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ISBN: 1852855509

ISBN13: 9781852855505

Family Names and Family History

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Format: Paperback

Condition: New

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Book Overview

Family names are an essential part of everyone's personal history. The story of their evolution is integral to family history and fascinating in its own right. Formed from first names, place names, nicknames and occupations, names allow us to trace the movements of our ancestors from the middle ages to the present day. David Hey shows how, when and where families first got their names, and proves that most families stayed close to their places of...

Customer Reviews

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Fascinating and scholarly introduction to English names

One thing all family researchers necessarily have in common, regardless of ethnicity, is an interest in names. In this connection, you're fortunate if you have some English ancestry, for many less common surnames are still largely peculiar to one English county or another. The author's own surname places his origins in the West Riding of Yorkshire; he notes that he is quite used to seeing such names as "Staniforth" and "Broomhead," but that "southern" names such as "Gulliver" or "Loder" still catch his eye as being non-local -- which must seem very strange to most Americans. Hey, a professor of local history, leads the reader carefully through the historical immigration process -- Anglo-Saxon, Danish, Norman, Dutch, Flemish, Huguenot -- that affected the development of English surnames, outlines the methods available to determine the most likely place of origin of a family name not only in the 17th century (and earlier) but also in the modern mobile world. He traces many names as examples (they have their own index), and alerts the researcher to avoidable pitfalls; "Custer" is a common name in Berkshire, but the General's surname actually was anglicized from the Dutch name "Koster." Hey provides only the beginning of surname research, as his bibliography makes clear, but this engrossing volume is a good place to start.
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