Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

I joined GW on the first day - don't know what number I was, probably six hundred-and-something. One thing that attracted me was the ability to connect with others who are researching the same surnames as me, in an environment where all had the same interests - genealogy, family history and the like. I watched for hours and days as the membership grew and grew and grew.

Every day I search the member list for my surnames that are a bit less common, but I didn't know how uncommon they were until now. With well over 9000 members, you'd think that I would find someone else researching the Hott, Bellew, Makepeace, or Leeming surnames. Names that I really don't hear that often and don't hear from others about. So far I've only found ONE other member researching any of these names which really stuns me. I would have thought that with all these members I'd find someone, ANYONE else researching some of these names.

So, to add to my "thrill of the hunt" , my quest to find that gleaning piece of glitter lost on a beach full of sand, my search for the ancestors... I'm now hunting for others who have same surname interests. I call it the same name game and I play everyday, leaving comments for those who are searching for some of my other more common surnames and sitting on the edge of my seat when I search for these other less common ones. It's a bit like surname tag I guess, and I'm enjoying making connections and reaching out to others in this environment.

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Comment by Margaret Brown on July 25, 2009 at 3:10pm
In reply to comment made by Mary Trogg: Smith is a common name alright; how about Brown??? Urgh!!!
Comment by Cindy Curtin on July 25, 2009 at 7:40am
Sean and Unknown are both correct in that there is only a small sliver of the population here on the site and surely it will grow as new researchers come into the hobby and seasoned genealogists jump on the bandwagon. But as you mentioned Sean, you don't feel that you may ever come across another genealogist researching your name Kisby - this is my point. Not that the surnames are 'unusual' in the world as a whole, just in the population of other genealogists that I've come across... this would be the reason for my searching. I'm not anxious about evidence at this point as all of my research options are no where near exhausted, I just like the thrill of finding others who share the interest in genealogy in these names. Thanks for your comments.
Comment by Sean K on July 25, 2009 at 1:28am
9000 members, it is a tiny, little, weeny and statistically quite irrelevant proportion of the population of the English speaking world. I don't expect to find another Kisby here for many months yet, if ever! And as for Kisby genealogists, there are even less of them!!
Comment by Unknown Ancestor on July 25, 2009 at 12:46am
I suspect this is not even close to the 'end of the beginning'.
I don't see that any of your surnames are unusual, especially in the British Isles. There are even about 5,000 Bellew and about 5,000 Leeming in the U.S. & Canada section of the new Pilot FamilySearch [I've posted about that].
Who is your target ancestor this week? What piece of evidence are you most anxious about?
Comment by Mary Trogg on July 24, 2009 at 6:48pm
My thoughts exactly. I think I was in the 200's and still, the only folks searching my surnames are 2 people I already knew. It could be worse though. I could be a Smith.

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