Do you know anyone with the same surname as you? I have only ever met one other Danby, so I was curious to explore the roots of my name.As an experiment, search on Google for your surname. I did, and these were the top five entries:-
Danby, a village in North Yorkshire, 44 miles from where I grew up;
A tourist guide to the village of Danby;
Plumbing and heating engineer, B Danbys. Based in Hull, 38 miles from where I grew up;
The Duke of Wellington pub in the village of Danby, North Yorkshire;
… and local community website Esk Valley, where the village of Danby is located on the North Yorkshire Moors. So, my surname is anchored in Yorkshire. This is a light-hearted search, my next stage is to investigate the surname resources online. If you are researching your surname, try these websites. The members of The Surname Society, experienced genealogists, study single surnames in depth, collecting detailed information on a global basis.
The Guild of One-Name Studies is a group of family historians who compile surname studies, which seek all occurrences, past and present, of a single surname, anywhere in the world.
The Internet Surname Database is an online database of surnames and their variant spellings, the country of origin, the original word from which the surname may have originally derived, interesting historical examples, and earliest proven records.
For a list of all one-name studies and databases, start with UK BMD.
Select Surname List is a simple, easy to use reference for more than 800 common surnames, their derivation and regional, UK, European and global meanings.
Out of curiosity, I Googled Rose’s surname – Haldane – from Ignoring Gravity. Here are the top three entries of almost 2.9million results including:-
Architectural joinery company Haldane UK;
the Wikipedia entry for JBS Haldane, a British naturalised Indian scientist;
and another Wikipedia entry, for Richard Haldane, 1stViscount Haldane [below].
A simple demonstration of the wealth of information available, which is be at once a plus and a minus for researchers. The data may include a clue, an answer, or may become a major distraction with multiple dead ends.
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