronymic-type surname (Johnson or Williamson), there may not be a single place of origin.
Cliff Kemball, Guild Publicity Manager said “The partnership with FamilySearch give Guild members another method of preserving their One-Name Study data. Their data is fully preserved for the long term, while still remaining within the control of the Guild member, who may update, replace or delete it as their work develops.”
The Guild was founded in 1979, and has over 2,980 members, studying over 8,935 individual surnames. The Guild of One-Name Studies website launched April 1, 2016, and is continually expanding its list of surnames. The Guild expects the volume of data submitted by Guild members to significantly increase now that they can make their research contributions online. And teaming up with FamilySearch.org will ensure more people are making interesting discoveries about their surnames.
David Rencher, the Chief Genealogy Office for FamilySearch, said, “The rigorous standards and guidelines required by the Guild of One Name Studies for members of the guild make this the highest quality data available for these surnames. Those who administer and oversee the collection of this data have spent decades collecting all instances of the surnames from a wide variety of records. Since many of these sources are yet to be made available on the Internet, this new set of records on FamilySearch is a rich new source of information.”
To see if your surname has been researched by The Guild community, go to FamilySearch.org, Search, Genealogies, enter your last name, and search Guild of One-name Studies.
More information about the Guild can be found at one-name.org where researchers can also register their own surnames.
Amy Lenertz, MLIS is the founder of Raincross Information Services.