25 April 2013

Surname Distribution in Britain

The Daily Mail has posted an interactive mapping facility showing  the distribution of the first, second and third most common surnames in England, Scotland and Wales from 2007 electoral rolls.

For the most common the dominance of Smith, in black letters for an English name, is the first thing you see. It extends well into the eastern part of southern Scotland. Jones dominates Wales, Welsh names are in light blue, but with Davies holding sway in the south west of the Principality. Jones makes a substantial incursion toward London, more evident when you zoom in. The Welsh name Williams is stronger in Cornwall and Devon, perhaps reflecting a common linguistic and cultural origin.
Macdonald and Campbell hold sway in western Scotland with Graham and Scott through Cumberland and down to north central England.

Take some time to look at a part of the country of interest to you in detail, and the second and third most common surnames. There's also a facility for looking at names on Twitter which I haven't had time to investigate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blacksmith,silversmiths,goldsmith - etc. occupational names proliferate. My birth surname Webb, also occupational name. Webb/Webbe/Weaver etc. "son" also from Viking/Anglo-Saxon genealogy. A direct grandfather in my line was Thompson. A great grandfather was Campbell (and probably not closely related to the Dukes of Argyll, and hopefully not, present at the Massacre of Glencoe. :D )

Only so much can be deduced from charts showing present family name presence in England. All populations have constantly been on the move forever. We can only begin with tracing backward - my Webb was (census 1951, and his son's 1850 original birth certificate) was officially 26 in 1851, b. Gloucestershire,(so, c. 1825, give or take?) gardener/labourer, registered in Peckham, Kent, 1851. One registered (household) child - who went to Russia c. 1870s so disappears from later census info.

Also, no middle names on record...