Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

How do I register a one-name study?


A one-name study may be registered either when joining the Guild, using the online or printed forms available on this website, or subsequently as a Guild member by visiting the Members Room. A once-only registration fee (currently £14.00 or the equivalent) is payable for each study registered, although the fee includes the registration of a reasonable number of variants.

The Guild recognises that a one-name study can represent a considerable amount of work to research and maintain. Before registering a study name, members are recommended to have at least established an understanding of the expected size and extent of the study, and the likely geographical areas to which research should be directed.

Each study listed in the Register of One-Name Studies is classified into one of three categories, 1, 2 or 3. The category designations are intended to give a rough idea of the progress and maturity of the study. The study principles may be helpful here.

The designations of the categories used at present is as follows:

  • Category 1: A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
  • Category 2: A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way, but currently in some countries only.
  • Category 3: A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way on a global basis.

After their study has been registered, members may update their categorisation as they wish.

Guild members are currently allowed to register no more than three separate one-name studies, though it is recommended that only one name is registered by new members. A reasonable number of variant surnames can also be registered within each study. Registered variants may be names held by living name bearers or where all lines are now extinct, and should be registered only if the member is studying them as fully as the principal registered name. Your view of which spellings are genuine variants of your registered study name may change as your study develops, and you can add or drop variants within your study at any point. It is good practice to register only the most frequently-found variants, and almost all one-name studies are, in practice, researching or monitoring more variants than those formally associated with the registration of the surname.

Any given surname may be registered as a study or variant by only one member, on a “first come, first served” basis.

The Registrar has the responsibility of assessing one-name study registration requests, according to agreed criteria for registrations. Members registering a name with the Guild should be aware of the study principles of one-name studies registered with the Guild.

The registration of any one-name study surname and variants will lapse when membership ceases. Any individual re-joining the Guild and wishing to re-register any surnames and variants (if they are still available for registration) will be required to pay the appropriate Registration Fee, although the Committee, or the Registrar acting on its behalf, may waive the fee if this is deemed appropriate.

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