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

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Additions to familysearch.org

I am always amazed when I check the latest additions to the LDS Family Search website.

They must have an army of volunteer transcribers judging by the amount of transcribing and indexing that is happening. The site is a 'must check' on a regular basis.

In addition to the transcribing of source records and offering them on their website for free, the LDS are entering into sharing arrangements with a surprising number of commercial sites. The arrangement seems to vary from company to company and the material that is on their site is still free to view - it just may not be complete. You may need to pay something to their commercial 'partner' to obtain the full detail of a particular entry.

A good example of this is BMDregisters.co.uk. You can search and view enough of the entry to be useful but if the entry has particular interest and you want to see every detail available, then you'll be offered to link from the Family Search site to the BMDregisters site and buy some tokens to view it. This is actually pretty good value and an excellent arrangement. BMDregisters specialise in non-conformist records that can be incredibly difficult to find so they provide a unique contribution to available online records.

This is the way I worked it. I went to familysearch.org: 'Browse By Location' links on left column and selected the Europe and United Kingdom as my present interest. This brings up a huge number of available collections. Some are transcribed records and some are still just image collections that need to be 'trawled' through year by year and page by page - just like viewing a parish register on a microfilm reader at an LDS Family History Centre.

I then clicked on the top of the Last Updated column to bring up the latest additions by date order. This gives me their latest additions.

The England, Norfolk Parish Registers, 1538-1900 is a stunning example of the digitising of entire parish registers and placing them on-line. The only way I could view such original parish registers previously was to either fly to England from Australia and head for the local Record Office or order in the microfilm and view it at my local LDS Family History Centre - which in fact I have been doing on a very regular basis for 15 years. This is just a wonderful development and thousands more will follow. The LDS has a hollowed out mountain in Salt Lake City, Utah with hundreds of thousands of microfilmed parish records from countries all over the world.

The England, Essex Parish Registers, 1538-1900 collection are transcribed records - one of many collections that we can thank hundreds of volunteers for transcribing. Nowhere yet complete of course but still substantial. It is updated as new transcriptions are added.

The England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8) is an example of where Family Search has entered into a sharing arrangement with a commercial company to provide the records free on line. There are now a huge number of non-conformist records available for searching on the BMDregisters site so being able to view enough of each entry to know if it's worth paying for the full entry is a huge bonus. It's worth knowing that RG6 records are all Quaker records as a large proportion of the available records are indeed Quaker. So if you're not interested in Quaker ancestors, that will reduce the number of records to check considerably. It's also possible to cross reference the RG number to the film that is available on the LDS Family History Catalogue. If the only piece of additional information you need is the chapel where the event occurred, this is a way of finding it without needing to pay for it. But if the record is of any significance, then you'll certainly want to open the purse strings.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New STERRY Family Tree

It is with much pleasure that I have added a new family tree to the collection of STERRY Family Trees on STERRY WORLDWIDE. Called the Tennessee, USA line, it details the descendants of William Williston Sterry.

I first made contact with one of the principal researchers of this line, Anne Sterry Henges, way back in 1995. More recently I have been working with Anne's sister Carolyn Magruder, also a keen researcher, in an attempt to find where William Williston Sterry came from.

All we know about the origins of William is that his family moved from Albany to Syracuse in New York State in 1825 and that he was the middle of three children. [William later moved to Sycamore in Tennessee about 1843 and probably married there in 1848. He was a cabinet maker and farmer and died there in 1894.] Unfortunately New York birth records for this period have generally not survived.

Anne and Carolyn's research brought them inevitably into contact with Walter Smith, the author of the book "The Sterry Family of America" [1973] with whom they corresponded over several years.

Carolyn introduced me to a third researcher of the Tennessee line, Tracy Robb, who was interested in trying out DNA testing as a means of hopefully establishing where William Williston Sterry may have come from. Tracy encouraged James William "Bubba" Sterry to join the STERRY DNA Project. When James' results came in they matched the DNA signature of the main Connecticut Sterry line or the line of Roger Sterry [1640-1681]. DNA evidence had proved a connection where years of traditional research had failed because of lack of surviving documentation.

Needless to say everyone was very excited.

So it seemed timely to assemble all the research over many, many years into an online version of the Tennessee, USA STERRY line. This work has now been completed and the Tennessee tree has taken its due place as the sixteenth Sterry Family Tree. It can be viewed on STERRY WORLDWIDE. With much thanks in particular to Anne, Carolyn and Tracy for sharing all their years of research and making it freely available on Sterry WorldWide. We are hopeful that this may prove of interest not only to members of the Tennessee, USA Sterry tree but also to those following Sterry family history research generally. We invite contributions and corrections and in particular encourage others to contact us who may have access to any records that may shed further light on the origins of William Williston Sterry.