The Guild aims to provide many helpful activities, services and facilities to its members, to enable them to support the Guild's charitable objectives, as set out in the Constitution:

1. To advance the education of the public in one-name studies;

2. To promote the preservation and publication of the resultant data and to maximise its accessibility to interested members of the public.

Just some of these benefits are shown below. Click on any of the images towards the bottom of this page to display more information about that membership benefit.

Want to learn more about becoming a member? Click here to find out more.

  • Guild Member BenefitsAward-winning Journal of One-Name Studies
    The Journal of One-Name Studies is published quarterly to Guild members, in January, April, July and October. It contains Guild news and articles on a variety of topics of interest to one-namers.

    The Editor is always pleased to receive articles or interesting news items for consideration for inclusion - whether from Members or not. Please contact the Editor with your ideas.

    In January 2007, to celebrate the 100th issue, the Journal of One-Name Studies issued a cover CD, containing PDF versions of all 100 Journals from the previous 25 years. Copies of this CD can be purchased from the Guild's Sales Manager (see the Sales page on this website). Note that the CD is issued free to new Members.

    PDF versions of past Journals can be viewed on this website.
  • Guild Member BenefitsInformative one-day Seminars
    Our seminars are open to everyone with an interest in One-Name Studies and cover themes relevant to One-Name Studies.

    Seminars are held three or more times a year, and we endeavour to select venues in various parts of Britain to ensure good coverage. Venues outside Britain are not precluded - but will require Members who are prepared to organise and support them.

    Admission is either FREE or minimal (to recover part of the cost). Advance notice of these seminars is given in the Guild Journal and they are advertised in the Events section on this Guild website, so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
  • Guild Member BenefitsAnnual Conference and AGM
    Every year, normally in April, the Guild holds a two- or three-day residential Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM). This is always a friendly, lively and informative event with a varied programme, enabling members to meet face to face.

    The Conference is open to anyone interested in One-Name Studies, and further information on the next Conference is available on this website. The AGM is restricted to Guild members (but rarely lasts more than an hour).

    You can watch, download or learn more about the talks featured in the Guild's 2013 Annual Conference and AGM in the talks area.
  • Guild Member BenefitsRegister of One-Name Studies
    The annual Register lists all the One-Name Studies registered by members, plus contact details for all Guild Members.

    An online version is published on the Guild website, where it is updated on a regular basis. An optional printed version is provided to members each July. Copies of the printed Register are also circulated to Record Offices and other genealogical organisations around the world.

    Guild members whose study names appear in the Register are under an obligation to answer all email and reply-paid enquiries that they receive on their registered names. Further information on Registering a Surname for inclusion in the Register is given on this website.
  • Guild Member BenefitsThe Guild's Virtual Office
    The Guild provides free-of-charge telephone contact points in the UK, North America and Australia to enable members of the public to easily contact the Guild and to assist our offline members to communicate with the Committee and Guild postholders.

    UK: freephone 0800 011 2182
    North America: toll-free 1-800 647 4100
    Australia: free call 1800 305 184

    These free-of-charge numbers are manned by the Guild's Front Office Managers and are available to anyone who wishes to contact the Guild. When the Front Office Manager is unable to answer a query, a message will be passed to the most appropriate person to respond. Callers outside the areas served by these numbers should dial +44 800 011 2182; however, the call will be charged at normal international rates. Please consider any time-zone difference BEFORE calling!
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Email Forum
    The Guild operates a lively email mailing list called the Forum, where members exchange ideas, discuss their research, and alert members to useful sources of genealogical data. It provides a fast and convenient means of keeping in touch, of giving and receiving help, and perhaps of solving your research problems. Members of the group have ready access to help and advice from other members, as well as being able to participate in discussions, or simply be a bystander and watch the discussions develop.

    There are over ten years of Forum Archives available, containing a wealth of essential information for one-namers.

    There is no charge to subscribe to the Forum, which is open only to Guild members.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Website
    The Guild maintains this website (at As well as essential guidance on One-Name Studies, it also explains what the Guild is about.

    Whilst many pages are available to everyone, we also have a Members Room, which is an essential part of the Guild's website, restricted to Guild Members only, where we provide valuable additional information to our Members. This includes access to all the services provided by the Guild for its Members, as well as forms for updating membership details, news about Guild activities, and Committee proceedings.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Publications
    The Guild publishes booklets and leaflets of interest to one-namers, including Sources for one-name studies, Organising a one-name gathering, and The 100 top tips for one-namers. Further titles are in preparation, and ideas for future publications are always welcome.

    The Guild also publishes a comprehensive Members' Handbook as a reference point for members, which gives an overview of the way in which the organisation functions. In addition, the Handbook provides guidelines regarding the expectations of the members and their responsibilities towards the Guild.
  • Guild Member BenefitsSpecial Offers and Discounts
    In order to assist Guild Members in undertaking their ONS research, the Guild have partnered and established relationships with various groups, companies and individuals to offer a number of items for sale, including books, vouchers and software, some of which have been written or created by Guild Members.

    The Guild has also secured a discounted rate for Members to purchase Family Tree Y-DNA kits.

    Guild Members are eligible for discounts on these items, and have access to other member-excusive items sold by the Guild. Members can visit the Sales page in the Members Room for details.
  • Guild Member BenefitsLook-up Service
    The Guild has gained permission from the publishers of certain CDs, as well as books and web indexes, to provide look-up services to members to assist in the collection of genealogical data that would not be otherwise readily available. These include titles such as:

    • Soldiers died in the Great War
    • Second World War Dead
    • Armies of the Crown
    • The Biography Database
    • The Complete Peerage
    • Cracroft's Peerage
    • The Westminster Historical Database

    Details of how to request a lookup from each of these lookup services can be found in the Members Room.
  • Guild Member BenefitsNewsflash
    We provide an occasional Newsflash email service to notify members of urgent issues affecting the Guild that can't wait for the quarterly Journal.

    Contents may include important news of Guild events, or other genealogy events of interest to members, as well as Guild competitions, new features and benefits to membership and developments within the Guild and the wider genealogical community. These newsflashes are also available via the Guild's RSS newsfeed, see

    Newsflashes are automatically sent to all Members who notify the Guild of their email address (and who do not exercise their right to opt-out).
  • Guild Member BenefitsUnique Guild Email Address
    To help you in communicating with the public and other interested parties to your one-name study, the Guild provides a free, unique email "alias" to all Guild members. The address is permanent (whilst a member), and avoids Members having to update all their contacts if their normal email address changes (e.g. due to a change in internet provider).

    All mail sent to this address is forwarded to the member's 'real' email address. This happens automatically and securely - no-one in the Guild can read it.

    If a member changes their 'real' email address, they need only tell the Guild, via a form in the Members Room on the website, and the mail will be forwarded to their new address.
  • Guild Member BenefitsPrivate Facebook Discussion Group
    This private group on Facebook provides members with another avenue for their discussions with fellow one-namers, and is maintained by the Guild separately from the public Facebook fan page.

    Members can share events, pictures, ideas and files safely and easily with other members without having to be connected on Facebook.

    Guild membership is compulsory for acceptance to the group, and the link to it can be found within the Members' Room.
  • Guild Member BenefitsDNA Testing Advice
    The Guild provide advice and support to Members on DNA testing via a dedicated email address.

    Members who are interested in setting up a DNA project as part of their one-name study can get advice and assistance in doing so. By using the helpline, members will be able to save time and avoid newbie mistakes. Their project will receive visibility with top vendor management and the Guild will be able to keep accurate statistics on project starts.

    The Guild has also secured a discounted rate for Members to purchase Family Tree Y-DNA kits.
  • Guild Member BenefitsRepresentation on other organisations
    The Guild is represented on numerous organisations and bodies relevant to one-name studies, which include:
    • Federation of Family History Societies
    • Scottish Association of Family History Societies
    • The Association of Family History Societies of Wales
    • British Genealogical Record Users Committee
    • TNA Online User Advisory Panel
    • Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations
    • National Genealogical Society
    • Federation of Genealogical Societies

    Membership of such bodies enables the Guild to influence service providers and other members of the Family History community in order to further the interests of those carrying out one-name studies. Links to some of our partners and related groups can be found on the Guild Links page.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Bulletin Board
    In a similar way as the Email Forum, the Guild Bulletin Board allows members to communicate with each other and share ideas, thoughts, suggestions, data sources, technologies, events, techniques and anything else relevant to one-name studies, genealogy, or wider social history topics.

    The Guild Bulletin Board is only available to members.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Wiki
    The Guild has introduced a collaborative project called the Guild Wiki to assist in the capture of members' knowledge about one-name studies.

    The aim of this collaborative project is to generate a "Guild Knowledge Store", full of useful information about how to carry out a one-name study.

    The Wiki is constructed of a number of pages, which members are free to amend or to create new pages to add their own wisdom, knowledge and experience.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Marriage Challenges
    The Guild has established a Marriage Register "lookup" project called the Guild Marriage Challenge - a co-operative project to obtain details of post-1837 England and Wales marriages. Volunteers (Challengers) offer to search for specific marriage entries in the deposited Parish Registers for a specific Registration District (RD) for periods within 1837 to 1911.

    Members (requesters) who have marriages in the selected RD for their registered name, send information on these marriages, based on the GRO index, to the Challenger.

    Data from these Challenges are normally fed into the Guild Marriage Index.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Marriage Index
    The Guild maintains a unique Marriage Index (GMI) to help link members' knowledge of post-1837 marriages and to help identify parishes via the GRO references.

    The Guild Marriage Index allows members of the Guild to make available to other members information about marriages relating to their own research. In addition to standard GRO information, the Index also holds supplementary details such as the spouse's name and the date and location of the marriage.

    The Index provides a way for members to exchange information and to contact others with whom their one-name studies have links, as well as helping members to narrow down the search for the particular parish where a marriage occurred. The marriages can be searched for any surname listed.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Probate Index
    The Guild have established an online Guild Probate Index (GPI) to allow Guild members to make available to other members surname information other than their own surname from copies of wills they hold.

    The aim of the Guild Probate Index is to enable Guild members to submit details of the various names recorded in their wills, other than the surnames they themselves are studying. Their contribution to the Probate Index database will allow other Guild members to find links with their own one-name studies.

    The index is only accessible by members from within the Members' Room.
  • Guild Member BenefitsLibrary
    The Guild maintains a library of one-name study material to help promote the preservation of such material, including reference books, magazines, journals, membership lists, and other material supplied by Guild members in connection with their own one-name study, such as research data bequeathed to the Guild by deceased members and material donated to the Guild by members who are no longer able to continue their ONS (and are also unable to find someone to take over their study). Note that the Library is not open for casual browsing.

    Access to the library catalogue is via this website, which provides a list of all the material currently held. Against each book title is an indicator as to whether the book can be loaned-out (to members), searched by the Guild Librarian for a specific surname, or can be made available for reference purposes.

    In exceptional circumstances, the Guild will also accept one-name material from non- (or ex-) members. Donations to support this work are always appreciated.
  • Guild Member Benefitse-Library
    An E-Library of digitised one-name study material to help promote the preservation of such material is maintained by the Guild.

    To date we have digitised the majority of the Library's deposited one-name material, comprising over 120,000 pages of PDF searchable data. Much of this digitised material comprises one-name newsletters sent to the Guild over the years by individuals and one-name societies. The E-Librarian operates a search facility for Members.

    The Guild also provides a facility to hold back-up copies of Members' One-Name Study data (on CD or DVD), as a secure off-site storage service for members.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Study Profiles
    Guild Profiles allow members of the Guild to create a web page describing their individual one-name studies without any technical knowledge required of how to construct web pages. The facility allows members to produce a web page, on the Guild website, for each registered name. Producing a web page enables fellow researchers on the internet to find information about a member's study.

    Profile pages are organised into nine distinct topics (although you can choose which of these you wish to display on your page), and may include a picture to illustrate the study. Contact details for the member may also be included on the page. Details of how members can set up their own personalised profile page are in the Members Room.

    Such pages automatically become part of the Guild website, enabling the information on them to be indexed by Google and other search engines, and helping other researchers looking for information about registered names to get in touch.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Study Archives
    The Guild has developed the Guild Electronic Archive facility for storing some of the records from Members' one-name study data on the Guild's website for backup, and also, if they wish, to enable other members and the public to access their data.

    To see what records have been placed on-line for public use, go to the Guild Electronic Archive page and click on the initial letter of the surname you are searching for. A list of registered names for which records have been placed online will be displayed.
  • Guild Member BenefitsRegional Representatives and Meetings
    The Guild has a system of Regional Representatives, based in most counties of the UK and in various worldwide locations including Australia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, and the USA.

    These volunteers (some of whom hold local meetings where members can discuss their studies) frequently are able to provide advice and guidance to members in their locality as well as distribute locally relevant news and information such as local events or new regional data sources.
  • Guild Member BenefitsEducational Partnerships
    One of the Guild's Constitutional objectives is to educate the public and our Members in one-name studies and genealogical matters. To assist us with this, we have an Education Liaison Officer who coordinates the Guild's educational activities, and an Academic Coordinator who manages and develops our relationships with academic institutions and bodies.

    There are a number of ways we work towards our educational goals, including educational talks to both Guild members and the public, providing specialist speakers both to Guild and non-Guild events, developing academic partnerships with leading organisations such as Pharos Tutors and the National Institute of Genealogical Studies.
  • Guild Member BenefitsGuild Inscriptions Index
    The "Inscriptions" Index, also known as the "Boards and Memorials" Index, makes use of the vast number of surnames lists that Guild members come across in many different places. These surnames lists may appear in many different forms, but some examples which have already been submitted are:

    • Honours boards in schools, colleges or clubs
    • Memorials within workplaces to those employees who fell in wars
    • Club or society trophies engraved with a list of winners.

    These may not be known about or may not be open to the general public, and contain lists of people's names which aren't indexed anywhere, but which could be extremely useful in a one-name study.
Award-winning Journal of One-Name Studies
Informative one-day seminars
Annual conference and AGM
Register of One-Name Studies
The Guild's Virtual Office
Guild Email Forum
Guild Website
Special offers and discounts
Look-up Service
Private Facebook Discussion Group
Unique Email Address
DNA testing advice
Representation on other bodies
Guild Bulletin Board
Guild Wiki
Guild Marriage Challenge
Guild Marriage Index
Guild Probate Index
Guild Study Profiles
Guild Study Archives
Regional Representatives & Meetings
Educational Partnerships
Guild Inscriptions Index
...and much more!
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