Surname Portal

Surname Pages and Surname Category Pages are, for the most part, automated WeRelate-created gateways into Surname Studies, the focus of this portal. A Surname Study is designed to contain historical information regarding an individual surname; more widely known as a One-Name Study. A surname or one-name study is a compilation of research on all occurrences of a surname, rather than those within a single family, pedigree or descendancy. Each surname page has a talk page that serves as a message board for genealogists researching that surname. Each surname also has a category page that serves to index all occurrences of that surname within WeRelate.

Primary Portals


Surname Pages are designed to contain and collect historical information about individual surnames regardless of family connections. Within the larger genealogical community and to onomasticians these efforts are referred to as One-Name Studies or Single Name Studies. In 2008 a trial was begun within WeRelate to compile collections of surname information and data on so-called Family Exchange pages with limited consensus, input or success.

A surname study or one-name study is a compilation of research on all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree (ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants of one person or couple). To one interested in onomatology it is primarily the study of the origin of the name. Some "one-namers" may restrict their research geographically, perhaps to one country, but true one-namers collect all occurrences world-wide.

Like all family history research a successful surname study relies on a vast amount of resources. These can be original documents or verified transcripts of original documents, many of which are now available online. It is usual to include all spelling variants of the surname that have appeared over the years. A one-name study is not limited to persons who are related biologically. Studies of more common surnames may have a number of family trees which have no link with each other.

For further in-depth information on One-Name Studies, please review the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Titling Conventions for Surname Pages

A Surname Page is created automatically when a researched family tree or a new Surname in Place is entered in a member's User Page at WeRelate and it is activated and saved. The title follows the filename convention below:

Surname: <Lastname> is automatically generated as a page title to make sure each surname page is unique. When you are adding information to a new surname page, you do not need to enter the surname again, as the system has done that for you. Do not use first names, middle names or titles (either before or after the name) in the page title. Then add to or update the page as you would for any Article. (See help page)
Surname Pages and Surname Categories

WeRelate automatically creates separate pages for surnames and surname categories. Having separate pages for these gives you a page on which to record closely related surnames, based on phonetics, country spelling, geography, appearance, pseudonyms or DNA analysis.

Once a Surname page has been created, you'll probably want to ensure a link to the related category page for that surname's spelling is created. Surname categories are also automatically created, and will reference and link to all related pages on that surname, as well as Images and Surnames in Place. A listing of WeRelate's most linked surname categories is updated regularly, showing the top ten surname categories as Smith, Williams, Calkins, Brown, Johnson, Jones, Miller, Davis, Taylor, and Wilson -- all with over 8,500 members.

Both types of pages can be used to easily create a Surname Study page. The Family Exchange page may be a little more difficult to use by the novice wiki user, but the template linked below may ease that process, and the results of the Surname Study may be more organized and visually appealing for visitors, contributors and collaborators.

The filename convention for a surname category page is:

Category:<Lastname> surname

The parent category for this category space would need to be included manually within the text box of the category page as:

[[Category:Surnames]] to ensure proper categorization within WeRelate and for user-friendly cross-reference.

Sample Surname Pages

Here are two examples of a WeRelate Surname Studies, one as an expansion of a Surname Page and the other as a Family Exchange Article.

Help Files & FAQ's
Featured Surname Page

WeRelate Surname Study Pages

The following WeRelate Articles, Surname Pages, Surname Categories, Family Exchange Pages and One-Name Studies have content that qualify them as Surname Study resources.

Surnames (A-H) Surnames (H-P) Surnames (Q-Z)

To add a Surname to this list, please edit this box. Then return to the Surname Portal page.

External Surname Study Links

The following external Surname and One-Name Study sites (including WeRelate sites with no content other than an external link) are identified for reference purposes.

Collections of Surnames:

Endorsement of any commercial site or product listed is not intended or implied.

Individual Surnames:

Surnames (A-K) Surnames (K-Z)

To add an External Site to this list, please edit this box. Then return to the Surname Portal page.

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