I was fiddling around with Family Historian last night and then in Excel, producing a list of the top-ten surnames in my family tree.
I thought this was going to be a mostly pointless exercise, purely for fun and curiosity, but it has highlighted an imbalance in my research, which I now wonder whether I should try and put right.
The top-ten surnames (really top-eleven surnames), with the number of individuals in my family tree, are as follows:
1. TROWER (127)
2. GASSON (104)
3. MITCHELL (84)
4. FAIRS (45)
5. BOXALL (38)
6. KINGHORN (28)
6. VINALL (28)
8. BATEMAN (27)
9. GEERING (26)
10. DRIVER (25)
10. HEMSLEY (25)
The first three names are no surprise, after all they are the surnames of three of my grandparents, the surprising thing is that my fourth grandparent’s name is HEMSLEY, right down at the bottom of the list.
I don’t know quite why I feel that this imbalance is wrong, but I certainly feel I should invest some more time on it so that it moves up the chart. It wouldn’t be difficult to add lots more HEMSLEYs to my tree, but it needs to be done with purpose rather than just adding everyone I can find.
I am going to add the task of reviewing my HEMSLEY line to my to-do list, seeing what meaningful work I can do on the family. I am sure there are some interesting people and stories waiting to be discovered in Framfield, Sussex.