One-Name Study

I discovered one-name studies shortly after I became involved in genealogy. After reviewing the Guild of One-Name Studies website and thinking about it, I decided I wanted to do a study.

I started looking at my surnames to see which one to use for my study. Alexander, Allen, Campbell, and Harrison were immediately discarded as they were too common. I wanted one that was unique and that I did not know much about. I decided on Stoops, the maiden name of a paternal 3rd great-grandmother. I knew her father, Philip Stoops, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. From his pension file, I discovered he was born in New Castle County, Delaware, had resided in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and moved to Highland County, Ohio.

I registered the surname (and its spelling variations of Stoop, Stope, Stopes, Stoup, and Stoups) with the Guild and began my research looking for Stoops in Delaware, Virginia, and Ohio. It did not take too many searches to discover I was going to have a problem. I had never heard of the play She Stoops to Conquer and it was not long before I began to filter my searches.

I created a Stoops database in RootsMagic and also worked on a Stoops Study website (which is currently in the process of being redesigned). I also set-up an email alert at to receive obituaries.

I recently registered a Y-DNA project with Family Tree DNA to help determine who was my immigrant ancestor. Was it Christopher Stope who arrived in Virginia in 1635 on the ship Safety, Henry Stope who appears in early court records of Kent County, Maryland, or another individual? Unfortunately, I have not had much interest from Stoops males to participate.

The best part of having my one-name study is I always have something to research at any repository I visit. Friends who know I research that surname also alert me when they come across the name in their own research. One friend notified me about a Stoops Bible on eBay and I have now set up an eBay alert.

Starting this one-name study has opened up some new opportunities for me. I am the New Castle DEGenWeb county coordinator and the Southeastern United States representative of the Guild of One-Name Studies.

Which of your surnames would you use for a one-name study?