Are one name studies useful for rare surnames?

+9 votes
My surname, Dardinger, is really only found in the US where a few lines took this name to shorten longer names when arriving from Switzerland or Alsace. Is it useful to try to keep a study small or is it better to try adding all the other variety of surnames which apparently are related?  I'm not at all sure the lines are monophenetic as I think the surnames came from people who lived in a suburb of Solothurn in Switzerland.
in Policy and Style by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (423k points)
retagged by Vic Watt
Hi Dave, great question! I added the url for the ONS FAQ page so that it will link to the page.
Thanks for the link!

3 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
Dave, I've found that One Name Studies are great for rare and what I'll call medium-rare names. One Name Studies don't work well if a name is common because it will get too big very fast.  Most One Name Studies involve rare or medium rare names.  If a name is rare, you become the expert very quickly.  You can accomplish a lot in a short time, and you won't have too much work to do.  For the medium rare names, your project is much larger, but it is still manageable.

A One Name Study is just that, a study of everyone with a certain name or given variation of a name, related or not.  Here at WikiTree we do have some studies that limit the project to descendant of a particular individual or to the surname in a particular area.

I would encourage you to use a One Name Study.  It allows you to collect everything in one place, and you may find some connections you didn't know about.  One advantage is that, as manager of your One Name Study, your name shows up as the person to contact.  That can be very helpful and a good way to connect with others researching the same name.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
selected by Dave Dardinger
Well, I'm already the Dardinger expert and AFAIK I've captured all of them in my offline tree, but haven't gotten them all on WikiTree yet.  I think I'll put that on my short list for in a week or two.  I suppose I should do one and create some pages for photos.  BTW about how many photos does it make sense to put on a freespace page?
I concur with Vic.
+3 votes
WikiTree's ONSes are a bit different from what the Goons do.  But the Goons won't register common names, on the grounds that the job is too big.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (598k points)
I am a GOON with a registered small one-name study with a rare name, and also a WikiTree ONSer, and it is true that the very common names studies are not many at the One-Name Guild and not promoted but someone just registered the name "O'Connell" there. The trick is to break it down to localities. Also the large One Name Study will have many contributors which helps. There is a large study by the name of "Howe" and there are many contributors that send materials for it to their site. A Wikitree member does SMITH but she knows it will be a life-long commitment (-:
+3 votes
Dave, I have the same exact situation that resulted in my Flaugher Name Study. We know our immigrant ancestor, exact origin unknown, boarded the ship in Rotterdam in 1750 and the passenger list recorded his name as Christian Flaucher. He could not read or write, so all he could do was pronounce his name for the record keepers who spelled it a dozen different ways. The spelling we have now became the standard with his children's generation, but with few exceptions, the Flaugher spelling has only been found in the United States and all people by the name descend from the same man.

My goals for the study are to discover the origins of the surname, find other related lines through the help of DNA testing, search out all occurrences of the name in the United States, create and link all Flaugher profiles together on WikiTree and hopefully create the most exhaustive Flaugher resource available on the internet.

Because the name is rare, I believe these goals are achievable. For a common surname, my goals would be very different. ;-)
by Alison Andrus G2G6 Mach 4 (48.3k points)
I pretty well know where the name came from, though I'll probably put my theory and back-up for it on a separate page once I've set up a one name study.  BTW, why is it "a one" rather than "an one"?  The latter doesn't sound right, but I don't remember a rule  from 60 years ago grammar school?

The choice of article a or an is actually based upon the phonetic (sound) quality of the first letter in a word, not on the orthographic (written) representation of the letter. If the first letter makes a vowel-type sound, you use "an"; if the first letter would make a consonant-type sound, you use "a." That's why you say "an honest error" because the "h" sounds like an "o" and "a one name study" because one is pronounced like it begins with a "w."

Flaucher is a pretty rare German name, more common in the South than in the North:

(Just in case you want to include that spelling, too!)


Thank you so much for sharing this information, Helmut! It is extremely helpful. ;-)

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