Research Conventions and Methodology

This page aims to explain a few of the ground rules I have set myself and the conventions I have adopted.

Research Boundary
Obviously, all direct ancestors and their siblings. I'm also happy to add the descendants of siblings. However, I do not follow or include the ancestors of sibling's spouses - you have to draw the line somewhere!

Spelling of Names
For anyone born after 1837, I use the spelling that their birth was registered with.
Before 1837 I try to use the spelling that is most consistent amongst the family. Few of our ancestors could write or spell, so the names recorded in Parish Registers would depend upon what the Parish Priest heard, so dialect, and his spelling ability, can sometimes give rise to wide variations. An example of this is our DALE line in Lincolnshire, which goes back to around 1570, where the surname has been written as; DAILL, DAILLE, DAILE, DAYLE, DAYLS. It is clear that these would have sounded like DALE when spoken, so I have retained that spelling for earlier generations and to maintain clarity.
However, there are some names that have changed their form over the centuries eg  BLUNVILL > BLUMVILL > BLOMVILL > BLUNDEVILLE > BLUNDERFIELD, in which case I have had to judge the point at which the surname change had become established.

Before 1752, the year ended on the 24th March, so, for example, in early Parish Registers, Dec 1716 would be followed by Jan 1716 and 24 Mar 1716 would be followed by 25 Mar 1717. This all changed in England on the 31 Dec 1751, when it was decreed that the next day would 1 Jan 1752 and the start of the new year. So for any events before 1752, between 1 Jan and 24 Mar, I have adopted the general convention of writing dual years, usually in the form 1717/1718 or 1717/18 but where space is restricted such as the family tree charts it may take the form 1717/8.