Last Updated: 12/07/2009
What is a One-Name Study?
Most family historians research their parents’ ancestry, working back through grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. until their interest is satisfied. Some – especially those with surnames originating from the name of a particular town or village – will become so interested in that place that they collect all references to it, and if it is small, they may try to study the history of all the major families in that place. This is known as a One-Place Study. Other genealogists become so interested in a particular surname that their project expands to encompass all people with that surname, or one of its variants, everywhere. This is known as a One-Name Study, whose ultimate objective is to understand the inter-relationships between all the bearers of that name who have ever existed, in any country. A true One-Name Study will be interested in all people using the surname, whether they acquired it by birth, marriage, adoption, or any other means. As the Chandler surname occurs at an average rate of 32 for every 100,000 of the population in English-speaking countries, this is a large Study that will run for many years.
The Guild of One-Name Studies
The Guild of One-Name Studies, though established in the UK, has an international perspective. It aims to encourage high standards of genealogical research. Members of the Guild, when registering a surname for study, commit themselves to collect all references to that name, anywhere and at any time, and undertake to respond to enquiries from others researching that surname. This is a two-way street, in that enquirers often receive help from the Study, but also contribute information that enriches the Study – everybody gains. A link to the Guild is provided on the Links page.
The Chandler One-Name Study’s Coordinator
Dick Chandler, an Englishman now retired and living in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada, took over the Chandler One-Name Study in 1997 from a Guild member who was prevented by ill-health from continuing. As well as collecting new Chandler information from around the world and helping others in a number of countries with their Chandler family history, Dick has been computerizing the hundreds of thousands of paper-based Chandler records (birth, christening, marriage, death, obituary, burial, will, census, newspaper report, and so on) collected over the last 20 years. He can be contacted by e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org is his address.
The One-Name Study and American Chandlers
Dick has been an active member of this group, helping with the research and documentation of the origins and descendants of Edmund Chandler, while continuing to try to help other Chandler researchers around the world. One of his other American involvements has been with the Chandler Family Association (CFA), who trace their ancestry from John Chandler who arrived at Jamestown, Virginia from England aboard the Hercules in 1610 at the age of ten – the first Chandler to arrive in the New World. As part of this involvement, Dick contributed his DNA to the CFA’s DNA project. To his great surprise, his Y-chromosome DNA was a perfect 12/12 match with a number of CFA members. This may well mean that Dick and John had a common ancestor in England at some time in the 15th Century or earlier, and efforts are being made to identify that common ancestor. A link to the Chandler Family Association is provided on the Links page.