27    Dec 20110 comments

Genealogy News: North America, 27 December 2011

For the last-of-2011 edition of the North American Genealogy News, here are some interesting items.

Included are the US Securities Exchange Commission’s definition of a family member (who would have thought the SEC was interested in family history?), the 2011 list of the 100 most popular boys’ and girls’ names, a Canadian “living” village, changes to the Social Security Death Index and more.

Defining the family

For those who think that governments are not interested in genealogy, note that the US Securities Exchange Commission has now defined family members, in connection with a new rule requiring hedge funds to register with the SEC if they manage other people’s money.

Read the definition here:

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America, 27 December 2011" »

20    Jul 20110 comments

A Witty Look at Naming Your Child [Video]

Choosing a name for your child is often a difficult task.

Some countries like Germany make the task easier by restricting the names you can give your child by law.

If you’re a celebrity the task may be a little harder than most as many feel compelled to come up with genuinely “unique” names.

In the video below – David Mitchell, a regular contributor to The Guardian - gets on his soapbox about children’s names. It’s a witty look at the process of naming your child with some unusual perspectives on the whole topic.


And if you have any tips for naming your child I'd love to hear about them in the comments to this post.

1    Feb 20111 comment

The Science of…Name Changing

If you’ve hit ‘brick walls’ in family history research you might have noticed it; if you’ve got relatives trying to make a fresh start you might have seen it too. This is, of course, name changing: the process of legally altering your first name, last name, or both, so that your official moniker is something other than what was on your birth certificate.

It’s hard to be precise on this, but it does seem that this practice is becoming increasingly common. Statistics on the topic are hard to find for many countries, but for the UK – where data is available – it looks as though many more people are changing their names than in the past.

For the past few years, name changes via deed poll have increased dramatically in the UK. In 2007, they sat at around 40,000; in 2008, that figure rose to 46,000; in 2009, to 50,000; and in 2010, supposedly, to 90,000.
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26    Nov 20103 comments

Most Popular Baby Names of the 20th Century

Ever wondered how the most popular baby names have changed over the past 100 or so years?

Well BabyCenter.com has a great list of the most popular baby names of each decade during the 20th century.

I've included links to their list below as well as the top 3 boys and girls names for each decade, but click on the year and you'll be taken through to a longer list of names.

For me the most fascinating thing is, despite how much society has changed, how little the most common names have varied.

I'd be keen to hear how many of you had names that made the list every decade, or had names that didn't feature in one.

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11    Aug 20101 comment

What’s in a Name?

We all know that names matter in the extreme. If you’re called Moon Unit Zappa, or Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (pronounced ‘Albin’), it will almost certainly have a major impact on how you’re treated as you grow up.

But what about at the more everyday level? Can certain ‘normal’ names have an impact on a person’s life in a way that others don’t?
Continue reading "What’s in a Name?" »

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