Top 10 given names


Given names
Given name Individuals
John 1,178
William 1,085
Thomas 683
James 590
George 586
Henry 437
Robert 372
Joseph 316
Charles 315
Edward 245


Given names
Given name Individuals
Mary 1,176
Elizabeth 963
Ann 758
Jane 595
Margaret 461
Sarah 403
Hannah 275
Alice 248
Annie 159
Ellen 154
Top 10 surnames
People Update February 2021
Thursday, February 18, 2021 5:38 PM

Many thanks to Guicela Close for contacting us about the Closes in Guatemala. We had no idea! Their presence there is fairly modest and recent, but we've pushed back as far as we can.

Everything appears to start with John Close (1690) in London, England.

287 new people and 737 new images

People Update October 2020
Sunday, October 18, 2020 3:44 PM

So, eyes down for another people update which is a nice little tree originating in Somerset, England. Many thanks to Toni Close for setting me off down this path, it's one I haven't trodden before. As it turns out I've just discovered another link backwards, thanks to a mis-transcribed baptism entry, which means I can actually push back and out a bit further. However, since this release was all packed up and ready to go I've decided to leave that for another rainy day, of which I'm sure there will be no shortage.

It all starts with Lemuel Close (1790) in West Bradley, Somerset and from there into Dorset, America and Canada.

There are a few memorable facts and figures, including:

  • 210 new People
  • 399 new Images
  • 208 new Sources
  • 19 new Hall of Fame heroes, some of which apparently didn't make it out alive

All these are now online through the Close Ancestry Trees, with the recruits also available in the Close Hall of Fame on the main site.

Also included are a few clarifications on the relationship between Hezekiah Close (1848), his wife Isabella Smethurst (nee Hulme) and their children. Many thanks to Beverly Close for the information.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy all this and thanks to everyone who has sent me mail over the past year. It's great to hear from you all and I try to respond to whatever comes down the Close Ancestry pipe. Everything you send me is stashed away for a time when I can do it justice. So, please bear with me, I will get around to it eventually, but in the meantime please keep the mail coming.

People Update May 2020
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 6:19 PM

Eyes down for another mega update which has been over a year in the making.

It all started with a 1589 reference to William Close (1598) in Leeds, Yorkshire and went rapidly downhill from there. From Leeds, Yorkshire it branched into Manchester, Lancashire, Westmorland and America, where I finally tracked down the source of Close Brothers, the Merchant Bankers.

Unfortunately, part-way through the meander, I accidentally slipped into the rabbit-hole which is the Clowes family of Nantwich, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire. There are literally hundreds of them, ranging from Earls to paupers. I've had to cut this short because after a year of trying to finish the original update I was just digging a progressively deeper hole. As far as I can tell (so far) they're not related to the Close families of Yorkshire. There's plenty more work to be done here, for anyone with a strong constitution and a plentiful supply of red wine.

So, unsurprisingly, after a 400 year meander, there are a few memorable facts and figures, including:

  • 1955 new People
  • 2819 new Images
  • 1571 new Sources
  • 36 new Hall of Fame heroes, some of which didn't make it out alive

All these are now online through the Close Ancestry Trees, with the recruits also available in the Close Hall of Fame on the main site.

Welcome to the Close Ancestry Trees

So, here we are at the full set of trees, which contain all the available information we currently have; if it isn't here then we haven't found it yet.

We try to add new things on a regular basis but, to be honest, every time we scratch a surface it seems to turn into a massive exercise which can take months (or even years) to bottom out. So, please bear with us, we will get there eventually. Just so's you know, the last update was on February 18, 2021.

If you have anything to contribute, correct, or comment on then please get in touch at All contributions are welcome, and we always give credit to anyone who adds something to the Close story, which currently spans from 1500 to the current day.

With 18,882 people, 5,147 families, 11,411 sources, and 67,336 image references currently sat in our database, you'll appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this over the years. We don't charge for any of this, even though it costs a fair amout to keep it all running. Instead, we rely on donations to the cause. So, if you find anything of interest or use here, and you feel inclined to pass a few quid in our direction, we'll be very happy to receive it.

You can see what's new by heading back to our main site at

A few links below:

Thanks for looking.

Birth: before 1600
Death: about 1661Grinton, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
Earliest ancestor of the Swaledale Closes
Mannexs History 1849
Birth: 1816Gunnerside, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
Death: February 15, 1891Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, England
The mad Poet
1857: Close Family (page 1)
Birth: about 1600Low Whitaside, Grinton, Richmond, Yorkshire, England
Death: about 1653Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, America
The ancestor of most of the US Closes