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Author Topic: UK surname profiler
Stoneage Dinosaur
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Surname Profiler

Find out where the people who share your surname lived in Britain in 1881 and 1998 - the highest concentration for mine is in southern England, although I think my surname came from Ireland via Glasgow.

Interesting to note that for a lot of surnames, the distribution is similar for 1881 and 1998, suggesting that migration during that period was not very common.

ETA: The site is very busy at the minute, so you might get a try again later message - sorry [Smile]

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I tried it on Friday and got that message too. It was linked from the BBC, and presumably everybody else in the country thinks it's as interesting as we do... I still haven't managed to look up my surname though!
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Brad from Georgia
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Lake District and the coast west of it for me. I know there's a village not far from Penrith named for our family (or vice versa?), but I've never visited there.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Hmph. Make that everybody in the country and everybody in the USA. And no doubt Australia, and New Zealand, and Canada... no wonder I can't get in!

My surname is from Lancashire or Yorkshire, I think, but I'd still like to see the distribution.

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Shadowduck
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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My family's named after a place in Lancashire so we were always likely to be concentrated around there in 1881 - wasn't expecting quite that concentrated though. We hadn't spread out awfully much by 1998 come to that.

You can cheat your way past the "busy signal" by putting your own surname (block capitals) into someone else's URL, like I just did with Stoneage Dinosaur's. [Big Grin]

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GaiaP5
Cereal Killer


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I'm not sure I should try. My maiden name is the 9th most common name in the UK and Northern Ireland. (Or, at least, it was about 5 years ago when I lived there.)

I would imagine my maiden name would be rather widely distributed... Hmmm. Maybe I should try my great-grand parents names instead. All of my ancestry is from either England, Ireland, or Scotland. Weird, huh? Especially considering my mom's side of the family immigrated to the colonies before the Revolutionary War.

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J Caldwell
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Looking back on my surname and the surname of another of my elders, it shows that my family came from the Southern Uplands of Scotland and another part of my family comes from south central England (around the triangle formed by London, Southampton, and Bristol). Makes part of an intersting mix. I am mixed enough anyway with Native American, German, Austrian, French, English, Scotish, and other roots. (The above list has no order of significance.)
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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I was right - even in 1998, most Wilkinsons are in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Apparently I was quite rare in Suffolk back then...

I think something's up with their database because we apparently didn't exist in 1881 and I'm sure that can't be true! Wilkinson Sword was founded in 1772. To be fair it was founded by a bloke called Henry Nock, but his apprentice and partner was called James Wilkinson; his family inherited the company in 1805. It was renamed The Wilkinson Sword Co Ltd. in 1879 so there were definitely Wilkinsons around in 1881...

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me, no really
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Wow, a bit scary. My surname is a traditional Scottish clan name. In 1881 They were mostly located around the clan lands. 1998? No sign at all. I assume that means spread very thin indeed. Or we're all dying out...

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by me, no really:
In 1881 They were mostly located around the clan lands. 1998? No sign at all.

Did you look at the 1881 map first and then click the alternate link at the top? I think there's a bug - if you do that, then it appears that the second map is blank.

I started on 1998, and when I originally looked at the 1881 map it was blank. I just went back and did a new search, selecting the 1881 radio button to start with, and the map was populated. Try a new search.

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Winter Morning
Deck the Malls


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My mother's maiden name shows up in 1881 most commonly in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northhamptonshire and then down in the south in Sussex. Lovely places.
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me, no really
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by me, no really:
In 1881 They were mostly located around the clan lands. 1998? No sign at all.

Did you look at the 1881 map first and then click the alternate link at the top? I think there's a bug - if you do that, then it appears that the second map is blank.

I started on 1998, and when I originally looked at the 1881 map it was blank. I just went back and did a new search, selecting the 1881 radio button to start with, and the map was populated. Try a new search.

No, I didn't see the alternative link until later - did it with a new search the first time. Oh well, I've alwys known I am a little unusual [Smile]

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dfresh
Deck the Malls


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darn, we don't exist. I wonder if the family had died off in the UK by 1881, or if we are just rare enough to slip through the cracks on their database.
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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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In 1881, we were only in Lancashire - by 1998, we'd spread to Yorkshire (traitors!), Norfolk, Suffolk and south London.

I know for certain that there were some of us hiding up in Scotland in the late 19th century though...!

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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Gale
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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when you're a Smith, these things are absolutely no fun.

Gayle "when you're a smith, you're a smith all the way, from your first cigarette, to your last dying day"

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by dfresh:
darn, we don't exist. I wonder if the family had died off in the UK by 1881, or if we are just rare enough to slip through the cracks on their database.

I might have been wrong about how to reproduce it, but I still think there's an intermittent bug in there that means the map sometimes comes back blank when it shouldn't. As I said, I saw a blank map on one search and didn't believe it. When I went back and tried again later the map was coloured.

(edit) If both maps were blank then maybe you do have a surname that's too rare to be in the database, though.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Smith, as of 1998 - density key being purple the highest followed by red then yellow then gold.


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Stoneage Dinosaur
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Gayle:
when you're a Smith, these things are absolutely no fun.

Oh I dunno - it's interesting how there is a Smith concentration in Aberdeenshire, and how there is a massive increase in Smiths in the Outer Hebrides between 1881 and 1998.

Also just to contradict my earlier comment, I entered some surnames associated with the north east of England, and there seems to be a lot of outward migration, e.g. Charlton 1881 and 1998, Robson 1881 and 1998.

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I discovered that my surname is mainly found in East Yorkshire. Considering that's where my father was born, and his family lived in Beverley since at least the early 1400s, it's not surprising.

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Phaedra
Jingle Bell Hock


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My mother was from Scotland and my father from the north of England. My great grandfather was a Romany but abandoned the travelling life and got work with the railways in Yorkshire and I always assumed that was where my fathers family originated.
I often wondered how my mother and father met as they were from very different social backgrounds and she was very sheltered. When I asked her she was unusually vague and said he had family in Scotland who were very slightly related to hers and they met when he was convalescing up there and she helped to look after him.
I was therefore very surprised to discover that his surname doesn't show up in Yorkshire at all but there is high concentration in the area my mother came from. My mother was always a bit sniffy about my fathers Romany line but it looks very much as if she was related to them herself. Some preliminary searching has shown a link via her mother.
A Romany connection might explain how my mother was so spookily fey about things. She claimed it was because she was a descendant of one of the three witches of Elgin but I now reckon that was a fanciful cover up for her secret Romany bloodline [lol]

Thanks for the link Stoneage Dinosaur it has piqued my interest enough to start ferreting about to find out more.

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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Heehee. Pop "Hannaford" in and see what happens. That's my father's father's mother's maiden name. Talk about from one extreme to the other - someone had fun in the outer Hebrides!

I sent this to some friends and it turns out that the chap who made it was my friend Helen's GIS lecturer for her geography degree at Bristol. Apparently he is somewhat obsessed with census data (as we can see from this) and the distribution of Tesco superstores...

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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Would some kind Englishman or Englishwoman help me out here. My dad and his family are from Birmingham. Does this map bear that out?

Pogue

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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My mother's maiden name, Bibbings, was entirely confined to Devon in 1881.

My own surname (Falls) is mostly in Fife and the Borders in 1881. I know my part of the family does have Scottish ancestors but they ar fairly distant. However, the incidence of the name at that time is actually hightest in Dorset, for some reason. It would be interesting to see results for Ireland as well - a lot of my dad's ancestors came from Tyrone, I think. By 1998, we're a lot more spread out, and there seem to be a lot of us in Wales. The once-flourishing Dorset Fallses have gone... (although my brother has just moved to Bournemouth so maybe he can restrt that line).


Fascinating stuff...

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
My dad and his family are from Birmingham
You do have concentrations in that area but they look a bit further south than Birmingham: Gloucestershire/Bristol/Somerset in one direction and Oxfordshire/Berkshire in the other.

Here is a map of counties to help out. Birmingham is numbered "9".

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Embra:
Here is a map of counties to help out. Birmingham is numbered "9".

Local government's a mess these days, isn't it? How many different sorts of "unitary county" and "unitary district" do we need?

Interesting map, though - I've not seen that laid out so clearly before.

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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Blimey, those vocal people on my hometown's messagebpard are right - Merseyside doesn't exist any more!

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by Embra:
Here is a map of counties to help out. Birmingham is numbered "9".

Local government's a mess these days, isn't it? How many different sorts of "unitary county" and "unitary district" do we need?

Interesting map, though - I've not seen that laid out so clearly before.

The mess is the reason why a lot of people in Britain use the tradional (or 'geographic') counties, some of which have existed since Saxon times. The 'administrive' counties have only existed since 1974 and some created then - such as 'Humberside' - are now defunct. Unitary Authorities (often just a town or two) are even later and are not administered in any county.

My dad lives in a unitary authority which includes Widnes. Until 1974 it was in Lancashire, then it was moved to Cheshire and now it is not in any county. How long is it before there is yet another re-organisation? That is why I stick to geographic counties which have not (and cannot) be abolished.

From Ware in the county of Hertfordshire - where it always has been and always will be.

OK, rant over. Carry on.

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Joe Joe Joey Junior Shabadoo
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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interesting- this site has solved one of greatest mysterys of my lifetime; my last name is elliott, and it's forever being spelled with only one 't.' not a big deal, I know, but it bugs me, especially when I don't get emails, or when my name is spelled wrong on certificates.

anyways, I have wondered what the difference was, and finally, I have an answer: Elliott is english, (and dimunitve, altought i'm not sure of what) while Elliot is scottish.

it all makes sense!

I realize no one else cares, but i wanted to add my two cents

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Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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Hmm, I think this proves that my surname (Dad's side) is really quite rare - according to the 1998 map, aside from a few bits around London (didn't know we had relatives there!) the largest concentration is in Gloucestershire. Well, that would be me and my Mum at one address, my uncle, aunt and a couple of cousins at another, and two other cousins living with their partners. Doesn't sound like a lot to me.

The 1881 map suggests we migrated from the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire area.

My Mum's maiden name seems to have always been concentrated round Gloucestershire, with a couple of breakways to the London area. Knew that already, although interestingly we really seem to have bred in Gloucestershire since 1881 - it changed from orange to purple!

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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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Interesting...first, I finally know where my surname actually came from. Second, I have a common variant spelling of a common surname that has a surprisingly high concentration in southern Britian.

Second, apparently, my mom's maiden name is not only Irish in origin (which surprised us as most of her known ancestors are British), but they're mostly in northern Britain and there are quite a few of them around.

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Holly Golightly
Happy Holly Days


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We seem to have spread up from Cornwall. However take out one of the l's and they came from east anglia.

Very interesting. Thank you Stoneage Dinosaur.

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Stoneage Dinosaur
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Special Cam, Specialist:
Elliott is english, (and dimunitve, altought i'm not sure of what) while Elliot is scottish.

From the North East Surnames website:

quote:
Eliott the surname is thought to derive from an Anglo-Saxon forename Elewald which means 'the elf ruler'
That's an excellent derivation for a surname [Big Grin]

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jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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The database doesn't have any entries for "Git" or "Twit". I thought the Brits had long lines of Gits and Twits.

[dunce]

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Zorro
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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My maiden name 1881 map

My maiden name 1998 map

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Zorro:
My maiden name 1881 map

My maiden name 1998 map

I am not surprised at the concentration of Walpoles in Norfolk. That county has three villages named 'Walpole', at least two of them being very prosperous in the Middle Ages. Indeed one of them, Walpole St. Peter, has one of Norfolk's finest churches (in a county noted for its churches).

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Andrew, Ware, England

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