The “seven pillars” of a One-Name Study are Data Collection, Analysis, Synthesis, Publicising, Responding to enquiries, Publication of  results and Preserving the study.  This section pertains to Analysis

Data Validity

A Critical Success Factor (CSF) for the study is that the data is valid for the purpose to which it is used.  For example – that a John Gray alive in 1880 in Glasgow (Scotland) is actually a John Grayson will not significantly affect the results of a study into the distribution of the name Gray in the UK in 1880 as there are many hundreds of Grays in Glasgow at that time.   However it may impact the synthesis of a family whose father is John Gray.  As most of the analysis in this study uses large numbers of data points, validity of each point will not be an issue.  However, where the number of data points is low for example a single family living in (what is now) Malawi in 1870, then care must be taken.


A key aim of the study is to obtain as much information as possible about the name by analysing the gathered data.  An initial step has been to look at the distribution and frequency of the name.  However, it is intended to grow this area of the study and so go into more detail, and add additional analysis types.

  • Distribution looks at how the GRAY and GREY names are distributed over time and geography.
  • Frequency. The names of GRAY and GREY are not uncommon in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and what I call the “old commonwealth” (e.g. Australia, Canada and New Zealand). The Frequency section of this site looks at just how the name compares with others.
  • Forenames looks at the names associated with GREY and GRAY families over time.
  • Mortality: an ongoing study into the mortality rates.