May 4, 2000

For Further Information Contact:
Elaine Fraim, Media Coordinator
(908) 963-1277

Helping Researchers on a First Name Basis is pleased to announce the acquisition of the First Name Basis ("FNB") project created by Christine Biship Smith. The FNB project consists of a series of research services based on the novel concept of finding a relative by searching for their first name.

Christine started the project in 1995, "because so many of the women in my family tree were without maiden names", and she found making connections based on a common (but unusual) first name was a simple and productive form of speculation.

"First Name Basis is a perfect complement to our mission of highlighting alternative techniques to genealogical research," said Illya D'Addezio, editor of the web site. "Having a unique name myself, I had often wondered that a first name itself (or combined with a middle name) could be a tool for finding lost ancestors. Christine actually proved it with her project."

The databases of the First Name Basis project include "Usual First Names", "Roots of Married Women", "Spinster or Spouse?" and "Stuck in the Middle with Yew". All are designed to help people make connections based on first names, and now they are fully searchable on with submissions being accepted online rather than via e-mail.

Christine commented, "In some ways I'm saddened to step away from this labor of love, as it has been so rewarding to see genealogy grow real roots on the Internet. But other things have greater priority," referring to her SOLOS project, non-profit organization for Survivors of Loved Ones' Suicides. She added, "at the same time, however, I'm very pleased to have found a proper home at for my work."

Visit the First Name Basis home page.

About Survivors of Loved Ones' Suicides

Christine formed SOLOS, Inc. in November 1998, almost one year to the day after losing her 15 year-old son to suicide. "There's so little out there for survivors of such a devastating loss," according to Christine. "We were helped enormously by being able to connect with other survivors online, and we felt that every survivor should have access to both information and support." SOLOS volunteers of all ages have been helping provide those resources ever since. For more information about SOLOS and its projects, visit or

About has been serving a growing audience of genealogy enthusiasts since 1999 and earning accolades along the way. The site features original articles from several experienced genealogists and writers, along with unique databases and search tools.

Visit our "contact us" page for additional inquiries.


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