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Surnames, Genes and Genealogy

Further information

Researching surnames
Many surnames are the subject of one-name studies, which research all occurrences of a surname rather than just those in a particular family tree. Many of these projects are registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies. The Register can be searched online. See below for contact details. Surnames mentioned in the programmes that are registered with the Guild: Blencowe, Pomeroy, Lockwood, Tordoff, Oddie.

Other ways of contacting people researching surnames you may be interested in include:

Article on DNA testing for Genealogy:

In the UK, DNA tests are offered by Oxford Ancestors, a company whose services are built on the research work of Bryan Sykes and his team at Oxford. Contact:
Oxford Ancestors Ltd, Oxford BioBusiness Centre, Littlemore Park, Oxford OX4 4SS

Other companies offering DNA tests include:
Family Tree DNA:
DNA Security Inc: Tel: 0845 130 2700

Research into the Y chromosome is also being carried out by Mark Jobling at the University of Leicester Department of Genetics. His article on surnames and genetics is available for download from the website:

The 1881 census on CD-Rom
This may be available at record offices and family history centres, or the set can be purchased from:
LDS Church Distribution Centre, 399 Garretts Green Lane, Birmingham B33 0UH
Tel: 08700 10 20 51. Fax: 08700 10 20 52

Surname maps
Kevin Schürer's maps of surname distributions are available from the History Data Service. For details and charges, contact:

Archives, organisations and websites

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS)
The LDS (the Mormons) have family history centres all over the country which can give help and advice with research. Documents and databases that can be consulted include the International Genealogical Index (IGI) which has millions of entries - those from Britain are mainly from parish and nonconformist registers. Lists of centres are on both of the following websites.
LDS FamilySearch (includes the IGI, searchable online):
LDS in the UK (unofficial site):

Family History Online
A portal site that aims to give easy access to information and links to the main UK family history websites.

Family Records Centre
1 Myddelton Street, London EC1R 1UW
Tel: 020 8392 5300. Fax: 020 8392 5307. Textphone: 020 8392 5308
Part of the Public Record Office. Its records include indexes of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales since 1837, and censuses 1841-1891.

Federation of Family History Societies
PO Box 2425, Coventry CV5 6YX
For details of family history societies around the UK, publications, and leaflets on getting started in family history. Has an online bookshop.

General Register Office for Scotland
New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT
Tel: 0131 334 0380
Its records include indexes of Scottish births, marriages and deaths, and census returns. Indexes are accessible online on a pay-per-view basis at Scots Origins:

General Register Office (Northern Ireland)
Oxford House, 49-55 Chichester Street, Belfast BT1 4HL
Tel: 028 9025 2021
For registers of births and deaths from 1864 and marriages from 1845.

GENUKI (UK and Ireland Genealogy)
Has a mass of information about getting started in genealogy and about record sources, plus links to organisations and societies and lists of surnames being researched.

Guild of One-Name Studies
Box G, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
Contact the Guild for details of one-name study projects, or see their Register online. The Guild publishes a quarterly Journal, free to members or on sale at the Society of Genealogists and Public Record Office bookshops; for back numbers, see the Publications page on the Guild's website.

Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
79-82 Northgate, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1BA
Tel: 01227 768664. Fax: 01227 765617
An independent charitable trust which runs courses and offers qualifications in genealogy; one of its main projects is research into genetically inherited diseases.

National Archives of Scotland
General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YY
Tel: 0131 535 1334. Fax: 0131 535 1328

National Genealogical Society
4527 17th Street North, Arlington, Virginia, 22207-2399, USA

Public Record Office
Kew, Surrey TW9 4DU
Tel: 020 8392 5200. Fax: 020 8878 8905
The national archives of England and Wales. Catalogue (over 8 million document references) and much other information available online.

Scottish Association of Family History Societies
Hon. Secretary: Alan J.L. MacLeod, 51/3 Mortonhall Road, Edinburgh EH9 2HN
For details of family history societies in Scotland.

Society of Genealogists
14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
Tel: 020 7251 8799. Fax: 020 7250 1800
Has a large library for research plus a bookshop (also mail order and online), and organises major family history fairs annually.

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Origins of surnames | The Black Death | The distribution of surnames | Tracing your family tree | DNA
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