Have you considered a One Name Study?

GONS bannerThe Guild of One Name Studies has sent me a press release to publicise their special membership offer, and I think it’s worth having a look at what they have to offer.

The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world’s leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple).  The Guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the Guild now has over 2,300 members spread across the world, studying over 7,800 individual surnames.

Check them out and see if there is a study for your surnames of interest. If there is you would do well to contact the member concerned. But if there isn’t, why not consider starting your own? If you have already collected a lot of records for your surname that aren’t necessarily related to you they may be of interest to others.

The Guild of One-Name Studies has a freephone/toll free helpdesk for members of the public in the UK, North American and Australia to call the Guild to find out:

  • more about undertaking a One-Name Study
  • the benefits of joining the Guild of One-Name Studies, and
  • the assistance members of the Guild can provide to anyone researching their family history on any of the 7,800 plus names currently being researched

The toll-free numbers are:

  • Australia  1800 305 184
  • United Kingdom 0800 011 2182
  • North America 1-800-647-4100

What’s more, if you join during the week of Who Do You Think You Are? Live in London you will receive special benefits:

The Guild of One-Name Studies is to offer a special extended membership to new joiners at the forthcoming Who Do You Think You Are? Live show being held in the UK at the Olympia, London on Friday 25th to Sunday 27th February 2011.

Normally membership of the Guild costs £15.00 and covers a period of up to a year with renewal on 1st November 2011.  This special extended membership will cost £20.00 but will include a full year’s extra membership, renewal not being due until 1st November 2012.  The aim of the scheme is to attract more new members and to encourage these members to stay with the Guild for longer and to appreciate and utilise the various benefits available to members.

For people who cannot attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show, the special offer of an extended membership will be made available to them for a week from when the show opens on Friday 25th February 2011 on the Guild website at:

www.one-name.org/specialoffer.html

This extended membership option has been introduced following the completion of an internal membership retention survey which identified why existing members joined the Guild, their knowledge and use of Guild services and facilities and the reasons why members failed to renew their membership.

If this offer of an extended membership proves successful it could be introduced on a wider basis.

Details of all the Guild facilities can be found at:

www.one-name.org/guildsvces.html

Another genealogy community website – Sirius Genealogy 2.0

Yesterday I received an email about a new website called Sirius Genealogy 2.0. The email said, in part:

Sirius Genealogy 2.0 (SG2) is pleased to announce that we have completed our transformation from a simple blog, into a complete online community for Amateur & Professional Genealogists. The old blog has been shut down and a new membership site has been launched and is publicly available. Membership is FREE! In addition to the general community atmosphere, SG2 has developed numerous Google Gadgets, Web Tools and other services to assist genealogists in their mission. Many more eliciting tools are on their way!

http://www.siriusgenealogy.com

New or Improved Features:

  • Live Support via Chat (just look for the icon in the upper right corner of the site)
  • Articles, Article and more Articles (Member contributions encouraged).
  • Headline News: Links to related news stories from around the world.
  • Message Forums: Read what members are saying.
  • Speaker Bureau: A place to find speakers for your next genealogy or history related event.
  • Events Calendar: A place to find conferences and educational opportunities.
  • File Library: Forms, genealogies and more.
  • Word Of The Day: A new genealogy related word to challenge you each day!
  • Abbreviation Of The Day: A new abbreviation to challenge you each day!
  • Web Tools: Cousin calculators, age calculators, Soundex calculators and more.
  • Google Gadgets for iGoogle and your web pages.
  • Social Activity Monitors: See what genealogists are posting on twitter.
  • Marketplace: Look for a growing number of products for this area.

Member Only Features

  • Contributions: Get your articles, stories, events and speaker profiles posted.
  • Comment and Rate: Comment and Rate just about any page in the site.
  • Shoutouts: Post your quick genealogical thoughts to the entire community!
  • My Account: A place to manage your membership.
  • Message Forums: Meet, greet, share ideas and success stories in the forums!

So, we hope to see you in our new community. Please sure to stop in at the forums to tell us what you would like to see in the future.

I went in to have a look, and there’s a lot to see. Some of the options I clicked on needed me to sign in, so I signed in using my Facebook account and created a profile.

My “Home State or Provence” [sic] is ‘Non-US’, which tells me what I most need to know about the site. It is USA-centric. At least Non-US is at the top of the drop-down list, rather than at the bottom as it usually is.

I can see that this kind of thing might be useful. It seems to me that I have too many sites to keep track of as it is without adding another one that is unlikely to contain anything of immediate interest to an Australian.

I wish them all the best, whoever ‘they’ are.

Be a good ancestor

In my previous post I mentioned the concept of the “good ancestor” and I think it deserves a bit more explanation.

When I first saw the term I was thinking, as a genealogist, about all the things we wish our ancestors had done, for example:

  • saved all the documents – birth, marriage and death certificates, baptismal certificates, electricity bills…
  • taken lots of photographs of family members and saved them all and labelled each person in them with the date and place in a non-damaging way
  • written a diary or journal and kept them all
  • writtten down the stories their grandparents told them

But that’s not what it means. It’s a more general, community type of saving. It’s being wise with the resources we all have and making sure we use them in a sustainable way so that they are still around for our children’s children. It’s being mindful of how our descendants will talk about the previous generations in the future. Watch the videos on Good Ancestor Workshops for more information.

Looking around us now I would say that our descendants will have cause to curse us. Global warming, financial crises caused by greed, reliance on fossil fuels… There is a long list of things that are wrong with the world today that we blame our ancestors for, and our descendants will blame us for.

There are many ways to be a good ancestor. We can start at home by using less power. Turn off the lights. Switch off the elctrical appliances. Use less hot water. Drive less. Pump up the tyres. Recycle. Buy products with less packaging. Take fewer plane trips. Adjust the thermostat. Plant trees.

The recent Earth Hour shows that people are interested in changing the way we use our resources, although I think it will take something more to make us change our day-to-day habits. People who were careful to turn the lights off at the appropriate time on the Saturday night were leaving them on when they left the room the next evening, at least in my household. 

I don’t have the answers, I’m just posing the questions.

Sources

An Inconvenient Truth. Website. http://www.climatecrisis.net

Earth Hour. Website. http://www.earthhour.org/home

Tom Munnecke’s Eclectica. Website. http://munnecke.com/blog/?cat=76