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Journals and Seminars

Many of these papers are associated with Richard Webber, the creator of Origins, and former colleagues in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College, London. Some have appeared in journals and others have been presented at conferences and seminars on names research.

Surnames as a Quantitative Evidence Resource for the Social Sciences

Daryl Lloyd, Richard Webber and Paul Longley, 2006

This article outlines a new digital infrastructure for the analysis of surnames in Britain and elsewhere in the English-speaking world, including Australia.  It identifies potential applications for geographers, historians, and genealogists, as well as in government administration and private industry.

Roots Marketing: The Marketing Research Opportunity

Clive Nancarrow, Julie Tinson and Richard Webber, 2007

This paper form the International Journal of Market Research highlights a significant and growing global marketing opportunity exists for products where the national identity or country of origin can be used as positive sub-branding.  The research explored the strength of the link between Scottish identity and the consumption of Scottish goods. 

Findings indicate a significant marketing opportunity given the above average level of purchasing of Scottish products by migrants and their descendants - particularly as such people become advocates for such goods.  The implications for other migrant groups across the world are noted.

Cornish Migration Patterns

Richard Webber, 2006

This seminar paper details the evidence base for describing names as being of Cornish origin.  With reference to Falmouth and Camborne electoral constituency and the Truro postal area, the article draws on data from 1881 and 1998.  The author differentiates between names that are highly localised within the region and names that are more broadly common to the wider region of the whole of Cornwall. 

The paper also demonstrates how name origins can be used to link migration patterns in Britain with the historical decline in the fortunes of the tin mining industry.

Surnames, Forenames and Correlations

D Kenneth Tucker, 2006

This paper highlights recent advances, through quantification based on large data sets, in the compilation of name dictionaries.  It also introduces the notion of assigning a probability of a given name combination belonging to a particular cultural, ethnic and linguistic group.

Surnames and the Search for Regions

Kevin Schürer, 2006

This paper is a thoroughly referenced study into the geographical distribution of family names in determining ‘cultural regions’ in the context of English Local History.  It is based on census enumerators’ books (CEBs) linked to a parish-based digital geography using records from the 1881 UK census.  Methodologies outlined and mapped include ‘surname density’ ‘mean separation distance’.  
There are clear commercial and government service implications of these approaches to name analysis, particularly when groups of family names of a common origin are aggregated.  Origins data for distinct cultural groups in Australia mapped at fine levels of geography improves the ability to locate key target groups, enabling them to be reached more efficiently with appropriate messages.

The Quantitative Analysis of Family Names: Historic Migration and the Present Day Neighbourhood Structure of Middlesbrough

Paul Longley, Richard Webber and Darryl Lloyd, 2006

This detailed academic paper demonstrates how the use of names can improve our understanding of the historic and present spatial settlement patterns of economic migrants in the 19th century and the persistence of cultural background as a determinant of current socio-economic status.

Neighbourhood Segregation and Social Mobility among the Descendants of Middlesbrough’s 19th Century Celtic Immigrants

Richard Webber, 2004

Studying the geographic distribution of family names adds an interesting dimension to the understanding of historic migration patterns within Great Britain. This paper looks at Middlesbrough and East Cleveland where large numbers of economic migrants were drawn from Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall as well as from the North East of England during rapid nineteenth century industrialisation.

The How and Why of a Taxonomy of Names

Richard Webber, 2004

This seminar paper discusses the basis of classifying names into metonyms, patronyms, toponyms, and topographical features.  It shows how such a classification can be used to investigate the spread of people from one area to another - especially where the names have an original association with a small number of localities.

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