Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tech Tuesday - How I collect and analyse data for my One Name Study

I'm always interested in how people actually "do" their One Name Study on a practical level. My study is still in it's infancy so I've had quite a haphazard approach.

Recently I sat down and decided on a more structured plan of attack.

I knew that I wanted to collect some data, store the data somewhere and then start to group the individuals named in the data into families. Ultimately the goal would be to work out if everyone is related but that's a long way in the future.

As my first mission I decided that I wanted to collect all references to TILL?N and TILLING from the England Censuses 1841-1911 and the England and Wales Births, Marriages and Deaths Indices. I used Ancestry as the source as this is the website that I currently have a subscription to - ultimately I think I'd like to cross-reference with other sources (e.g. FindMyPast) to try and negate any transcribing errors.

To collect my data I used Outwit Hub. This scrapes the data from the internet and turns it into a csv or excel file.

I uploaded the output files into Custodian, which is database software written specifically for family history. This generates a Name Index where the references are consolidated allowing me to see all links to a particular name.

I already have some information in Family Historian so I've begun the process of going through each TILL?N and TILLING individual and allocating a personal and family reference to each record I now hold in Custodian. This is slow going but it's already shown me where I've missed people and is generating a new research list.

Once I've gone through the individuals I've already got in Family Historian I'll start to try and group the other individuals recorded in Custodian.

Already I've spotted where I've got unallocated records.

The picture above shows the name index filtered for everyone in my records with a forename starting Charles and the surname recorded as Tillin. From here i can start to group records together and spot records I've not allocated to people.

I'm looking forward to starting to fill in some gaps even though this will be a long process.

How do you conduct your One Name Study? Any tips? Do you use any of these programs?

1 comment:

  1. Have you thought of extending your analysis to searching for the origin of you surname?

    You can find a list of readings on surname origins at the following site.

    If you are interested in mapping the distribution of your tillings you might visit the Facebook Surname Mapping site:

    Good luck with your research, it is a facinating hobby!