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:

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

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

These services are described below.

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

Award-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.

Informative 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 on this Guild website, so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Annual 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 given on this website.

The AGM is restricted to Guild members (but rarely lasts more than an hour).

Register of One-Name Studies

The annual Register lists all the One-Name Studies registered by members, plus contact details for all Guild Members.

An on-line version is published on the Guild website, where it is updated on a regular basis. An optional printed version is provided to members each April. 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.

The Guild 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 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.


The Guild Bookstall provides a public mail order service for one-name publications and vouchers, and a comprehensive mail-order service to Members.


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. These, together with other Guild related material, are available to members through the online bookstall. Further titles are in preparation.

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.

The Guild's Virtual Office

The Guild provides free-of-charge telephone contact points in the UK, in North America, and in Australia, to enable members of the public to easily contact the Guild and to assist our off-line members to communicate with the Committee and Guild postholders.

These free-of-charge numbers are manned by the Guild's Front Office Managers 09:00 to 20:00 local time, 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.

All callers are requested to please consider any time-zone difference BEFORE calling!

Representation on other bodies

The Guild is represented on numerous organisations relevant to one-name studies, which include:

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.


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. 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).

The Guild Warning, Advice and Reporting Point (WARP)

We provide a FREE Warning, Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) which gives advice and support (to subscribing members) on computer and online security problems.

Many Guild members are intensive users of electronic data and internet services. While the internet can be a valuable (if sometimes unreliable) source of information, there are also security threats when using the Web and email, such as viruses, trojans and various scams designed to trap users.

The Guild has therefore established a WARP which provides support on such threats. The Guild's WARP is officially recognised by the UK government as the first WARP in the voluntary sector.

The WARP provides:

All in the context of the Guild and genealogy that other sources would not have.

DNA testing advice

We 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.

Unique email address

We provide a FREE email "alias" to all Guild members to assist in communicating with the public.

The address is permanent (whilst a Member), and avoids Members having to update all their contacts if the address provided by their ISP changes.

The address is of the form: .
The name can be the Member's own name (provided it is not already in use), or their registered study name.

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

If a Member changes their service provider, they need only tell the Guild, via a form in the Members Room on the website.

If a member doesn't have an email facility, they can subscribe to an "email only" service (such as Gmail), and pick up their mail at your local library or cyber cafe.

Look-up services

We provide a range of look-up services to members to assist in the collection of genealogical data that would not be readily available to members. The Guild has gained permission from the publishers of certain CDs to provide these look-up services to members. These include:

Details of how to request a lookup from each of these lookup services can be found in the Members Room.

The Guild offers a look-up service to the various databases held by to assist in the collection of genealogical data. There is a small charge for this service, which is available only to those Guild members with a registered study who do not have email or internet access. The look-ups currently include:

Guild members with email access can undertake their own search of's records, and can take advantage of a 10% bonus.

Special offers at FindMyPast

In order to assist Guild Members in undertaking their ONS research, we have established a close relationship with involving a degree of co-operation and mutual assistance, whereby we provide assistance in the marketing and development of FindMyPast's services.

As part of this co-operation, the Guild can offer a 10% discount on vouchers for FindMyPast subscriptions or for pay-as-you-go units.

Guild 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. The marriages can be searched for any surname listed (although not the one registered by the submitter). Thus members can easily retrieve all the marriages of interest to themselves, without at the same time retrieving their own entries.

The Index also helps members to narrow down the search for the particular parish where a marriage occurred. While Guild members are likely to have extensive lists of marriages, these lists often have no more information than can be obtained from the GRO index. Rather than purchasing a certificate to obtain the additional information (name of the spouse, addresses, fathers' names and occupations, etc.), members can use the Guild Marriage Index to narrow down the likely location of the marriage.

An article in the July 2001 Guild Journal (vol.7,no.7, pages 6-9) explains how the GRO page number might be used to find the parish (or other place) of marriage. The article identified that marriages were not recorded by the GRO in a haphazard manner, but rather in a particular order. For each district, we have firstly Anglican marriages, in alphabetical order of parish, and then other marriages (non-conformist, Roman Catholic, other religions, civil ceremonies in register offices). The marriages for each church start on a fresh odd-numbered page. So, to locate a marriage, all we need is a table of places giving the page numbers used in each quarter. Even an incomplete table is of use, as it may give an approximate (alphabetical) position of a parish, and so reduce the number of registers to search.

As more members add their data to the Index, it will become even more useful.

Guild Marriage Challenge

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 Probate Index

We 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 ONSs. Further information is in the Members Room.

Guild 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.

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


We maintain a library of one-name study material to help promote the preservation of such material.

The Librarian is responsible for our stock of reference books, magazines, journals, membership lists, and other material supplied by Guild members in connection with their own one-name 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.

The Library is also the custodian of

These items are held by the Guild in our capacity to assist in the preservation of ONS material.

Subject to the conditions of deposit, the material will be archived until such time as someone can be found to take over the study. In such circumstances, a copy of the ONS material donated to the Guild (for which the Guild then has the copyright) could be "loaned" to the person taking over the surname study whilst they continue to be a member of the Guild.

In exceptional circumstances, we will also accept one-name material from non- (or ex-) members. Donations to support this work are always appreciated.


We maintain an E-Library of digitised one-name study material to help promote the preservation of such material.

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.

We also provide 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 Archive

We have 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 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.

Regional Representatives

We have a system of Regional Representatives, based in most counties of the UK and in various worldwide locations. 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.

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