Friday, June 16, 2006

Happy Days!

Some days something happens which makes the whole day brighter (even when it was going well to start with).

Just received an email from a new contact – who turns out to be a descendant of one of the “famous” Parry families whose pedigrees I have on my web site. There is so much I hope we can discuss!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Shapes & Sizes

One-Name Studies come in many different shapes and sizes: shapes, because of the variety of ways in which researchers choose to carry out what is effectively the same task; sizes, well, that one's more obvious - because of the different frequencies of the surnames.

Parry is a fairly frequently occurring surname in the UK (I must stop calling it "common"!). It is not up in the XXL category - only Smith & Jones make that. Nor does it join the XL group, the likes of Hill, Morgan, Fisher, and Gray. But, with almost 23,000 of them in the 1881 census, it is near the top of the L category.

Not for me that process of checking every quarter in the Civil Registration indexes, in the hope of a glimpse of just one entry - mine tumble out, filling rows and rows in spreadsheets.

With more people carrying the name, it follows that there are more people interested in researching it (although probably not proportionately - I imagine a rarer name has more "interest" factor). Yesterday I received one email from a new contact, and three from "pre-existing" contacts (although two of those were "new" just weeks ago). Getting the balance right with regard to communication (speed, frequency, level of detail provided, additional research undertaken as a result etc) is a debated subject amongst One-namers.

And having a blog raises other questions - what am I doing writing this when I haven't yet replied to the people I am writing about!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


First post [Scary! What will happen when I click on that "publish" button?], so it’s a brief introduction to the purpose of this blog. You can check out the links at the side to find out about the Study itself. There is a lot more information to be made available on the main web site. However, it takes time to put together those details and, in the meantime, there are all sorts of other "happenings" – contacts being made, new resources found, links discovered, and general ongoing development, etc.

So this blog is intended to provide a record of those things. Hopefully, it will also give a flavour of what is involved in carrying out a One-Name Study.

Some One-Namers have described their blogs as an "experiment". And, indeed, there does seem to be something almost contradictory about using a blog (by its nature, a "real time", "now" medium) to write about a genealogical study (where most of the subjects are dead). Especially since one of the major caveats concerning genealogical writing is not to publish anything concerning the living, without their permission. As far as possible, genealogy also concerns facts, pieces of information for which some evidence can be found, rather than opinions, the mainstay of many blogs.

So, yes, this is a bit of an experiment. It will be interesting to see how it develops.