Conducting One Name Genealogical Studies

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/17/2007 | Genealogy

There is much in the news these days when it comes to the subject of genealogical family records and searches of family history. Because of this, more and more people are investing time researching their family history and tree. Now, it needs to be pointed out that while a great many people are conducting such searches, not everyone is performing the searches in a manner that would be considered proper or fruitful. So, in order for the search to be effective there needs to be a clear focus as to what type of search needs to be conducted. One of the most effective, all encompassing searches is what is known as a one name genealogical study.

Conducting a genealogical study is not a totally complex endeavor, but it is not an endeavor that should be taken lightly nor haphazardly. Such a search must be undertaken with the proper means and methodology of performing a search or else the search may end up being far less effective than it could have been under more optimum circumstances. This is usually the case when it comes to one-name studies of genealogical records.

First, there needs to be an understanding as to what the definition of a one-name study actually is. A one name study is the researching of a particular last name (surname) to see what information might be obtained from a collective of many individuals who share the same last name. Searches of this type of nature are fairly expansive and can yield a great deal of information about ones family tree than a person could have ever guessed without conducting such expansive research.

It is important to stress the fact that a single name search does not refer to a one spelling search. That is, there might be alterations and variations on the way a person spells his or her last name. So, different variants of the first and last name should be entered so as to ensure that there are as few omissions as possible.

There are a number of professional genealogists who consider the concept of a one name study as an incredibly important type of search as it relates to the expansiveness of the art of the study of genealogy. When it comes to surface value index studies, deep driving genealogy studies will go further in their examination as opposed to simple index only studies. By using an all expansive genealogy study one might be able to find some unique links in the chain of a family history.

If there was one piece of advice that needs to be heeded, but is often overlooked it is the fact that if the person doing the searching is not a professional genealogy researcher, then the person must understand and accept his or her limitations and realize that the searching that is being performed just might not be the most complete search possible. In that regard, it is always wise to consult a professional researcher if one feels that the search may not have been as expansive as they would hope it to be.