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Family Names and Family History Paperback – Jun 22 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (June 22 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852855509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852855505
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,494,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Hardcover
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating and scholarly introduction to English names July 22 2002
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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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