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About the study
This Ruby One-name study is unique in that it is an initiative of a small group of Guild members in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Guild in September 2019. No one on the project team has a Ruby surname in their history but the surname was chosen as the ruby gemstone is associated with the 40th anniversary! When some initial research showed that the surname had so many different country and cultural origins, it seemed ideal for the Guild's international scope.
The planning and implementation of the study benefitted from the contributions of international members from Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada, and the United States. There is currently a 3 person project team, with volunteers beginning to come on board. As with any one name study, what you find can change the path or goal of a study. Starting out the primary goals are:
- To collect individuals and families with the Ruby surname, starting in England, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, France and depending on volunteer knowledge, will move into Germany, Eastern Europe and other geographic areas where the name exists
- To identify different origins of Ruby and assign families to appropriate cultural groups
- To provide Guild members and members of the public with an example of a collaborative one-name study, and to share different experiences
VOLUNTEER HELP WANTED:
The Ruby surname, as described above, can arise from a range of different languages, cultures, anglicization, and spellings, and for that reason, no variants are being identified as part of the study at this time. However, common variants, especially when clustered in particular regions or countries, are being collected. At a point in the study where analysis can be undertaken and patterns identified, a decision will be made whether to add any variants.
There are two ways to examine the origin of the Ruby surname:
- First is to look at incidence of the surname that seems to have been Ruby ( or a minor spelling difference) where it has existed historically in that form
- Second, and likely more numerous, is Ruby that has become its own surname through anglicisation over time.
Preliminary review has identified France and Germany as the most frequent source of the name to date, with Eastern European countries next. There is also a long history of a Ruby surname in England and in Ireland. MacLysaght's "The Surnames of Ireland" suggests Ruby has existed in Ireland since the 17th century and descends from the French surname, de Roubaix. The Internet Surname Database proposes a form of de Roubaix that also evolved into Rubie. The German origin includes a diminutive form of Reuben or Reuven. Forms of Reuben and Reuven may also account for Eastern European surnames. The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland suggests a Norman/English origin and also notes it is a locative name after Roubaix in Nord, France. The Roubaix origin seems to be agreed upon for Ruby in Great Britain, but does not likely account for the Eastern European and German forms of the surname.
Australia - 1903 Electoral Rolls - 122 adults New Zealand - 1911 Electoral Rolls - 8 adults
Canada - 1891 Census - 152 (not including Newfoundland and Manitoba)
England - 1881 Census - 240 Wales - 10 Scotland - 7
Germany - Births 1558 to 1898 - 507
Ireland - Valuation - 61
France - Births (not comprehensive) - 286
United States - 1900 Census - 3,411
In the first stage of data collection, Census data from England and Wales, Canada, United States, and France has been collected as a base. There are alternative data sources for New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. These will form the base for family constructions from the outset. Births, Marriages, and Deaths in the formats they exist in the different countries are also being gathered. Volunteers will develop families from records that are available in a particular country, state, or province. It is important to be aware that this is in all ways a collaborative study. Differences in genealogy software, methods of family construction, data collection, and of course countries, means that the study encompasses one-namer approaches while adhering to the broad framework of the Seven Pillars.
At an appropriate stage in the study, it is planned that a Y-DNA analysis will be added to the one-name study. In this particular case, it is anticipated that assigning people to different branches, descended from different countries and cultural heritage, will benefit from the use of Y-DNA analysis. It is also planned that a Ruby surname project will be added at FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA).
While plans are in place to establish a TNG website through the Guild web project, a timeframe has not yet been finalized.
A blog will accompany the project from the beginning, with the aim of telling the story, and providing some educational insights to the process of a collaborative one-name study. The blog will be operational by the end of February 2018 and will be accessed at this site: https://rubyons.blogspot.ca