Apr 122015

The initial upload of data for the Society’s Church Marriage Finder is now live and can be found on the Society’s homepage. This database will be updated regularly and is available to both members and the public.

To compliment this, a Marriage Search facility is available to members only and can be found in the Members Area under Information.

Background information regarding both can be found in the recorded 11 April Hangout which is now available in the Member’s Area under You Tube.

Jan 272015

The Minutes of the monthly Committee Meetings are now available for reading or download from the Society’s website under Society Documentation.

Each month the Minutes will be uploaded for the previous month following agreement and signature at the next meeting, e.g., January Minutes will be posted to the website following the February meeting; February Minutes uploaded after the March meeting.

Nov 122014

Our Social Networking coordinator, Jennie Fairs, is interested in hearing from members of their experience and knowledge of surname studies to help us put together a Definitive Guide – To Surname Studies. The article is available in full (post #662)  here 

May 062015

The third issue of our newsletter The Surname Scribbler is now available for members to download from the Newsletters page.


Showcasing the TSS Team, Vice-Chair, Steve Williams
The Tragedy of HMS Doterel, Mandy Blake
Beginner’s Corner, Sherri Gonsioroski
DNA Testing, Iain Kennedy
GeniAus Gens, Jill Ball
Introducing Elizabeth Kipp
Interesting/Informative Blogs, Jennie Fairs
Website News, Colin Spencer
Wills Database, Elizabeth Kipp
Surname Spelling Variations – Roake, Jennie Fairs
Galway Blake Family, Elizabeth Kipp
England’s Emigrant Database, Elizabeth Kipp

Nov 022015
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The November 2015 issue of the Surname Scribbler has been published and is available from the Newsletters page. This is the first edition compiled by our new editor, we hope you like the new look.


Hangout Cheat Sheet
From the Chair, Kirsty Gray
Introducing Member, David Faulder
Website News, Colin Spencer
DNA Testing, Iain Kennedy
GeniAus Gens, Jill Ball
Essie Jenyns, Janet Rigby
Copyright and the Genealogy Lecture, Judy G Russell
Bahamas Genealogy Group – North West, Jennie Fairs
FamilySearch – 121 Years Strong, Jennie Fairs
Surname Spelling Variants –  Sturdevant, Jennie Fairs

Dec 132014
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One thing that family historians/genealogists are concerned about is the preservation of their study. In order to assist our members with this difficult problem, a new facility is now available on The Surname Society website.

If you wish to preserve your study, the Society now offers the facility for you to upload a gedcom file of your study data to the website and to record who you wish the file to be forwarded to in the event of you being unable to continue your study.

An additional benefit of this facility is that, if you so choose, the data in your gedcom file can be added to the Society database. This database allows members only to search to see if you have a record of the surname they are studying in your file and then make contact so that you can both collaborate on researching that individual if you so desire. The search will not show entries in the database submitted by you.

You can choose whether to have your data available in either or both of the Archive and Database.

This facility is currently only available for gedcom files. We will look to extend to other file types in the future.

It takes a little while to process your data for addition to the database, during that time you must remain on the archive submission page. As a result, we suggest that you keep your gedcom file to around 1mB in size or 1,500 individuals. You can submit multiple gedcom files if your study exceeds these numbers or upload a larger file but be aware that the processing time may be lengthy. A file of over 65,000 records has been imported during testing but it did take a while to process.

If you wish to update a file once you have originally submitted it, please do not use the Archive data entry form – contact the webmaster who will assist. The update facility will be released to members in due course.

The Archive data entry form is available here.

The database search facility is available here.

Nov 032014

Welcome to The Surname Society.

launchWe launched this new society on 3rd November 2014 for those interested in single surname studies, offering members a fresh, worldwide, collaborative society that is modern, forward thinking and friendly. We do not prescribe how a surname study should be conducted, developed or managed, but we do offer advice and guidance and a whole lot more.

Membership of The Surname Society is just £5 (approx US$7.95 or €6.30) per year as we are predominantly an online society. We offer a first class service tailored to how the majority of researchers now do their research. Please explore the website and forum and see what we have to offer. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Join our Google+ community so you can participate in our online monthly meetings.

The Surname Society has many plans in the pipeline and we would like to hear your views and thoughts too! We have taken some ideas from the questionnaire responses but our ears are open to more (and offers of help to bring those concepts to fruition).

Feb 082015

Issue 2 of The Surname Scribbler has just been published and is available to download from the ‘Newsletter’ page in the ‘Members Only’ section.

It is thanks to you, the members, that this our second issue contains 16 pages of information. This is one of the advantages of being an online society, in that the newsletter can grow in size without increasing any costs to the society.

Our Editor is always looking for more articles. If you would like to contribute please contact the editor.

This issue includes: Meet the members Andy Micklethwaite and Sherri Gonsioroski, Sylvester David Willard, M.D. 1825-1865, Waterloo!, Calendar of Patent Rolls and much more.

Nov 152014

We are delighted to announce the publication of the first edition of The Surname Scribbler. Each quarter, the newsletter which include articles relating to surname studies, some ‘How to…’ suggestions and ideas, Society updates and various other items of interest to surname studiers, plus a ‘Showcasing the Team’ section, so you can get to know the volunteers behind The Surname Society.

This issue includes details of interesting/informative blogs, DNA studies, website news, old family possessions and a pair of dancing shoes!

Please send contributions for future editions to the editor.

Download the newsletter from the ‘Newsletters‘ page under the Members Only menu item.

May 092016

The latest issue of The Surname Scribbler is now available for members to download from the ‘Members Only’ area of the website.

There are 19 pages in this edition for you to read. As well as the regular columns there is part 2 of the article on Italian records availability also a very extensive list of web links for various countries around the world.

Nov 162015

A new document has been added to the English > Resources section of the School of Surnames here. This document is by Gary Barton and deals with the mistakes that can be made assuming the sex of a person based solely on the spelling of their forename. Gary gives several useful indicators that will hopefully mean that members won’t make an error when recording individuals in their study.

Mar 132017

The latest version of The Surname Scribbler Volume 3 Issue 2 is now published and available for download from the Newsletters page for members. It is a bumper issue of 20 pages this time.

Aug 232017

The latest version of The Surname Scribbler August 2017 volume is now available for downloading from the Newsletters page in the ‘Members Only’ section of the website.

May 152017

The latest version of The Surname Scribbler Volume 3 Issue 3 is now published and available for download from the Newsletters page for members. It is a an even bigger issue of 24 pages this time.

This issue has the following contents:

How I Research My Surname Study – Colin Spencer
Botany Bay FHS Heritage Fair
To Write or Not to Write, That is the Question? – Lilian Magill
Website News – Colin Spencer
GeniAus Gens – Jill Ball
Who Am I, or More Accurately, Where Am I From? – Carole Steers
Trying to Understand My DNA – Lilian Magill
First Forays Into Using DNA for Family History Research – Sylvia Valentine
Surname Spelling Variations – Wigzell & Crudass

Feb 192016

On Sunday 21st February our website host is moving us from one server to another. As a result there may be a short period of time where the website is unavailable. Once we are on the new server you will probably have to log in again, if you don’t normally log out that is.

Feb 022015
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The Registered Study pages have been updated and enhanced and you now have the ability to edit your study.

One of the enhancements is that each study now has its own page. As a result you can refer non-members to your study page on the society website. The url you refer them to is http://surname-society.org/studies/your-registered-study-name. Replace your-registered-study-name with your own study name in LOWERCASE like this http://surname-society.org/studies/lefever/

The other enhancement is that you can now edit your study. I have done a short video about how to do this and it is on the societies channel at http://youtu.be/5rC3xyf0HBQ

It is best watched on the link full screen rather than in the small window here.

You now have a wysiwyg editor available for the ‘about your study’ section, more options are available if you click the icon immediately to the left of the ‘Font Family’ dropdown option in the toolbar.

You can also have more than one website url now displayed as part of your study page. Ensure that there is only 1 space between each of the url’s and also include http:// as the beginning of the url.

To edit your study go to the Members Only menu option and then select Edit Study.

Please ensure that you save your study BEFORE previewing any changes.

The Studies List page is now enhanced and the pagination works correctly.

My thanks to those members who helped testing the functionality.

There is one small problem with this new facility that I am working to fix and that is where more than one member has a study name registered only the first study page is shown. I hope to have this fix available in the next few days.

Feb 042016

You may or may not be aware that RootsTech is well underway in Salt Lake City. If this has passed you by, you really must take a look at the Live Stream Schedule as there are many ‘classes’ (that’s what the Americans call them!) that are available to watch online from the comfort of your own home. 

20160204_151512[1]I am here, working as an Ambassador for the event. The Surname Society do not have a ‘booth’ (or stand, as I would call it). The fees are pretty extortionate for exhibitors and, as we are an online community, it doesn’t make much sense to spend our money in this way. So, I am flying The Surname Society flag, with Jill Ball and several other members, in a different way. In fact, we have just finished a video interview together – Jill and I – where I have been extolling the virtues of our fantastic society. 

In the run-up to RootsTech, I realised that Eowyn Langholf (a connection of mine on Social Media) was connected with WikiTree. This realisation was made after a series of communications between Ros Haywood (Committee member and School of Surnames/Assistant Webmaster) and WikiTree regarding a potential Hangout with us in January/February. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Eowyn in person, learning how to pronounce her name (no, I am not a Lord of the Rings fan) and also, connecting with Chris Whitten, founder of WikiTree

Being a busy person (like many of us!), WikiTree is one of those many items on my ‘must-have-a-look-at-when-I-have-time‘ list. If you are in the same position, I would recommend that you put this much higher on your list. It’s free (for a start off) and the potential for surname studiers is extensive, not least the fact that you can ‘follow a surname’…. so you can put in your surname study name and the site will notify you of any trees entered which reference that name…. What’s not to like?!  

There are also surname index pages, you can upload DNA Test information and much more. We will be hearing from Eowyn on 27 February 2016 at our 4pm GMT Hangout. Make a note in your diary…. definitely one not to be missed!

You can follow the goings-on at RootsTech via Twitter by searching for #RootsTech and various bloggers are posting regular updates.

Kirsty Gray, Chair