Family Names in Britain and Ireland

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland – in four volumes –  is due to be published in December 2016, covering the meanings and origins of almost 50,000 surnames. The project was led by UWE, Bristol between 2010-2014 and is currently undertaking further research after being awarded additional Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funding. The works are being published by Oxford University Press.

Whilst this is not cheap at £400.00, it will inevitably prove to be a great resource for genealogical researchers.

Additional reviews of the forthcoming publications are available from The Guardian and BBC.

Surnames study: Key findings

45,602 surnames in the dictionary
90% native to Britain and Ireland
50% of the 20,000 most common names come from places, like Leicester, Sutton and Green
23% are relationship names, like Dawson (son of Daw) and Phelps (son of Philip)
19% are nicknames, like Fox, Longbones and Goodfellow
8% are occupational or status names, like Tanner (tanner of skins) and Webster (weaver)

Source: BBC

Additional sources of interest from the Anglo-Indian Project:

  1. History of the Hassett Name
  2. History of the Wheeler Name
  3. Directory of Names
  4. Was everyone called John in early-19th century India?
  5. Resources for Genealogical Research

Cover picture: Was everyone called John in early-19th century India?


Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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6 thoughts on “Family Names in Britain and Ireland

  1. Yes, this was an interesting when I saw the news story. It must be a book of gold for people researching family history. At least another 5 years of blog posts for you 🙂

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