Hello everyone. This is a much shortened note this month, just because I am away from home and kibbitzing with family. I'm in Frederick, Maryland where my older son, Tim, married two days ago and we have other family visiting all the way from Norfolk in England. Just as his father did 37 years ago, it appears that he "married up"! We are pleased to welcome a new Mrs Howes to our family.
While I am on the topic of real life events, let me make a quick request: were there other events that happened to your Howes, House, Howse, Hows or Howze families recently which we at howesfamilies.com do not yet know about? We try to go through as many obituaries as we can to find events and family members, but information on marriages and births is much more problematic to find. So we depend upon you, our correspondents for information in this regard. Right now, we have only two births in our database for 2017 and only six for 2016!
We've been under way with our study for nine years now. We finished the year with almost 128,300 people in our database, having added 1,000 people in the last month and almost exactly 12,000 in the past year.
If you've been reading this column for a while you will know that our key background metric is the number of marriages in England and Wales between 1837 and 1950, about 23,900 in total. Of that number we know the identity of both parties now for almost 75% and the actual location of the marriage for almost 30%!
Guild of One-Name Studies
The Howes One-Name Study is a proud member of the Guild. I know I am biased because I am the chairman (stepping down in March) but I can't say enough good things about this organization and its members.
Why mention it now? Well, I keep track of other Guild members who provide us with information on holders of our surnames and the number of such this month went up to 100 as you can see from this list:
http://howesfamilies.com/browsesources. ... age=&tree=
Usually, an entry on this list means that we have also been helpful to the other One-Name Study too! The 100th Guild name was MAUNDER when I received a helpful note from the Study holder and we then swapped further details.
Guild members conduct "marriage challenges," collecting details on specific marriages in a certain area (usually England and Wales) requested by other members. At HowesFamilies.com we have over 12,000 facts from such marriage challenges which means that we have not needed to buy some 1,300 marriage certificates and have been able to use all that information to build out families around them. I've never done such a challenge myself but am expecting to do one this summer.
Further, Guild members conduct newspaper searches for names of other members, usually searching the "hatches, matches and despatches" columns and I get at least one email a month from this source. Similarly I look at my local newspapers for such items.
And, other Guild members just send each other notes when we see interesting items or visit a graveyard and take pictures of gravestones with surnames of other Guild members on them or find pictures in old newspapers while they are looking for material about their own studies. Stimulated by two or three such members I myself have been taking gravestone pix and have sent over 5,000 in the last 18 months. I even collected some 600 such over the past few days in an enormous cemetery in Frederick, Maryland and still have to send them off.
So when I talk about Guild members as the most collaborative group of people I have ever encountered, you can see what drives me to say that!
Why spend so much time talking about this organization? Well, Guild members might just be helpful to you too and/or you might be helpful to them. Most surnames under study are relatively infrequent but you will even find members or teams studying names like Gray, Phillips and Thompson. Just go to http://www.one-name.org, type in some surnames from your own background and see what happens. You will see whether or not someone is studying that name. If there is someone, click on the member's name on that screen and a contact screen will appear. Drop them a line and tell them of your interest. You should receive a reply within a week, perhaps a little longer at vacation time. As I said, maybe they can help you further or maybe you can help them, just as you have with our study.
If nobody is studying your name of interest, how about joining up? You don't have to register the surname immediately. I joined and watched others for eighteen months before signing up the Howes name. Most names under study are British in origin, but it doesn't have to be that way. There is a growing number of now about 70 non-British-origin names under study.
I use the phrase "Thank you for your continuing support" a lot, I know, but it is sincerely meant. We could not have come this far in the last nine years without it. So I earnestly wish you and yours all the best for 2018 with special thanks for all whom have contributed information to help us over the past year.
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