I hope that this Chairman’s Newsflash finds you well. It has been some time since I last wrote to you, and the Guild Committee, subcommittees, post holders, representatives and other volunteers have been extremely busy over the last few months so I will make no apology for this long ‘Guild update’!
Below, you will find details of the following:
This time last year, the Guild Fellowship scheme was announced, set up in order to recognise those Guild members considered especially worthy of honour, either because of their level of expertise in genealogy and one-name studies, or for their contribution to the running of the Guild – or both. Twelve individuals were honoured in this way at the AGM at the Oxford Belfry and the citations for their nominations are available in the Members Room - http://www.one-name.org/members/MCGs.html. Nominations for 2011 should be sent to the Guild Secretary, Jan Cooper, by 30th January 2011 including a paragraph detailing the reason for the nomination. There will be a panel of three current MCGs along with Jan and Ken Mycock, Data Manager, who will discuss all nominations and the 2011 awards will be presented at the AGM in April.
Since the Marketing Strategy meeting in March, the Guild has been liaising with Familysearch to build up more links with their organisation. Those of you who are regular users of Familysearch will have seen the new beta.familysearch.org site and 2010 Conference attendees will remember that we were informed that the site would be completely re-launched ‘in due course’ with all the data on one site, as well as the IGI (with members submitted data separately). Familysearch are keen for their work to benefit the worldwide family history community as much as possible and, to this end, we have set up a link with them. Anyone who searches their website for a surname registered with the Guild will be presented with a link to the Guild website and your contact details! There will be an opt-out facility if you do not wish your details to be made available in this way. The link is due to ‘go live’ in February – look out for more details in January JOONS and hopefully many more contacts as a result!
Familysearch are also in the process of converting all their genealogical and historical records from around the world into digital images which are stored in their online system. They plan to give everyone free access to these indexes through their website. Our volunteers coordinator, Glenys Marriott has agreed to coordinate an indexing project on behalf of the Guild. This project will be a closed project in which we can select the records we want to transcribe, at a county and record level (e.g. Yorkshire marriages post-1837, not in the IGI). These records will be completed solely by the Guild volunteers and we will then receive a copy of the images and index for our archives. If you feel that you have some time that you could put to this transcription project, please get in touch with .
The Marketing meeting in March brought up so many new ideas…….. We just need more volunteers to progress them! John Coldwell is working very hard as Chairman of Marketing Subcommittee (MarkSub) and needs more representatives overseas to assist with promoting the Guild in their country. In particular, MarkSub has been tasked with increasing our membership in North America and Australia – how do we do this? Can you help? Please get in touch with John .
The Guild Committee recognises that the retention rate of new Guild members needs to be improved and approval was given this year to implement an online survey of members who have joined between the start of 2008 and mid-2010 to ascertain their views on three broad areas:
The survey was sent to 508 members and 284 responded by the closing date - an excellent result, and our thanks to all who participated. We will be looking carefully at the findings of the survey which will be very helpful to our future planning. Watch out for more information in the New Year.
Several members raised the concept of having mentors available to new Guild members when we talked about improving benefits of the Guild (again, at the marketing meeting!). The idea being that mentors would be able to guide them through how to access the various benefits of membership (e.g. joining the Forum, setting up a profile page, etc) and be their main contact point for the frequently arising ‘how do I…?’, ‘what should I…..?’, ‘where do I…..?’ questions. The Committee agreed that these mentors would be available for new members at their request. Stephen Daglish has offered to be the mentor coordinator – please contact him if you feel able to offer this assistance to new members of the Guild.
The 2011 AGM and Conference is taking place at the De Vere Hotel, Daresbury Park, Warrington WA4 4HS on the 15th to 17th April 2011. Details are now available and booking is open at www.one-name.org/conference.html. The price of attending the conference is fixed and is budgeted to include VAT, but from the 4th January 2011 the VAT element that the Guild will have to pay will increases from 17.5% to 20%. It is therefore beneficial to the Guild if you book your place (and pay for the balance) before 4th January 2011, thereby saving the Guild from incurring higher VAT costs.
There are two Pharos courses being run next year. They are:
Introduction to One-Name Studies
This was the first course to be offered and was first run in 2009. It is a five-week course, covering the history of one-name studies, reasons why genealogists should have a one-name study, how to check on the suitability of your surname, the history and distribution of surnames, the practical aspects of running a one-name study, and the collection and analysis of data from core records needed for a one-name study. This introductory course has proved very popular. The next five week course starts on the 20th January 2011 - see the Pharos website for the next offering of the course.
Advanced One-Name Studies
Students who complete the Introduction course, or who already have a registered name with the Guild of One-Name Studies and a large amount of surname data, can also take advantage of the latest course Advanced One-Name Studies. This intensive course looks at studies in the light of analysis and synthesis of findings with an optional assessed element. The course runs for six weeks starting on the 23rd May 2011.