Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

Study principles


The formal obligation agreed by members when registering a one-name study with the Guild is simple – it is to respond to email and postal reply-paid queries relating to the study in a timely fashion.

Outside this formal requirement, members who register a one-name study with the Guild accept the following broad principles in relation to it:

  • that the study will be global in scope
  • that it will include research within countries where the name is relatively significant and where sources of genealogical data are readily available
  • that it will research and store data available in core genealogical datasets and transcriptions
  • that it stores and may research other data where the surname is mentioned
  • that the member will maintain an accurate description of the scope and progress of the study using the study codes shown on the member’s self-service registration page on the Guild website.

A one-name study is generally built around the large-scale sets of key genealogical data referred to as “core genealogical datasets” in the study principles associated with a one-name study. Typically these core datasets will vary for each of the key countries being researched according to the availability of genealogical records. In some countries these sets of data are organised and published on a national level; in most on a regional or local level; and in some hardly at all.

The most important records fall within the following categories:

  • births, marriages and deaths
  • census records
  • wills

The majority of researchers find that they start their research by using free and subscription-based genealogical data services on the web that aggregate these kinds of datasets. At some point, as a study develops, it is natural that it will start to focus on a wider range of record types and on original records specific to individual locations.

It should be noted that the Guild places no obligation on those registering a study to follow any specific regime of research, nor to concentrate on any specific aspect of their study. In particular, there are no time constraints or deadlines on members, who are free to conduct their one-name projects as they see best.

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