“named” by Public Profiler

How we love to track surnames! A website developed by geographers at the University College London (UCL) is another tool for finding where in the UK your ancestors migrated (or stayed).

The website, part of a larger research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, predicts “where one (or two) surnames have a high historically unusually high local population.” Professor Paul Longley, who leads the project, described it this way:

The website is a quirky start of our research project which is looking into whether our surnames are linked to our geographic locations – something which has long been perceived. It is known that many names remain surprisingly concentrated in specific parts of the UK, and this project helps us extend our understanding of name geography to combinations of names too when we enter relationships.

In general, the study shows surnames haven’t moved far in distance since Anglo-Saxon names came into usage about 700 years ago.

Here’s the link: http://named.publicprofiler.org/.

Thanks to Kathy B, a blog reader who shared the website with us. She thought her great-great grandfather (surname Archibald) came from Londonderry. Using the website she found the biggest concentration of Archibalds was, in fact, Londonderry, which added to her confidence that she was on the right track.

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