Porter Surname Genealogy is now a Guild of One-Name Studies recognized project for the surname Porter. The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world's leading organization for one-name studies.
So, what is a one-name study?
The Guild defines a One-Name Study as: "Research into the genealogy and family history of all persons with the same surname and its variants." A one-name study is a project researching all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree or descendancy. I prefer to describe it a little more simply... Researching a Surname World Wide.
The next question asked is usually "Why would anyone do a One-name name study?"
Most one-name studies are started by genealogy researchers who have hit a brick wall with the surname they are researching. They start collecting records with the same surname with the hope they will find a clue linking their family line.
I started on the Porter one-name study 12 years ago. Another researcher who had a website for the surname Porter was unable to continue the upkeep on it, and generously offered the information she had collected so it would not be lost.
I had been researching my own Porter family line for over 20 years and had collected a large amount of information on Porters who where not of my line. I figured I would just combine my records with hers. Over the years it has became my passion, and I collect every record relating to the Porter surname I can get my hands on.
With a surname as common as Porter, finding records to add to the collection is not as difficult as finding the time to record them all. I should note, most one-name studies are done on surnames which are much less common. I try and split my time between researching new records, entering the data on the computer, tracking the migration patterns when the records relate to it (a side project of mine), and posting records up to the website. But my favorite time spent is answering the emails I get from others who are researching the Porter surname, and that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I am able to help them. Even though we are not closely related, I figure somewhere back there, all our ancestors hook up.