Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

On the geography of english family names

Wolfgang Viereck


The publications dealing with the distributional patterns of English family names in the United Kingdom are anything but numerous and comprehensive. For this task researchers used either different data sets to differing degrees and from different periods in the past or from different current periods. A concerted action in onomastic research is still lacking. A project on English surname geography, of which the first volume has recently appeared, is being carried out at the University of Bamberg. Its databases are briefly described and some examples of surnames with a recent or a long history are treated accordingly. The latter often developed variants of various kinds that mirrored changes in the common language that either survived or died out there. Also a quantificational surname approach is sketched to help identify historical cultural regions in England. Finally some aspects are mentioned that will be dealt with in the second volume.

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