Project Progress

Our Goal

Our goal is to reconstruct the surname line genealogy of all name-bearers back from the present day to the origin of their tree in order to discover whether we all belong within a single famiy tree — and share a single common ancestor at its head — or whether different individuals acquired one of our surnames at different times for different reasons. 

Phase 1: Reconstructing trees back 175 years from the present day

During the first phase we've focused on rebuilding the trees for name-bearers within the UK, the homeland of our surnames, initially back to the first national census of England and Wales in 1841. Lines in these trees have been cross-referenced with transcript data from the eight national censuses for England & Wales between 1841 and 1911 now accessible, plus the 15,000+ national registration birth, marriage and death even records from 1837 to the present day. Our tree reconstruction is now comprehensive enough that we can confidently say that we have identified all trees of UK-origin that have living name-bearers and no unknown trees wait to be discovered.

During this phase we've also identified hundreds of emigrants from England and Wales who have moved at different times to Ireland, the USA, Canada, parts of Latin America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Research into their descendants living in those countries is advanced but currently far from complete.

Phase 2: Reconstructing trees back from the early nineteenth century to the early medieval period

We're now moving into our second key phase, where we attempt to take each UK-origin tree back generation by generation to the start of formal parish records in England — the mid-1500s — and earlier. This phase requires us to concentrate on detailed parish-level research across the contiguous counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, as well as in London.