Top 10 given names


Given names
Given name Individuals
John 1,275
William 1,198
Thomas 739
James 652
George 650
Henry 493
Robert 398
Charles 359
Joseph 328
Edward 268


Given names
Given name Individuals
Mary 1,266
Elizabeth 1,021
Ann 823
Jane 630
Margaret 484
Sarah 443
Hannah 287
Alice 260
Annie 177
Ellen 171
Top 10 surnames
Surname Individuals
Close (Klose)
People Update August 2023
Thursday, August 3, 2023 12:18 PM

Eyes down for another massive people update, which is actually the follow-on from a tree I published back in 2020. That one was a nice little branch of a couple of hundred people originating in Somerset, England, thanks to Toni Close. At the time, I’d just come across a baptism entry which had been incorrectly transcribed, but I decided to leave it for a rainy day. Fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the British weather hasn’t let me down, so here is the result of that … give or take 3 years.

Anyway, the main ones are:

There are a handful of others, but they all seem to disappear within a few years, so there are likely more lurking in the shadows.

Unsurprisingly, not all their descendents are confined to Somerset. There are inevitable leaks into Gloucestershire (to muddy the Minchinhampton waters), Herefordshire and Wales, as well as a few forays across the water to America and Australia.

There also appears to be an inordinate number of illegitimate children born in various pockets. This isn’t unusual in itself, but does mean that there are quite a few people around today who should, or should not, be calling themselves Close.

We also have a rather dodgy marriage between 1st cousins, and a number of convicted criminals.

So, business as usual, really.

There are a few memorable facts and figures, including:

  • 1660 new People
  • 2343 new Images
  • 1548 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.

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 August 2, 2023.

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 20,384 people, 5,551 families, 12,654 sources, and 69,670 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