The Beasley Genealogy Project (BGP) is a One-Name Study of the Beasley surname: All Spellings, All Time, World Wide. As such it is registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies.
All Spellings: While there have been many ways of spelling the name that looks like, sounds like “Beasley”, todays usage is typically one of four, listed in the order of frequency: Beasley, Beesley, Beazley, and Beezley. There are a few other spellings that appear to be related (such as Beasly) but they are very rare. Thus, the Project is primarily concerned with the ancestors of Beasley’s, Beesley’s, Beazley’s, and Beezley’s of today regardless of the historical spellings. For the purposes of the Project “Beasley” will be used generically to represent all spellings.
All Time: Without getting into the weeds of onomastics (the study of family names) the use of surnames is rather recent in human. It appears that the very earliest may be about a thousand years ago, becoming more widespread in Europe by the 13th and 14th centuries. Practically speaking, this Project has been limited, so far, to the 17th century and later, although earlier evidence will be CAREFULLY evaluated.
Word Wide: Until other evidence is found to the contrary, it appears that the Beasley name originated in England and has English etymology. Consequently, the spread of the name worldwide appears to coincide with migrations and colonization from England. Aside from earlier efforts to “colonize” Ireland, English colonization began in earnest with America in the 17th century. The great majority of living Beasley’s today live in England, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, Beasley’s living anywhere are included in the study.
Project Scope: The Beasley surname, is mostly, but not exclusively passed on in a patrilineal manner, that is, through the male line of descent. However, the name can occur for other reasons without that genetic link: adoption, internship, slavery, or through single mothers, step fathers or intentional name change. Any origin of the surname is within the scope of the project.
Methods: Traditional genealogical methods, evidence and documentation are standard in the Beasley Project. In addition, every effort will be made to include DNA evidence to identify, distinguish and help prove the genetic origins of the name.
Patriarch Trees: Genealogy, while beginning with individuals, is about families. In other words, it is relational. As such, the Beasley Genealogy Project is not just about collecting facts, lists and documents, but about recording the relational history of individuals and families. Expression of that relational history is in the form of family trees, but more specifically, Patriarch Trees. This is different from Ancestral Trees where people and families seek information about all their ancestors. A Patriarch Tree begins with a family’s earliest known Beasley ancestor, or progenitor, usually a male patriarch. From there, ALL descendants and spouses (married or not) are recorded REGARDLESS OF SURNAME. Siblings and ancestors of spouses are NOT included.