You are here

May I Introduce to You . . . Julie Goucher

Come meet genealogy blogger Julie Goucher, author of the Orlando One Name Study blog, in this interview by Tessa Keough at GeneaBloggers.

Some readers have met Julie Goucher previously (her Anglers’ Rest blog was highlighted in 2013). But now for something a bit different – I have the pleasure of re-introducing you to Julie Goucher and her blog, Orlando One-Name Study. Julie’s blog is described as, “a way of sharing material I discover about the Orlando surname. There are some fascinating items that I have discovered along the way and the blog enables me to also share a little about the concept of a One-Name Study or surname research.”

A Little Bit About Julie

“I grew up in Surrey England where my maternal ancestors lived, as well as the neighbouring Counties of Hampshire and Sussex for around 300 years. My paternal line hails from a village in the centre of Sicily. I now live in a seaside town in Devon England.”

How Julie Got Started in Genealogy

“As a child I grew up visiting my Great Aunts, mainly from my maternal Grandfather’s side of the family. They shared stories and facts, the small incidental snippets that are almost irrelevant yet when put together with other random snippets build up a profile of an amazing family. I realised that whilst I knew quite a lot of my maternal line I knew very little about my Sicilian heritage. I started researching my family history in the summer of 1988 and since then I have never looked back!”

Julie’s Thoughts on Blogging

A blog is an opportunity to have a conversation with others around the globe. Whilst it appears to be quite an insular activity it is a real opportunity to share information and communicate with others about any chosen topic.

My Orlando blog is part of a process of my Orlando One-Name Study. In essence my blog is the shop window for my study, changing frequently and inviting conversation and visitors. I also have a website, Facebook group and DNA study – all of which tie in together, supporting and promoting my Orlando One-Name Study.”

Julie’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Creating a blog is an opportunity for self-expression. Remember it is your space – for sharing and inviting conversation. Always remember to engage with others, respond to comments left for you and leave comments for others. Use an image so that you have something to illustrate your blog. Remember to share amongst the various methods of social media. Be mindful of what you share on your blog about living people. Share what is comfortable to share.”

Julie’s Genealogy Bucket List

“I probably have a larger bucket genealogy list, but focusing on my one-name study, these are my top five:

  1. Spend some more time and focus on my Orlando DNA Study and increase the number of participants (anyone with the surname of Orlando out there?).
  2. Reduce the mound of paper that is the Orlando One-Name Study into a complete digital archive, with material on my blog and website with a set of material lodged with the Guild of One-Name Studies.
  3. Go back to my Orlando and Sicilian roots – spend some significant time in Sutera, Sicily devouring the records relating to my Orlando family.
  4. Complete a project that I commenced in 2002 about migration from Italy to the United Kingdom
  5. Expand participation in the Orlando Surname Facebook Group – and encourage the sharing of information and conversation across the globe.”

What Julie Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love that as a family historian and genealogist I can get as much out of my interest as I chose to and I firmly believe that we can only get out of something what we put in to it. There are no real rules to researching your ancestry. You can explore whatever line or ancestor that appeals and include those lines that are collateral ones. You can also develop your interests further and undertake research on a broad scale just like a one-name study or surname research.

I was a founding member of the Anglo Italian Family History Society and the Society’s Vice Chair for the first six years of its existence. I then made to the decision that I would undertake some broad research into my Italian surname of Orlando, so I joined the Guild of One-Name Studies and registered the surname of Orlando with two variants, Orlande and Orlanda. That was in 2002 and now thirteen years on the study has grown and continues to do so.

The biggest concentration of the surname outside of Italy is in the United States, but the reality is that there are examples of the surname of Orlando everywhere! I enjoy finding the material that makes its way into my study.

I recently spent three days at Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 (the UK’s largest family history conference). Much of my time was spent on the Guild stand and we welcomed 56 new members, with surnames from all over Europe. Because of the collaborative nature of genealogy and the ease with which we able to meet up online (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter) we have so many opportunities to work with others on studies large and small. While technology has opened new doors, it is also so nice to meet up in person through conferences, seminars and local meetings. It is a wonderful time to be a genealogist.”

Julie’s Time Capsule Message

“There are two certainties in life; death and taxes! So my message is, take the time to plan how your research is going to be shared with others. Will it be archived in a way that others can access it?”

An Additional Message from Julie

“Sadly I didn’t take my own advice about planning how to share my research with others. Last year I started revisiting my own Orlando archive, making the decision to put my Orlando material online at my website and then share material via my blog.

I am also creating a master surname index which is stored in a spreadsheet and can be accessed via my website and blog. It’s early days, there are just under 800 entries in the spreadsheet, but the actual Orlando material sits at around 50,000 entries so I have a lot of typing to do!

I also have a newsletter which I write around four times a year and these can be downloaded from the website. There is a Face Book group and there is an Orlando DNA study available too

I am a firm believer that, in order to meet others researching the surname, the study needs to have a physical online presence and what better way to do that than to write a blog.”

* * *

Please take a moment to head on over to Julie’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Julie (as you may have noticed if you are on social media) is quite busy with her personal genealogy, her one-name study, her one-place study, her Book of Me project, and the Worldwide Genealogy blog (where she nudges several of us to commit to writing once a month on a topic of our choosing relating to genealogy and family history). I am so impressed with the many genealogists and family historians who share their time and talents with the rest of us – what great learning opportunities they provide. Welcome Julie, it’s great to have you here and it has been a pleasure getting to know you better.


© 2015, copyright Tessa Keough. All rights reserved

Tessa Keough divides her time between Arlington, Virginia and Portland, Oregon. She got hooked on researching her ancestors after seeing a pedigree chart at a family reunion. She shares her paternal genealogy at The Keough Corner, her maternal genealogy at Scandia Musings & More, and technology and methodology tips at her YouTube channel TessaWatch. Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Tessa via email