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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

Julie Goucher

Julie Goucher

Apr 232018

Persons of Interest 

On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, we will share a short story provided by a member about a person of interest in their one-name study. So whether your person is good, bad, or simply interesting or unusual, please send us your 200-300 word story with one or a few images. This post is from Guild member Peter Hagger.


The picture is the only picture Peter has found of Harold. It appeared in the Daily Mirror and
he is in the flat cap arriving at Malling Magistrates Court.

Harold is probably the most infamous Hagger we have so far investigated. He was not only a bigamist, but also found guilty of murder and hung.

Harold was descended from Henry Hagger, who was one of the thirteen children of William Hagger and Annie Bullard, both born in Therfield. William was a son of Alfred and Eliza Anderson.  Alfred’s parents were Henry and Eliza Gilby.  The full tree of Harold’s ancestors can be viewed at, I am also descended from Henry and Eliza.

Harold Hagger was born 1901 in Upper Holloway and on 2nd August 1917 enlisted in the Army.  It appears from his army records that his father then informed the Army that he was underage and sent his birth certificate to the MOD.  So, on the 4th October 1917, Harold was discharged from the Army, and despite only serving two months he was charged with a string of misdemeanours.  Perhaps the Army was quite pleased to see the back of Harold.

In 1927, at St Anne’s Church, Islington, Harold married for the first time and his bride was Sophia Catton.  The records show that in 1926 in Islington Sophia had a son, Ronald, and registered him as Ronald Arthur Catton. However, when Ronald married in 1950 he declared himself as Ronald Hagger.  So it is probable that Harold was his father.

Harold married for a second time, before Sophia died, and there is no record of a divorce.  This may explain when Harold married this time he did so as Sidney Sinclair. His bride was Daisy Lindsell a widow (born as Oakley) and they were married at Cambridge Registry Office in 1940.

It was not until 1946 that Harold again turns up when a lady was hitchhiking at Malling in Kent and she was murdered. Through some really good detective work and probably some luck Sidney Sinclair was charged with the murder. Subsequently, he was found guilty and hung at Wandsworth prison in 1947.  It turns out Harold, or Sidney, had a string of previous convictions and was known in the Kings Cross area of London (when he was Harold) as ‘Basher Hagger’.

At the time of the offence, Sidney was living in Little Abingdon, Cambridgeshire and working as a lorry driver.

In researching Harold I found it fascinating that the case was investigated by Fabian – who I thought was a fictional detective on the TV but at this time he was  a leading Scotland Yard detective.  When I visited the National Archives at Kew I was able to not only handle the original police file but also photograph pages from it, including Sidney’s statements to the police.

Since 1947 there have been a number of magazine articles on this case and books also featuring it.  More recently Martin Hagger (the person who got me started on my one-name study) has assisted an author – Diana Souhami who has now published a book on the Sidney case – Murder at Wrotham Hill.

Peter’s website can be seen HERE and there is a DNA Project for the Hagger surname which can be found HERE

Why not submit a story about a person of interest in your own one-name study. Email each story and image(s) to 

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Apr 202018

The Guild of One-Name Studies is proud to announce that they have joined the New York Records Preservation and Access Coalition (NY-RPAC).

The Coalition was formed in 2018 by organisations with an interest in protecting access to New York’s records. Ignited by a 2017 Amendment which drastically increased restrictions on access to New York City’s birth and death records, NY-RPAC is actively working to advocate for access to these – and other – important records across the state of New York.

The full text of the amendment can be found HERE and the important issues HERE

Public comments on the amendment are still being accepted and will be until 5:00 pm on April 23, 2018 (please note this is local time).  We encourage members of the genealogical community to specifically address (with examples) the inadequacies of the proposed amendment in providing access to interested parties for researchers as outlined above in their comments.

How to Comment:

  1. Online:
  2. Email:
  3. Mail: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Gotham Center, 42-09 28th Street, CN 31, Long Island City, NY,  11101-4132
  4. Fax: 347-396-6087

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Apr 162018

Family Tree Magazine (UK) which has been bring to genealogists everywhere monthly delights for over thirty years are hosting their first ever Family History Week #FHWeek from 16-22nd April 2018.

In 2018, The Guild of One-Name Studies began offering monthly webinars on the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm (UK time). These are available to non-members to listen live and for one week after the event, before becoming a members benefit.
To celebrate with Family Tree Magazine, their launch of Family Tree Week we are opening our webinars to all for from 16th – 22nd April.
Those webinars include:
  • What We Do: An Introduction to One-Name Studies & the Guild with  Peggy Chapman, Paul Featherstone, Julie Goucher, Karen Rogers & Tessa Keough, representing our international focus
  • The Joy of Surnames with renowned speaker, Debbie Kennett
  • Gathering Data: Where to Look & Where to Put It with Paul Howes and Paul Featherstone
  • Now What? Do Something with Your Data with Howard Mathieson
  • Using DNA with your Study with renowned speaker, Maurice Gleeson (recorded LIVE 17 April 2018)

Click HERE to access all the recorded webinars AND to register for forthcoming ones.

Our April webinar is scheduled for tomorrow, 17th April 2018 and will be with renowned speaker, Maurice Gleeson on the subject of Using DNA with your Study and is still open for Registrations


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Mar 182018
The Guild of One-Name Studies is delighted to announce that we have just released our 200th website as part of the Members’ Website Project. Congratulations to Douglas Beezley whose website is for the Beasley One-Name Study
The project was devised by a team of Guild members, led by Mike Spathaky in 2014 and began as an trial with both ongoing and archived studies. It was adopted as a permanent project by the Guild Trustees in 2016. The Guild assists members in setting up their website, either a new or existing one, and provides the hosting service. Members are able to preserve their one-name studies as well as maintain, publish and share their ongoing studies with the larger family history community. We offer a choice of websites, including free-standing HTML, websites using Content Management Systems (CMS) (including WordPress and Media Wiki), and websites uploaded from GEDCOM’s and displayed using The Next Generation genealogy software (TNG).
You can read more about the Members’ Website Project and see a full list of live websites by visiting Resources > Members’ Websites at the Guild’s Website. Anyone who wants to contact the Members Website Project team leader can do so by clicking HERE.

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