Thoughts on a Maling Surname Study

I am contemplating doing an (in)formal surname study of the Maling surname in the United States. Initially I plan to study users of the exact spelling and then branch out into some variants using Soundex variants.

The major goal of the study will be to determine origins and migrations of the few families who use the name. Currently there are fewer than five hundred or so Malings in existence in the United States. Most of them seem to have emigrated from England in the mid to late 1700s. A sizable number have immigrated from elsewhere since and live in various parts of the country.

The exact details will come up as they come up. Currently I am collecting data on others with the surname. I have done extensive work on my own family, and some other families, especially the one from Penobscot County, Maine. There are several other largish family groups, but I have not really examined them. One seems to have come into the country from Russia via Canada, and another seems to have originated in Germany.

In other thoughts, there are two England-based societies which host one-name (surname) studies, The Surname Society, and the Guild of One-Name Studies. I may join one or the other of them at some point when I “cross the pond,” but that time is not nigh.

Any thoughts or considerations I should account for before I dive in?