Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Surname Society

Behind the scence, over the past few months, I have been involved in setting up "The Surname Society" and the details of this new society follow below this paragraph. I have been researching a number of lines, as my readers are aware, aside from Blake and Pincombe. I have wanted to have a place where like-minded researchers of these names (my ancestors) could become more visible to each other. I was approached by the team behind the vision of The Surname Society and asked to join with a group interested in forming such a society and we met in a number of sessions (with me standing, walking and talking on Google+ on my tablet with them throughout most of this time) which has helped to occupy my brain these last few months whilst I was away from transcription! The Society will, I think, be an interesting addition to Genealogical Societies and we hope to see it be quite worldwide. Already I have registered four of my French surnames that I have been investigating as well as a number of English ones. There are some positions that still need to be filled and if anyone is interested please do write to Kirsty or any member of the Committee (see the about us on the website) - we would love to hear from you. I am editor of the newsletter which has proven to be another task that I have managed to put together these past three months and it will go live shortly. Fortunately I have had a lot of input from the committee. We are now open for business and for inclusion of your items as members of the society in the newsletter.


The founder members are delighted to announce the launch of The Surname Society - the online society for individuals, groups and associations with an interest in surname studies, regardless of their location in the world, the surname they are studying, or their level of research expertise.

Focussing on single surname studies, the society meets the needs of researchers in the world of family history and genealogy as it evolves in the 21st century. The Surname Society’s vision is to connect like-minded people by providing facilities which enable members to share knowledge, data and good practice with others. The society allows members to register both worldwide and limited studies and is entirely online. Collaboration is facilitated and encouraged as it is the core ethos of The Surname Society.

Surname researchers collect data relating to all name bearers, either on a global or restricted basis. The society does not mandate study methods and members are encouraged to develop their own approach to the investigation of their surname to advance their knowledge and expertise in areas such as etymology, DNA, name collection and family reconstruction. The Surname Society will help and advise inexperienced members on ways to conduct their study and how to avoid the pitfalls which can occur!

A truly global organisation from the outset, the committee members are located around the world from Australia to England, Spain and Canada and in the first week since its announcement to those who completed the online questionnaire, the society has almost one hundred new and enthusiastic members. 

The cost of membership to The Surname Society is just £5 per annum with no hidden extras. 


I should say that I remain an active member of the Guild of one-name studies. I am both regional representative for Canada East and the National Representative for Canada.

The value to me for this new society follows.You can register as many names as you want on either a restricted or worldwide basis, collaborate with others, share in the educational opportunities offered and a plethora of resources in the Members’ area of the website including a fascinating quarterly e-newsletter and the School of Surnames, with many other developments in the pipeline in due course. 

My two surnames in the Guild are my parents' surnames and they take me down that strictly yDNA path for Blake and the mtDNA path that is represented by my surname Blake and then my mother Pincombe, her mother Buller, her mother Taylor and by family lore back to Roberts, Lawley and Loveday but the last three names are by family lore. Investigating so many surnames on a regional level is part of our mandate. 

But so much is missing from my studies within the Guild (Blake and Pincombe) as there are all those surnames of my autosomal ancestors and they multiply with each generation (two in my grandparents generation, six in my great grandparents generation, fourteen in my 2x great grandparents generation and it continues on back). I look forward to meeting people who are also studying in my areas: Knight, Rawlings, Cheatle, Butt, Buller, Taylor, Gray, Farmer, Lywood, Rew, Routledge, Welch, Coleman, Lambden, Arnold, Peck, Rowcliffe, Siderfin, Cobb, Beard. I have a lot of information on these lines. I could never do a worldwide in-depth collection of all these surnames in my lifetime.

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