Scowen Group – What to Expect

Originally published on the now closed website, on 01 Jan 2013

Welcome to the Scowen Family History Group on Ancestorian.

No Huge Family Tree

If you are here looking for a vast family tree covering all of the Scowens known to have graced the planet during the last 1000 years, you're about to be sorely disappointed. Although the developer and main contributor to (now the Scowen group) is in the process of assembling such a family tree, it is not about to be published here in the near future.
NOTE ADDED: Such a tree requires much time and perseverance and should be as correct as possible prior to publishing. I do not want to contribute to the already huge amount of misinformation about the Scowen name and family.

You Will Also Find:

  • Stories about individual Scowens who have experienced tragedy  success, social elitism, were recognised as heroes and were just interesting.
  • Evidence for the stories. As far as I am concerned, a story is nothing more than that until I have some documented evidence to back it up. If you have some stories to share, I would love them to be added to the group here - but not without some sort of proof. Let us stop the misinformation together.
  • Different theories of the origin of the name and family will be explored. Are Scowen, Scawen, Scown and more all really the same name? Are we from Cornwall, Wales, Scandinavia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Germany, or where?
  • The etymology of the word/name 'Scowen'. This word appears in more than one ancient language, including variations in the old Cornish language, in medieval German, and others.
  • Questions and discussion (arguments) about historical facts and rumours.
  • Snippets of branches of the family in tree form as and when they become clean enough to publish.
  • Links to resources and guides where you can find out more about the family.
  • Information about villages, churches, farms, houses and other locations that feature strongly in the history of the Scowens.

Behind the Scenes (was) a collective effort that was lead by Greg Scowen, a young (by Family History standards) genealogist/family historian that hails from the NZ branch of the family, that which developed after Joseph Ponder Scowen spent time in New Zealand.
Greg is a web developer and librarian working for Switzerland's biggest library. In his spare time, he has also written and published novels and dabbles in family history and landscaping. In 2012, Greg completed a Master's degree by writing a thesis that investigated online family history, what the users want and what the sites are offering them. As part of the study, Greg was exposed to over 20,000 records relating to Scowen family members within the UK alone.

Scowens: We Want You (or at least your content)!

Please, if you have researched a branch of the tree or an interesting question about the Scowen family or name, please get in touch with us via this Ancestorian Group and share your stories or contact us here on the site. If you have documents to back up your stories, we would love to add them to the group. The same goes for your family trees.

Newsletter Closing Down – Join Our Facebook Group to Get News

The Ancestorian Newsletter has been a way of sending out updates from the Blog part of the site to interested users on a weekly basis. However, many users and newsletter subscribers don't seem to understand that they have requested the newsletter and have in turn reported us as Spam. We hate Spam at Ancestorian and the last thing we ever want is for users to think we are spamming them. The newsletter has, therefore, become more of a problem than it is worth to keep sending it out.

Where to Get Updates and Deals

The newsletter often contained special deals and news from Ancestorian. This information was automatically sourced from the Ancestorian Blog. We will continue to post deals and news in the Blog so one easy way to make sure you don't miss out on any deals is to check the Ancestorian Blog on a weekly basis - more often if you like, of course.

Facebook Page and Facebook Group

We also have a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group where all of our news and deals get posted. If you go and 'LIKE' the page and join the group, you can be sure not to miss out - and besides, there are a lot of nice folk over there. The Quickstart page also includes links to the Facebook Page and Group.

The Last Newsletter

The last newsletter will be the one that you receive with a link to this post in it. That newsletter will be sent on 10.03.2020 Any subscribers of the newsletter (and other members who didn't subscribe) will still occasionally be contacted if there is any pressing issue that needs to be communicated with all Ancestorian users. You can set your e-mail privacy preferences in your Account area.

Breaking News: RootsTech London is Coming Back!

The world’s largest family history conference is coming back to London this November and you’re invited!

Announcement to Be Made at RootsTech USA today

During Steve Rockwood’s keynote address, he and Jen Allen will announce the opening of RootsTech London registration and the special early bird price of only £79 for a full conference pass. One day passes will be available for only £39. Take advantage of pre-early bird pricing and secure your seat. Passes start at only£39.

RootsTech London Dates

RootsTech is coming back to London on 5–7 November at the ExCeL.

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Guide: Place Naming Conventions

This guide is permanently available at:

The standardisation of geographical place names - both in the field of genealogy and geography - is a debated topic. Differing people have varied ideas about how best to manage and format place names.

Indeed, the GEDCOMs that we import into Ancestorian in an attempt to automatically identify the places you research or are knowledgeable of are full of inconsistencies in place name structure. Even my personal GEDCOMs suffer terribly from this.

To counter the huge problems this causes, we have had to adopt some place naming conventions here on the site - so we can offer a consistent experience.

When you import a GEDCOM, we try to identify as many potential inconsistencies as possible and we notify of you of these. This gives you a good opportunity to print out a list and make amendments in your software if you would like. Ancestorian, however, will continue to import your place data as it is.

Adopted Conventions on Ancestorian

  • Three or Four comma-separated names
    • Village/Parish/Town, County/Region, Country
      Boxford, Suffolk, England
    • Village/Parish/Town, County/Region, State/Region, Country
      Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

  • A space after each comma
    The comma separating the parts of a place name should be followed by a space.
    Ancestorian takes care of this for you and also makes a note beside each place where this doesn't occur - giving you the opportunity to identify edits you might like to make in your software.

  • Don't Include Building Names or Addresses
    Church names, building names, hospital names, houses or street addresses etc. are addresses and should preferably be in the address field or notes field for an event - not included in the structure.
    We attempt to identify these when analysing your GEDCOM and they are adjusted to represent knowledge of a town/place rather than a specific address. Instances of these still go into our huge places database and can be allocated to another place (as an address) or merged as required.

  • Don't Use ALL-CAPS
    The only time ALL-CAPS should be used is in abbreviations. But even then, we prefer for country names to be used (England, Scotland, Wales - not UK).

  • United States
    Some users prefer to shorten United States to USA - because identical places will be merged, we have to give preference to one format on Ancestorian and this has currently been chose as 'United States'.

  • English Counties
    Nightmare alert: England loves to change county names and boundaries. For the benefit of as many users as possible, we have had to make a decision to select the current/modern name of these as the 'master' or 'preferred' name when merging.
    Special consideration should also be made for the following counties:
    • Bristol - Bristol is a county. Therefore, when we merge to Bristol, the correct place to merge to is 'Bristol, Bristol, England' (we know, it seems silly)
    • Greater London  - Officially, we need to use Greater London and not just London
    • City of London - An island in the middle of Greater London, the City of London is a separate ceremonial county. The only place in the City of London is potentially 'London, City of London, England' (we almost hope we never see that and would forgive anyone using 'London, Greater London, England')
    • Greater Manchester - Not just Manchester, but Greater Manchester
    • Yorkshire - Yorkshire doesn't exist any more. Instead, we have North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire
    • Sussex - Now split into West Sussex and East Sussex
    • Co. Durham - County Durham or Co. Durham is just 'Durham'

United Kingdom = 4 Countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Although these four countries are currently correctly referred to as the United Kingdom, for the purposes of clarity and simplicity, at Ancestorian we refer to them by their separate country names.

For merge purposes, please select variations with England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland as the preferred name.