The STERRY One-Name Study is a project researching the genealogy and family history of all persons with the surname STERRY anywhere in the world.

The Sterry One-Name Study Blog will keep you up to date on the latest research on the STERRY surname. You are encouraged to make your own comments, give feedback, make suggestions or add your own research contributions. Enquires about your own STERRY family line can be made either by email or using the Feedback form provided on the STERRY WORLDWIDE website: Contact

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Guild of One-Name Studies Australian Seminar

Attended the first GOONS Australian Seminar last Saturday, October 27 in Sydney, organised by the New South Wales Regional Rep for NSW, Karen Rogers.

Speakers included Heather Garnsey from the Society of Australian Genealogists [Sydney], Richard Merry [Regional Rep for South Australia], David Evans [Regional Rep for Victoria], Michael Mitchelmore and Karen Rogers.

Apart from a rare opportunity of meeting face-to-face with others who shared a passion for researching a particular surname worldwide, I found the presentations by Richard Merry and David Evans the most personally useful.

Richard gave an overview of the latest information on using Y-DNA [the male sex chromosome] as part of a One-Name Study. Amongst a lot of information, he recommended a very useful site Eupedia-Genetics:

Although I have been running a STERRY DNA Project for over three years myself, there is always so much that you don't know and so much more to learn.

David Evans gave an overview of how the Guild works. There are no many support services now available as a member of GOONS

that it was great to be reminded of all that is on offer, especially online. David's presentation has certainly stimulated me to have another look at their excellent website, including a fairly new section called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness where members can offer to help other members. As someone living in Australia with strong research interests in England, any offers to do look-ups in county Record Offices is a great boon to my own research.

Although Heather's presentation on the resources available at the Society of Australian Genealogists [SAG] was for me very much talking to the converted as I have been a member - and indeed a sometime volunteer - for many years, there is always something that is forgotten. During her talk Heather mentioned the TROVE Newspaper Archive of the National Library of Australia.

This is indeed a fabulous site for genealogical research. The number of newspapers, especially country and regional newspapers, that have now been been digitised and can be searched for particular names online is prodigious and is being added to all the time.

Although this site is not new to me, I checked it again when I got home and was surprised how much new material had been added. I had one particularly excellent find: an item on my g.grandfather, William Sterry from 1891. It appears someone stole his horse and cart from right in front of his bakery at Smith St, Collingwood in Melbourne, Victoria. Although I knew that my g.grandfather was indeed a baker in Melbourne in 1891, I previously had no idea where his shop was located. This opens up a whole new area of research!

Thanks Karen for organising a most interesting seminar.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Locating Wills in England before 1858

After parish registers, undoubtedly one of the most valuable source records that are available to anyone undertaking family history research in England are probate records.

But knowing where to look for Wills before a civil system was introduced in 1858 has always been tricky. Wills could be 'proven' in any one of a number of ecclesiastical jurisdictions depending on where the deceased's property was located.

And even if you knew which ecclesiastical court applied, indexes of Wills in regional and district courts are few and far between and/or difficult to use.

In my own STERRY research I found many years ago that Wills proven in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury [PCC] were the best indexed and most readily available. [Wills were proven in the PCC if the deceased had property in more than one ecclesiatical diocese.]

These days indexes of PCC Wills can be readily searched online and the copies of original Wills from 1462 to 1858 downloaded for a small cost.

And now, thanks to the Familysearch Wiki, locating Wills in Episcopal and lower courts is also much easier.

The range and number of  indexes and original probate records in England that have been filmed by the LDS is awesome and so far I have only begun to scratch the surface.

Allthough I live in Australia, I can order these probate indexes and original Wills through my very handy and local LDS Family History Centre at a very reasonable cost.

I am currently researching Wills mainly in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire and I plan to share my journey via the Sterry Family History blog over the coming months. I hope you may find what I learn of interest in your own research.

More as it happens .....