Thursday, 10 March 2016

Guild of One Name Studies Members' Website Project

From the Guild of One Name Studies (

The Members’ Website Project

The Guild of One-Name Studies has implemented a major new project.– The Guild’s Members’ Website Project. The main purpose of the Members’ Websites Project is to enable the website of each participating member to continue indefinitely as a publicly accessible website after the member has died or ceased to be a member of the Guild. This is a ground-breaking project for the Guild and goes to the heart of the objectives of the Guild’s Constitution which are "to advance the education of the public in one-name studies, and. to promote the preservation and publication of the resultant data, and to maximize its accessibility to interested members of the public. The project and its infrastructure have been through some extensive pilot running and have been thoroughly and successfully tested. The project is planned to go live on the 1st April 2016.

In September 2014 the Guild Committee approved in principle a project to host members’ one-name study websites and gave full support in the following November to a detailed implementation plan. At the end of February 2016, the Guild Committee gave approval for the project to go live.

The Members' Websites Project, which is to be launched on 1st April after an extensive trial period, is designed to provide a safe haven for Guild members' one-name study websites. A member who has registered the surname concerned with the Guild can now copy an existing one-name study website or upload a newly created website to the Project's hosting facility. It will then be accessible to viewers the world over via the address, although existing personal domain names can still also be used.

After uploading their website, a member will still be able to edit, delete and add to its pages. When they pass away or cease membership, it will be preserved by the Guild and available to public to view just as they left it. Research data, surname trees, images, histories, hypotheses, conclusions - all will thus be available to future generations.

By displaying excellence in one-name study websites the Members' Websites Project has specifically addressed the Guild Vision that the Guild should “strengthen its position as the centre of excellence for surname studies.” It will also increase the visibility of individual members’ websites since the Guild’s main website will act as a portal to the Project. The Project aims to get existing members to make effective use of current technology whatever their computer skill level are whilst, at the same time, encourage new members to join the Guild.

Since the proposal to develop a trial Members’ Website Project was approved in September 2014, extensive test have been on going to ensure that a significant variety of website could be maintained and hosted on a Guild website. During the trial period the Guild have signed up 96 one-name study websites, of which 76 are now live, covering around a half a million names. Full details of the Project are now available on the Members' Websites Project pages at

NB: The Guild will also be at Who Do You Think You Are Live event at Birmingham NEC from April 7th-9th 2016. Sign up to the Guild at the event for a £1 discount on the normal rate and receive a special “show time only” goody bag. Visit NEC Stand T97-T99.

(With thanks to Cliff Kemball)


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit My Pinterest account is at

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