Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Newfoundland Ancestry?

A new edition of the classic Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by (the late) E.R. Seary, first published in 1977, now corrected by his colleague William J Kirwin, is officially published on 18 January by Mcgill-Queens University Press.
The book runs to 632 pages, "a study of the names and their origins and distribution (which) is in itself a study of the history and settlement of the province and of the relationships between the island and those parts of Europe from which the majority of settlers came."
A previous edition notes that many Newfoundland surnames have multiple origins. Of 3,000 surnames in Newfoundland 2,130 or 71 per cent of the total are surnames of England and Wales, 1,200 or 40 per cent of Ireland, 530 or 17.66 per cent of Scotland, 300 or 10 per cent of the Channel Islands and 260 or 8,7 per cent of France." The top three counties in England contributing are Devon, Dorset and Somerset.
How much has changed from previous editions? Kirwin explains "infrequent changes and additions, cannot be considered a wholesale revision."

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