Latest Threlkeld News
The latest news and updates about the Threlkeld One-Name Study,
plus occasional at-a-glance snippets about family history happenings

"Cumbria, a Forgotten Celtic Kingdom," is an informative and entertaining piece by Jim Threlkeld that has found a highlighted place on the Threlkeld One-Name Study website. Opening the narrative at around 500 BC when Celtic peoples began emigrating to the British Isles—displacing the native Britons, the Neolithic people who built Stonehenge and other monuments, including the Castlerigg Stone Circle near the village of Threlkeld—Jim tells us of the Celtic kingdom, Rheged, that flourished after the retreat of the Roman armies in what is today County Cumbria. From the rule of Urien, who was assassinated by Morcant of Din Eiden, through the rein Urien's grandson Rhoedd—likely the last king of an independent Cumbria—until the absorption in the 630s of Rheged/Cumbria into the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria.

Jim writes, "Mythic, legendary, heroic—all of these terms accurately describe the stories of Cumbria. There is, however, another, equally applicable term (and one of special interest to me): 'Tolkienesque.'" Read on to see how ancient Cumbria may have influenced not only The Lord of the Rings, but also the legend of King Arthur and Camelot.

The doors opened Sunday, February 25 with all major functions tested and operational. Search engine indexing, which will require a few days for complete cataloging, has begun. Study registration, the Assests & Archives library, file uploads, the Forum*, the Threlkeld Tribune, the Counting Chromosomes Blog, and the archival family trees where we'll seek to document the earliest progenitors of the surnames and major surname variants of the Study are all now available.

There are some additional nice-to-have features we hope to introduce before the end of May. In April we expect the first Study-produced research paper to be published. It will investigate the large number of surname variant spellings, and look at their etymologies and frequencies of use. We hope to be able to determine which are definitely variant spellings, which are possible variants, and which are of different origins and probably unrelated to the Threlkeld One-Name Study.

* Update: As of 2019 the Forum had to be closed permanently. The volume and frequency of spam and hacking attempts became untenable.

Considered now in post-beta mode, basic testing was completed yesterday following significant platform and application upgrades that had been pending completion of certain content modules. Pre-registrants are being notified and, assuming no significant issues are discovered in the meantime, search engine indexing will begin as of February 21.

There are several internet domain names associate with the Threlkeld One-Name Study. For reference, and if one of these might be most useful in telling others about the site:

Following several delays—only a few of which were technical in nature—the doors to the Threlkeld One-Name Study website will be unlocked on February 15. We will be opening without a couple of the planned features, but these are more cosmetic than essential.

Those who have pre-registered will receive email notification when the site is ready for final testing. The plan is to open on the 15th, but not to present the site for search engine indexing for a few more days, just to make certain there are no undiscovered glitches to iron out first.

Thanks for being patient. And let's hope summer 2018 brings only a mild hurricane season.

Hurricane Harvey came ashore 200 miles south along the Texas coast from Houston, but the greater metropolitan area was in the sights of the "dirty," northeast side of the storm. Massive bands of rain being spun in off the Gulf of Mexico have brought tornadoes and over 3 trillion gallons of rain. This is the greatest flood event in Houston since records have been kept, already exceeding the previous 1949 record levels, with more rain still to come.

Travel within the Greater Houston area is extremely difficult if not, in some cases, impossible. The Threlkeld One-Name Study's webserver is located in Salt Lake City in a Tier 3 data center, and will not be impacted by this weather event. However, our work on website development from Houston is suspended until at least Thursday, August 31. We will accept registration applications during that time, but they will not be processed until the 31st at the earliest. Thank you for your patience during this 500-year weather event.

On Saturday August 26th at 8:00 p.m. EDT (Sunday August 27th 10:00 a.m. AEST) WikiTree LiveCasts will welcome Paul Bech to discuss the various Australia-related projects underway at WikiTree, plus take audience questions about anything concerning genealogy in Australia and New Zealand.

Watch the free, live YouTube broadcast at

to see a complete list of past and planned WikiTree LiveCasts.

"Family Trees and the Rain King" answers a question about the title of the blog, Counting Chromosomes, with unrequested insight into random music playlists, numbly staring at lists of words, and a rather Neanderthalian creative process.

To be fair, the creative logic here—simplistic though it may be—is still far more evident than in any television commercial for perfumes and colognes. Do all those companies use the same advertising firm? And do any of those commercials amount to anything but seemingly random images and often even more random words that never have anything to do with desirability of scent? Never mind....

The largest sale of the year at Family Tree DNA, the Friends & Family Summer Sale, will continue through August 31. The sale cover almost all new and upgrade DNA testing kits. Of particular note is that this is the lowest price ever offered, $375, the the Y-chromosome full SNP sequence test called the BigY (note that this cannot be purchased as a new kit, but only as an upgrade option for men who have already taken a yDNA test).

In addition to yDNA and mtDNA tests, the popular autosomal test, Family Finder, is on sale for 30% off regular price. If you've been thinking of purchasing a new DNA test, this is an excellent time. See the Family Tree DNA Friends & Family Summer Sale for more information.

"The Best-laid Schemes o' Mice an' Men Gang aft Agley": a rather farfetched explanation as to why the opening of the Threlkeld One-Name Study website was moved to 21 August 2017 in order to coincide with the Great American Solar Eclipse. Some purported tie-in to the alignment of the Castlerigg Stone Circle near Threlkeld, Cumbria, England.

(Hint: the real reason is that the slacker web-head is a month late getting stuff done. Has nothing to do with the eclipse.)

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