Duckhouse One Name Study

A few months back, I was thinking (it’s always dangerous!) that there weren’t that many people with the surname Duckhouse in the 1841 census (37, and only 89 in 1881), so how difficult could it be to collect them all and do a One Name Study on them? The other factor encouraging this thinking was that I didn’t know the surname of the mother of my 3x great-grand-mother (Ruth Duckhouse). The answer – more time-consuming and difficult than I thought!

I collected all the Duckhouses from each of the censuses and dumped them into a spreadsheet, just like I did with the Micklethwaites. I copied and edited some of the macros for finding and merging and started trying to gather them into families. Some sorted themselves out very quickly – others did not! Then I extracted births, marriages and deaths from FreeBMD, and added age at death and mother’s maiden name at birth from the GRO index. Then it was a question of going through all this data, repeatedly looking at censuses and BMDs, trying to work out who was who.

Problems arise in several forms: how many of them are called Charles, John or William and how do you distinguish them; why do some of them go by a different name from the one they were given at registration or switch the order of forenames; why do some of them not appear in some the records when they should? Some of the issues I still have are listed on my website in Duckhouse Dilemmas.

On the other hand, I have had some success. In trying to sort out all the Elizabeths, I realised that my 4x great grandmother, Elizabeth, must have been one who (re)married, and the marriage record showed her father’s name. A bit more digging and I’ve got back 2 generations on my maternal line.

I have only looked at Duckhouse – I have only looked at variants, such as Duckas, where there is evidence that they were also Duckhouse.

So I now have a database of nearly 1000 people who used the name Duckhouse, plus mentions of over 200 husbands who married Duckhouse women. Over 550 of the Duckhouses are descendants of Samuel Duckhouse and Mary Mills, my 5x great grandparents. There are still many mysteries (see the Dilemmas above), but I do have a lot of good information. Now I need time and energy to sort out how best to make it available. In the meantime, if you are related, please do get in touch.

Website now updated