|The Barber map|
Wordlady loves the stories behind words, as you know. But she also loves the stories behind names: first names, family names, place names. The study of names is called "onomastics", from the Greek onoma meaning "name".
She also loves maps, so just imagine how excited she gets about a website that combines names and maps! So with my Namelady hat on, I would like to introduce you to the "Named" website, which I am sure will give you some fun.
"Named" maps places in the UK where one (or two) surnames have a historically unusually high local population. It uses a recent UK electoral roll and was created in 2016. The data include names that are not originally British as well as names that go back to Anglo-Saxon times. If you have a rare name it won't show the data for privacy reasons as it might allow someone to zero in on your house.
All you do is enter your surname, and the website maps where in the UK there is an unusually high number of people with that surname living.
The creator of the website, geographer Ollie O'Brien, has this to say about it:
Although it uses relatively recent data, it may well show you where your surname was historically most concentrated. It has been demonstrated that most traditional UK surname distributions remain surprisingly unchanged over many years – internal migration in the UK is a lot less than might be traditionally perceived.
The map shows places where you are unusually likely to bump into somebody with that name. In very rural areas you don’t need to have very many people with a name for it to show up as a hotspot, because there aren’t very many people with any other names either. Whereas, in more populated parts of the country, you need a large number of people.
Give it a spin with your family names here
Let me know what you find out!
If you want to share your map with friends and relatives, you can right-click on the circle with the map in it, and choose "Save image as..."
For another post about surnames, see this post: https://katherinebarber.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-your-surname-is-your-destiny.html
To see all Wordlady posts, click here: https://katherinebarber.blogspot.com/