Guild of One-Name Studies is Now Available at

The following announcement was written by the Guild of One-Name Studies:

The online resource helps people trace the possible origins and variations of their last name.

Guild_logoLONDON, U.K., 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 that the guild’s collections will now be searchable at 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 throughout the world who have the same last name.

The study of one’s last name (or surname) involves researching all known occurrences of that particular surname in all identifiable resources worldwide, as opposed to researching only the ancestors or descendants of a person. These rich compiled studies can assist a family history researcher to 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 who use surname studies is to identify the actual geographic locale of origin of a family surname. This outcome could very well happen for unique surnames, but common surnames that reflect an occupation (such as “Farmer” or “Fisher”) or patronymic-type surnames (such as “Johnson” or “Williamson”) may not have a single place of origin.

Cliff Kemball, guild publicity manager, said, “The partnership with FamilySearch gives 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 guild members, 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 on April 1, 2016, and is continually expanding its list of surnames. The guild expects the volume of data submitted by guild members to increase significantly now that they can make their research contributions online. And teaming up with ensures that more people are making interesting discoveries about their surnames.

David Rencher, the chief genealogy officer 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 is a rich new source of information.”

To see if your surname has been researched by the guild community, go to In the top menu, hover your mouse pointer over Search, and in the drop-down menu, click Genealogies. In the Last Names field, enter the surname you are interested in researching. Click the down arrow on the blue All button, and click Guild of One-name Studies. Then click the blue Search button.

More information about the guild can be found at, where researchers can also register their own surnames.


About FamilySearch

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

About the Guild of One-Name Studies

The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world’s leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to researching a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple). The guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the guild now has over 2,980 members spread across the world studying over 8,935 individual surnames.

One Comment

Rock star poll indicates global maturing of the Guild
Each year for the last four years, a Canadian website called Anglo-Celtic Connections has run an online vote to determine the “Rock Stars” of the genealogy world. Nominations are requested and then voting takes place.

Some of the nominees are high-profile figures, such as presenters of popular TV programmes or podcasts. Others are bloggers, authors, journalists or professional genealogists. Some are great speakers and some are well-known amateurs. And obviously some figure in more than one category.

On this year’s list, there are no less than 156 nominees from around the world. As we considered the list we were interested to note that 24 of them are Guild members. That’s over 15% of the total. And that’s despite the Guild still having relatively few members in North America, although we are growing strongly there, with membership up 25% last year.

We have members nominated from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US. All of this seems to indicate that we are maturing quite quickly as a global group.

So, although it’s just a bit of harmless fun, perhaps there are some people on the list who’ve impressed you, or made you think, or done a good job …. Remember that not all the real rock stars are lead singers or lead guitarists!

If you have a Google account, you can vote for your favourites at:
Unfortunately, as of the time of writing, there is no date stated for when voting will close.


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